8 April 2021 | OPINION

Yes, the title is a little hyperbolic and over the top. I am a politician now, and I have a tendency to exaggerate for impact. It will not be long before pure lies are flying out of my mouth. I will try to resist the temptation and keep honest. I jest.

The election for the Mayor of Greater Manchester is only four weeks away. I have learnt a lot in the last few months about running a campaign. I am now desperately trying to implement this knowledge and influence the final chapter of this campaign.

The most challenging part of the campaign so far has been engaging the press. I have had no joy – neither local nor regional. I even staged my official launch in Media City, opposite the BBC and ITV studios, so that it would be easy for them. They could just pop out with a camera, speak to me, and get their lunch on the way back to the office. No-one turned up. The only exciting thing to happen that day was being hassled by Media City private security. They do not like campaigning on their private land. These reasonably new privately owned ‘public areas’ need to look at our rights as citizens. An article for another day.

Social media is the place where this election is being fought, but social media has limitations. Not everyone wastes their time checking out what other people have to say online. Some people are not online at all. And being heard in this quagmire without a large following is tough. But we fight the battles in front of us, not the ones we wish to partake in. I am spending 6 hours a day on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram. I am currently making a series of short videos explaining some of my key points and pledges. I hope these generate some interest.

Every household in Greater Manchester will have an official booklet delivered. It will outline the candidates and their message. Not all candidates will be advertised, for a contribution of £5,000 is required to help cover printing costs. Luckily for me, the party covered this cost. A question needs to be asked about how fair this is to independent candidates who have already paid a £5,000 deposit to stand in the election. Deposits are lost if less than 5% of the vote is secured.

I am fully aware that I am currently in a political bubble online. If only the people who follow my social media accounts were allowed to vote, I would win. My share of the vote would be at the level of the Chinese Communist Party. I have an echo chamber online. People who like what I say follow me, but I must not confuse this with the voice of the people. They only speak at the election.

I would be a fool to state that I think I have a chance of winning – I do not. Unless something dramatic happens between now and the election, such as our Labour Mayor being arrested for fraud like the Labour Liverpool Mayor was. Fingers crossed! Only joking. The last thing we need is more reason not to trust politicians, give up on democracy and not vote. A ‘plague on all your houses’ will not fix our societal problems, only make them worse.

I hope that this election will hit public consciousness soon and the mainstream press will begin to take notice. I need TV and radio exposure to advertise myself as a candidate with ideas and solutions. If not, why would anyone vote for me? People do not vote for mystery. They vote for familiarity.

Nick Buckley MBE has spent 2 decades working across the country to improve the lives of residents and young people. He spent a decade working for Manchester Council in the Crime & Disorder Team. He took redundancy and set up a charity called Mancunian Way to stop young people getting involved in crime. He also runs several homeless projects. Mancunian Way is a multi-award-winning charity. He was award an MBE in 2019 for this work. He has recently become a contact for GB News as an expert on social issues. In 2021 he stood for Reform UK as the Mayoral candidate for Greater Manchester. To be part of his journey join his community on LOCALS for access to unpublished articles, drafts and early viewing of articles and videos.

4 COMMENTS

  1. The current incumbent Mayor, Mr Burham, has had 4 years to implement homelessness solutions (ones that actually work and not just a ‘bed for the night’). Greater Manchester Police are in crisis and 80,000 crimes have gone unrecorded. This is truly shameful and embarrassing. Most people, if faced with such a failure, would resign.

    Mr Burham is now discussing his big plans for community policing. The horse bolted long ago and the gate slammed shut.

    Manchester has such potential to be a thriving city, one that businesses will flourish and one that the communities who reside there have confidence in their local policing teams. A city where the Mayor cares about the people, a city where the people care about their city. That is exactly what Nick Buckley would do.

    This is a man who understands the complexities of rough sleeping. He understands the deep rooted issues that are engrained within and one solution does not solve this issue. It will need a multi prong strategy, led by a man who understands the problem. Would you let a hairdresser carry out root canal on your teeth? Why aren’t experts directing and leading services that require knowledge and actual experience!!

    Why are we seeing decisions about communities being made by those living in leafy suburbs? This has to stop. People locally need to be part of the process in deciding what their community needs.

    Even if you’ve been a loyal Labour voter, politics aside – surely it’s time for change.

    It’s foolish to keep voting for the same old party for much of the same and expecting something to revolutionary change. Surely that’s the definition of madness?

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