Most people who know me will appreciate that I've missed John Hodges since he died last year (blog), and I wasn't even that close to him, but he influenced my life greatly.
I miss watching and listening to him at Hastings Borough Council meetings, where he tore apart the rhetoric of others, I miss his welcoming me to those meetings, I miss his great knowledge of the history and politics of Hastings, I miss that I could go to him and he would tell me the reality behind what was going on, whether to do with Ecclesbourne Glen, the Winch Road, the Foreshore Trust, whatever. I miss we could talk about pubs and beer, that he used to provide me with his own articles for my blogs, and that I could use his knowledge to write blogs myself. I miss that I don't have him to pass on beer mats and pumpclips to, a hobby I could help him with, indeed, I hardly gave back much.
So I apologise to those who misinterpreted my use of his image regarding my last blog; his image was meant to represent "democracy" plain and simple, but some thought I shouldn't have used it when 'corruption' was in the reference. I can appreciate how that must have felt to some people, it wasn't my purpose.
I wanted to encourage people to ignore rumours and gossip, and to gain 'informed' knowledge, go to Council meetings, read the minutes, talk to your councillors, don't just accept gossip at face value, particularly as many gossipers have their own agendas. See democracy in action, find out why decisions are made, that, despite decisions apparently going against local residents, eg Ecclesbourne Glen and the Jerwood Gallery, there may well be good reasons, but these shouldn't be kept secret. We have a good council in Hastings, that does what it can despite annual reductions in it's income, thanks to 'austerity measures' from on high, and I'm including that councillors of all political persuasions should be used to discover the truths. I'll shut up for now...
John Hodges R.I.P.