A couple of weeks ago my fellow residents ejected me from the local parish council (civil parish, not church), bringing down the curtain on a short and relatively undistinguished career in local politics. Nobody is mourning the passing of my (lack of) political ambitions, least of all me. I voluntarily chose to vacate my seat on the district council last year despite a good chance of retaining it and this year I eschewed the opportunity to move to a safe parish seat despite the high risk of not being re-elected (a process dubbed the "chicken run" before the 2014 Croydon local elections when senior Conservatives shifted themselves out of risky wards). But at least now I get to tell people I have retired from politics to spend more time with my remaining kidneys.
I did enjoy most of my time in local politics, it opened up new perspectives, developed new skills, and I learned a lot about how politics actually works from the inside; the good, the bad and the ugly. Politics can be a dirty business, but that's not solely down to the minority of politicians who are warped by the (often limited) power they receive, but also by sections of the electorate only too willing to be diverted by trivia or indifference. Now it's time to focus on some new challenges.