My supposed task these last few days has been filing. As an activity, filing is of the sticky residue type : the kind of thing you turn to when even stamp collecting fails to fill out your day. My problem with filing is that I tend to read whatever piece of paper I am dealing with rather than just consigning it to the appropriate Manila folder. So when yesterday I came across a folder marked, somewhat grandly, "Archives To Keep" I couldn't help taking a dip into the murky swimming pool which is my life.
The document which caught my eye was an election leaflet from the local elections held in the London Borough of Merton in May 1974. As you can see, the candidate - to be more exact one of the four candidates on the Labour Party slate, as the election returned four councillors - was none other than me. Two things must stand out to anyone who views this historical document. First, how much I looked like a convicted criminal. The look in the photograph has that element of bemused nonchalance mixed with primal fear so common in police mugshots. And second, how on earth could I describe myself as being particularly interested in local government finance? Clearly there could be no hope for such a young man. Clearly there wasn't.