Saturday 8 December 2018


First draft Sat 8th December – to catch those setting out to march, protest or discuss.
Second draft Friday 14th  - tidied up, inserted better descriptors, lost some verbiage... more to go..
Third Draft Jan - typos sorted... ?....

Happy to receive suggested edits - I enjoy collaborative writing

NOT The Councillor I am complaining about
but a classic BAD conduct

The Precious Present
I like causing serious hassle for unethical and unprincipled people. Don't you? If you do - Read on, you'll need determination and energy but you know that.  It's not easy but it’s important stuff.  I've been reminded of that in the last, exhausting, weeks.  This BLOG is about my experience and learning it's the most important I will ever write but I often think that. 

If you identify with my story and like what I'm suggesting please share it, retweet it, plagiarise it but, most of all, DO something.  It's about making the world a better place.. bit by bit... step by careful step...but only if you do DO something. I often find myself saying "GOYA" when I hear folkd complaining, "Get Off Your Arse! Go Do Something.."

One more thing, there are no arguments for, or against, #Brexit in this BLOG. Neither is it party political. It’s far, far more important than that.  It's about real change in our villages, towns, cities and our country.  So, bear with, bear with... this is about our precious present and how we build a fulfilling future.

Losing my Precious Present.
I’ve had a terrible, testing and tiring, couple of weeks culminating in me preparing a Formal Complaint against a local Councillor, this week-end.  It's meant late nights and early mornings, as well as covering the day job.  It's been an unwanted but critical extra task.  It's involved at least a dozen people so far and is set to involve more. I've been deeply hurt, personally and professionally, angry, grumpy and at worst, I feared a heart attack about what he wrote, said and did, to me and to two friends (yes, they're women) It would have been so, so much easier to leave the councillor unchallenged and do nice stuff - enjoy my precious present.  But something deep drove me on.  I've never fallen for, “You’ll not change him (yes it's a bloke). They are all the same.  You’re wasting your time. Get a life.” So, I pushed on chanting, "This too will pass" and am now reaching a place I recognise well - been here before, had the sleepless nights and now I'm due some rest.  I'm finding my way out of the tunnel, beyond the horrible, awful, draining swamp.  It's like a clearing. It's peaceful here. I’m strangely calm. I feel a stronger sense of purpose and a weird burgeoning energy.  “Why?” you mutter, and I continue…because writing this and passing on the "idea" is cathartic...

Making my complaint has meant analysing and judging how I and my fellow villagers and our Councillors are behaving.  I'd heard residents talk about it bully tactics and I sort of believed them but it was all nebulous.  But now I've witnessed it myself - the lies, duplicity, weedling and plotting.  I can't say more, you know why - "The Case is ongoing".  But the detail and content is not crucial here, you'll see why this is about process.... and there is light at the end....

Whilst compiling my Official Complaint, on the Form Provided, I’ve occasionally lifted my eyes to the TV, heard the radio from the kitchen, or responded to news alerts on my phone. Doing so, I see and hear the regional, national and global version of my little local issue.  There they are our country-folk, our international brothers and sisters and our elected representatives breaking bad and breaking good behaviour.  It's 24-7 on our Social and not so Social Media.  It’s the same damned play, on a bigger stage, with different bloomin actors!  

Recognise this?  At worst there’s tribal behaviour, bully tactics, fake claims, misrepresentation, untruths peddled as fact, deliberate avoidance tactics, shouting, tears, personal insults and blind anger.  At best, thank goodness and I do mean goodness, there’s also a calm, respectful, integrity in dialogues where listening is balanced with talking. Amongst the noise blitz from the breaking bad, we find the breaking good as we hear more objective, evidence-based arguments and, occasionally, the willingness to shift an opinion and an honesty in realising a mistake has been made, saying sorry and moving on.  We witness see this on all sides of politics and not just in my village - it's global - isn't it?

The bigger, national and global view
I'm seeing, in this bigger picture, something else. The dangerous tribal behaviour is not between the Left and the Right or the #Brexiteers and #Remainers, the Democrats and Republicans (fill in with the other tribes you know...) No the real tribes are the Reasonable Rational and the Unreasonable Irrational and these warriors do lurk within all political and activist tribes all over the world.  The important point is - the Reasonable Rational are good for us and the Unreasonable Irrational are bad for us, especially when they, as they tend to do, drift into abuse and bullying.  So, to make distinguishing between these tribes easier I’ll label the Reasonable Rational GOOD and the Unreasonable Irrational BAD.   The good are critical thinkers and moral scientists - they discuss to find ways forward for a long, long time and they resist anger.  The bad are knee-jerk, grabbers of opinions that fit their view, skewers of truth, facts and prepared to be immoral to win, at all costs.  We must applaud the Reasonable Rational, even when we disagree with what they say.

