I don’t see any point in protesting stuff in Horsham; the council just do what they want anyway.”
Those were the words I overheard during my attendance at the North Horsham Development presentation in Swan Walk.
My heart sank in hearing that opinion. It reflects what I believe many residents in Horsham feel; that their voices matter little in the scheme of things.
Then came my anger that through a variety of experiences, communications and projects, the aspects of how civil administration is managed has created a mindset that meekly accepts announcements and has no will left to fight.
It was in hindsight a bitter reflection that no more than a day after the 70th Anniversary of D-Day landings that a very British character of fighting for something fair and proper has been ground down under a public relations and government heel.
I should have asked those people if they voted. If they ever spoke to councillors or read minutes and consultation documents. I have only my gut feeling, mere anecdotal evidence, to believe that the same group who fail to arrive on polling day are those who hold a strong belief that protesting will change little in Horsham.
How much more would be delivered by bureaucracy and an unchecked elected if only more of the community avoided taking interest or questioning a decision.
I suspect, again I have no proof, that these same groups who feel protesting does no good would be the first to Facebook and consumer groups should a corporation or retail product fail to meet expected standards.
Interestingly online results of consumer protests versus government protest show a different pattern; so why are we unaware of this? Possibly it is easier to boycott a company over a council.
Those in North Horsham cannot easily decide that they no longer wish to represented by Horsham District Council and opt for Crawley Borough Council in its place.
Possibly the protesters attending that Saturday morning review of green fields in North Horsham are viewed as a dwindling disenfranchised community. If this is true then a greater burden of shame must be held by all those who hold ‘duly’ elected positions in our councils. For without intent, and in response to matters few can make sense of, they have lent weight to a smothering pillow of governance which saps the will to contribute from the heart of its own community.