Jennings’ first interest in politics came not from some grand revelation, or some inspirational leader or a need to do something. It came from something far simpler: accidentally recording episodes of The West Wing sometime around 2000. He knew nothing about UK politics, and even less about US politics, but it all seemed rather charming, and when the 2000 US election filled the news with terms like ‘electoral college’, ‘popular vote’, and ‘hanging chad’, it all made a bit more sense, and was all rather fascinating. He also did a Government & Politics A-Level that turned out to be boring as shit in comparison.
He first got active in UK politics when the Blair government tried to introduce ID cards. It was this act that led to him falling in with the Liberal Democrats given they were the only party standing up against them. He joined the Liberal Democrats as a member but only really got actively involved with the party in 2011, after being in the weird position of actually being one of the few liberals who didn’t hate everything about the coalition government.
He managed to be an active member for a grand total of two years, during which time it became fairly clear that towing the party line wasn’t really his thing. The final straw, and his eventual resignation from the party, came following the failure of the Liberal Democrat group on Medway Council to vote in favour of equal marriage. This offended the staunch libertarian within, and made him one of the few people to exit the party during this period who didn’t do so as a result of the national government.
During 2012/13, he began to regularly attend Medway Council meetings and began live tweeting these meetings. The style in which he did this was fairly even-handed – in that he called bullshit on all parties equally – seemed to go down fairly well, and eventually played a part in Medway Council setting up provision as meetings for so-called “citizen journalists”. This turned out to not be worth very much – a different row of seats at the front – but it did apparently scare the local press enough to brand him and others as “self-appointed guardians of local democracy”. Mocking tone aside, he never really saw anything bad with that title.
Then, in April 2014, he ruined everything. By moving to London.
He still kept a keen eye on Medway politics from afar, but didn’t really take an active role again, until Keevil came to him with the idea of this blog. So here we are.
In late 2015, he moved back to Medway, because we all know that no one ever truly leaves this place.
Somehow, we’re back: It’s been a tough year for all of us, and we had to take a little step back from The Political Medway. But we’re back now, and trying to provide as much good, independent coverage of politics in Medway as we can. We are a volunteer run team, and while there’s lots of things we’d like to cover, we only have a finite amount of time and resources we can dedicate to this. If you appreciate what we do, please consider making a one-off or monthly contribution via our Ko-fi. If you aren’t in a position to donate right now, that’s totally cool, and we really appreciate you stopping by regardless.