Local voice Bill Anderson: What do you do for a living?

Local voice Bill Anderson: What do you do for a living? Image - Bill Anderson

To be honest, it’s a bit of a conversation stopper. “What do you do for a living?”  “I’m a local politician.” “Oh!” As the only International resident ever to serve as a councillor on Mijas Council, I am often congratulated. 

But actually, I didn’t do anything to get here. Firstly, it was the determination of my good friend and long-time “politician”, Angel Nozal, who very sneakily walked me into a trap and found me agreeing to go onto his list for the 2019 local elections. Then, it was the people who voted for his candidates list, and “voila”, I’m a local politician.

Becoming a local councillor is less important than what you do once you are there. At my age, I think it would be over optimistic to suggest that this change in my work life can be classed as a career change. I should be considering the retirement options which would allow me to further pursue my writing “career”, but instead I decided to offer myself up as a candidate for the 2023 elections. I have tried to keep my writing going by publishing two diaries of a Councillor in Opposition and at the same time show some of the distasteful hinter side of the world of local politics where egos and big salaries drive the ambitious more than the desire to get it right for the community.

Maybe there is a lesson here for all of us in the political world. I really don’t see myself as a “politician” but I tried telling people I was a “councillor” and many thought I was a ”counsellor” and it often takes too long to explain the vagaries of English homophones to an Estonian. Perhaps I should take a leaf out of my own book, and tell people I am a public servant.

P.S. My thanks to the Euro Weekly News for inviting me to write this column.


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