Saturday, February 6, 2016

Notes from the policy rabbit hole and other January news

Eagle-eyed readers will note that it's been three weeks since any blogging occured here. And after all my good intentions at the start of the year! However, it's not that I've not been writing. 
  
My big work projects at the moment at the Motor Neurone Disease Association are the upcoming Assembly elections in Wales and Northern Ireland. To that end, I've been part-writing, part-curating policy briefings for Assembly members, together with adapting an MP's pocket guide to serve for AM's and MLA's. Oh, and arranging for all the Welsh material to be translated into Welsh!

It's been good fun rediscovering my inner policy wonk - although also a good reminder of why I stopped doing pure policy roles 10 years ago. Writing reports - like undergraduate essays - tends to bring out the completer-finisher / mildly obsessive traits in me to a point that I find slighly uncomfortable. And that means recently my writing energies have been almost entirely diverted to this end.

Nevertheless, I am profoundly grateful for my apprenticeship with the Electoral Commission back in the mists of time for giving me the skills and toolkit to do it when needed. And happily, the reports are now with the designer, having been proof-read and audited to within an inch of their lives. 

You can read previews of both election campaigns here:

Every Breath Counts (Northern Ireland)
MND Won't Wait (Wales) 

I've also contributed to a couple of letters into the Lichfield Mercury for Low Carbon Lichfield - again, something of a collective undertaking.



And last - but my no means least - did I mention that I'd passed my driving test at the second attempt? :)



That's pretty awesome, actually.

My closing reflection is that sometimes we choose our field of action, sometimes it's chosen for us. January seems to have been one of the latter times. 

But I have got a truck load of stuff done, and that I can be quietly chuffed about. 

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