In Praise of the Troublemakers


I wrote this piece on my Facebook page a few months ago. I just stumbled across it again and thought I’d share it on here…

I really love representing Barnhill, but if I’m completely honest there is one particular street that has always frustrated me. There always seems to be a problem there. When one problem is resolved another always pops up. It’s annoying.

Last night in the spirit of fresh starts I knocked on every door on that street. And I was so wrong. There was lots of appreciation for the improvements that have taken place (which was nice!) but more importantly the latest problem to arise genuinely is a problem. I’m already on the case to sort it out, but I learnt a deeper lesson.

The moaners and complainers sometimes get on all our nerves. But that doesn’t mean that they are wrong.

For me this is the true lesson of the Grenfell tragedy. Not that companies cut corners to save money or that cuts to local Councils cause real pain – we already knew this. The lesson is that complaints always need to be listened to, even if those in power choose to believe that they are vexatious or a waste of time.

There is nothing more arrogant than believing that you, and those you choose to listen to, have all the answers. Often those that cause you the most irritation are those you need to listen to.

This is a lesson that Kensington & Chelsea still have to learn, based on their outrageous decision not to allow residents to attend a Council meeting. But it’s a lesson I very definitely learnt last night. So let’s hear it for the irritants and the troublemakers. You’re not always right. But you always deserve to be heard.

Oh and this beautiful kitty followed me around the whole street last night, which was lovely 😻


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