“If men were angels, no government would be necessary” – James Madison
Another long awaited post from RRtW! This one is all about showcasing an exciting new project I’ve had in the pipeline and one which I can see catching on and transforming politics. This is all about Redmondism.
You can call it politics, you can call it playing a part in the community, the two things are one and the same in my book.
As many of you know, I have made a name for myself as an up-and-coming Conservative candidate. It happened almost by accident, I’m not interested in the label, what I’m interested in is making communities amazing to live in and showing what can be done when the government gets out of the way.
Since moving to South Wales, I have taken a shine to the stunning city of Cardiff, which is simply buzzing with community spirit from sports clubs to night clubs, student houses to castle turrets. It’s not a city, it’s a work of art. Somewhere you feel at home and away on holiday all at the same time.
I want to share everything and everyone this city has to offer; to keep it shining like a jewel in the crown of Wales. With a treasure trove of local activities on offer, all focussed on giving something back to the city, I have set up Cardiff Angels as a community hub to promote local groups and to crowd source new recruits. I can’t take any credit for all the work and graft that goes on at the grassroots, there are groups that devote daily love and attention to the gardens at Roath Park, the young people at the Cathays centre, the soup kitchen at Charles Street. What we can do, is we can spread our wings, and flock to help them. This is the power of crowd sourcing, to run communities and to bring them alive for everyone.
I firmly believe that passion beats policy, and a group of likeminded neighbours can be leaps and bounds ahead of local authorities. All the best big ideas in local communities come from inspired activists, people who get out of bed one day aching to get stuck into something special, something really helpful.
I’ve been volunteering since my schooldays, from science projects to charity shops, and in the last year or so I’ve seen some really incredible social entrepreneurialism which has harnessed crowd sourcing to huge effect.
One of the best examples is Crisis at Christmas, which is put on by homeless charity, Crisis, who source empty buildings and armies of volunteers on a large scale, to set up homeless shelters over the Christmas period every year, raising millions of pounds worth of manpower, food and accommodation, all on a shoestring budget. The key to their success has been the way the charity engages swathes of helpers through their channels of online communication, word of mouth, reputation and repeat business.
Getting a clear and simple message out to let everyone know how to join in, is all it takes to spark up a match between the help and the helpful.
The other huge inspiration for this project, was my involvement with grassroots group NYC MORE (marathon of relief efforts). New York City runner, Jaclynn Larington, responded to the cancellation of the marathon in the wake of Hurricane Sandy, by re-engaging runners on citywide relief efforts. Jaclynn came up with the idea one morning, in her pyjamas, and within a matter of hours created an organisation which mobilised hundreds of volunteers and busloads of supplies to devastated areas of New York City.
If we can achieve even a fraction of what I know is possible, we can help Cardiff shine brighter than a new penny, for the price of one.