My fear, shared by my closest friends (real and virtual) is that the BAD are winning.  My darkest fear is they will win if they are not challenged. Unchallenged they destroy the balance of our lives. They mess up our villages an towns.  They are literally, destroying the planet.  So, in this BLOG and elsewhere I'm arguing, in a GOOD way, that we work to establish a more Consensual Leadership at all levels by educating ourselves to be reasonable and rational... but I digress.... follow my thinking on Consensual Leadership in the The Original BLOG or in A Calmer Education Focussed Article more to follow....

How 7 Principles of Public Life might help.
Whilst these actors were moving, strutting and shaking around our stages, locally, nationally, and internationally.. some breaking bad and others breaking good, I rediscovered a document.  I once signed it and knew it well.  Finding it again has been my handrail to sanity See Page 3 of Ethical Standards Document  It includes the statutory "Code of Conduct of people in public office".  It's a charter for the GOOD and a huge challenge for the BAD.

The 7 principles are:

·         Selflessness
·         Integrity
·         Objectivity
·         Accountability
·         Openness
·         Honesty
·         Leadership

Here's the link to our local Complaint Form" based on the 7 Principles.  The document helped me check that what I'm thinking and writing about my complaint against a set of solid criteria (I'm resisting a plug for The iAbacus here - note no link - but the Code would make an excellent template!)

You too can use the 7 Principles to complain when others are behaving badly.. They apply to anyone and everyone who works as a public office-holder, or is elected or appointed to public office, nationally and locally.  There are also procedures to hold them account for their conduct through investigation and inquiry. Check your Local Authority/MP's Website to find your equivalent. 

I'm now thinking wouldn't it be great if these principles were applied to all of us who venture out into the world of public discourse? Well they can! They can be applied, easily, in our day to day interactions and certainly on and in Social Media. (I will be advising/educating my fellow braves in #WomenEd to use them, where appropriate, to strengthen their brilliant stance on on-line abuse. I've already invited the amazing "Sheffield Trees Action Group" STAG to have a peek and use it with their errant Councillors.... 

So what about our Fulfilling Future?

The priority?  This week-end and the days and weeks ahead are likely to be the most important many of us will ever spend.  How our MPs think and vote on our future is under hourly study.  Millions, of UK citizens are preparing to march again, protest, hold rallies, leaflet drop or discuss with neighbours and friends. Many are new activists and for some it will be their first political act and, yes, talking to a neighbour can be a political act. Go do it I say.  Indeed, let's all do it more but but but we are better when we do it reasonably and respectfully, in line with those 7 GOOD Principles.

Go small?  We know that in families and relationships there are women, girls, men and boys children who are suffering under Unreasonable Irrational Bullies.  They need help - the 7 principles and the notion of Consensual Leadership can provide a handrail to thinking.....

Go global? Look wider than the UK and we see see people, active politically.  Look what's happening in France this week-end!  If course it's right when people rise up to challenge their representatives' thinking rising up but we must be worried about how some of us, some of them, the BAD conduct themselves.  We the GOOD must use our precious present to achieve a fulfilling future by challenging the BAD? Why?  Because aggressive behavior is not an argument. Oppression and power are not reason. Anger, bullying, coercion is the pathetic response when the rational argument, the temper, the love, is lost.

What is point? Well, it’s deceptively simple as the very best things often are.  I’m suggesting we all keep to the Code of Conduct for Public Life.  I am challenging anyone and everyone, who had the determination to read this far, to consider making an Official Complaint against anyone in public office who breaches the Code of Conduct, as I'm doing.  

Incidentally, I decided to do so only after I'd offered to discuss a way forward with the councillor.  This was refused, with more bile, as was all future contact. That was even more unacceptable and great evidence for the complaint. 


We cannot work for a better future in our villages, towns, cities, across the UK, EU and the world, when elected officials behave badly.  In some ways mine is a pathetically small issue compared with the upper levels of Brexit and Global Warming.... but it's a small step... and I, for one, intend there to be more - my own and maybe yours? Remember,

“All that is required for evil to prevail, is for good men and women to do nothing”

Go do!

I am willing to collaborate with anyone who wants to promote these standards in a voluntary or professional capacity.  If interested contact me via

John Pearce in calmer mood

John Pearce

Further Information
The 7 principles of public life apply to anyone who works as a public office-holder, or is elected or appointed to public office, nationally and locally.  They apply to the civil service, local government, the police, the courts and probation services, non-departmental public bodies, health, education, social and care services.  They have legal force to all sectors that deliver public services.

They are the foundation of the MP's Code of Conduct and can be found on the websites, or required of all County, Borough, District and Parish Councils.

For further information on the 7 principles and the work of the Committee on Standards in Public Life, visit the Committee’s website and blogsite

#MPs #BREXITDEAL #BreakingGood #JOB70 #WomenEd #HeForShe #StandardsInPublicLife
#Consensual Leadership #STAG