Yesterday I was the last speaker at a conference on local democracy at Goldsmiths College and I am pleased to say that I received a grand applause for my cynical (but I think realistic) views on the relationship between authorities and residents.
Another speaker was Steve bullock, our local Mayor, I wasn't there to hear what he had to say but I've been told that his message was quite different from my one.
For the past two years I've been campaigning relentlessly trying to change my local Council's decision to close the local swimming pool and although at start I didn't know anything about how to change a Council's decision I discovered that I have quite a touch for local politics and campaigning.
When I started campaigning I would have never thought that this fight would have become the 2 and 1/2 years long saga of twists and turns that it came to be.
Eventually I made a marked contribution to my local political life culminating in last May's election where my electoral appeal that was distributed in 30,000 copies was a determining factor in the loss of overall control of the Council that the Labour group suffered after 35 years of uninterrupted overwhelming majority.
The Mayor retained his seat but ended up presiding over a minority group at Council.
The new Council honored the electoral promise and voted to keep the pool open.
Unfortunately here in Lewisham we have a"directly elected executive Mayor" arrangement that means that the Mayor takes all decisions apart from the budget. In reality, for reasons of political opportunity, he cannot disregard the Council entirely and had to start looking around for a way out.
Tonight at 6 pm he might decide to keep the pool open.
This is a quick sketch of the Mayor that I did the first time I met him just after we spoke. It was at a public meeting and I introduced myself and asked him a question about the pool. He already knew my name and knew of the campaign so when he heard what I had to say he also knew that there were troubles straight in front of him.
As it happens he went through the challenge. Politicians have personalities too and - like me - he's got a particularly stubborn one.
As I said, tonight he takes his final decision. It could swing both ways, whatever happens I know that I put up my best fight.
I have been criticizing him mercilessly for over two years, that's the nature of a political fight, it's a messy job, there's no way to do it nicely but somebody has to do it.
Now that it is all about to end I want to say that I think that in reality he's probably quite a nice chap that lives under a lot of pressure all the time and that probably he did what he could under the circumstances.
I thought that I have to state this now before his decision tonight because if he decides to listen to me and keep the pool open then one wouldn't really believe that I mean it and if he decides to go ahead with the closure then I might be tempted to write nasty things in anger and I shouldn't really do that.