The Cruel Sea, The Cruel C

They say it’s going to be this generation’s Blitz
And it’s sure to be a direct hit on some survivors of the last one
Like a spiky floating mine that will tear breath to bits
There’s a new big C which we face together or lonesome
And a world war film to watch in which the enemy is not called Fritz 

The Cruel Sea, The Cruel C
Where’s the ‘I’ in this storm?;
Waving or drowning in the swell?
Will the torpedo or the depth charge
Lead us into hell?
And will we bury our humanity all at sea
Or uncover it whilst downing planes
And breathing deeper together one day;
Having learnt from the Cruel C how to be well?


Paul Crosland, The Independent Candidate, Hastings & Rye Constituency, General Election 2019, 12th December

If you haven't got the leaflet -supposedly delivered to all 56,400 postal addresses in the constituency, these two links are to the pdf version of the leaflet: 
PutACrossForCrosland -12th December 2019 General Election

The election result will be put on Wikipedia here ; please donate to Wikipedia as well. 

Getting over the Ego Barrier Reef RE The Independent Candidate

“Is Paul Crosland an ego-maniac, a narcissist, an eccentric or what? Is he mad, bad or just sad? Are these the lenses you look through? How do any of us know what is in the heart of another; which of the universal needs that drive us all has come to the fore uniquely in the person in question? Recognising that we are all wounded*, what is the wound that is playing out in the political sphere and how do I react to that?” (Imaginary Interlocutor)

I believe I can help you navigate these possibilities, as someone contacted me via Twitter after the Thursday 5th December Hustings putting it to me that I am “a compassionate man making an (unnecessary) political gesture”; that communication and my reply are here.

If you have a view to which you'd like an answer please email me - -and I'll probably put a link to our getting closer to mutual understanding here.

One other issue may be to whom I am accountable as I'm not (yet) part of a political party. That's a question I'll gladly engage with. (#IamAccountable) The way I received apparently harsh criticism at a Nonviolent Communication workshop actually so impressed a woman there who had just come into an inheritance that she became my benefactor, putting £15,000 into my Community Development work in Hastings and St Leonards 2011-2015, with a monthly report back from me.

I'll close this piece for now with two approximate quotes (from memory) from two of my mentors:
“Once you've sorted out your mental health, the next most important question seems to be 'How much of the burden of humanity am I willing to shoulder?”
“Don't wait until your motives are pure to get on and do things for the benefit of (self and) others.”
And from me:
Love yourself enough to stand up for what you believe in, at (almost) any cost, especially if that is the philosophy “I don't know best, we know better”.

*This YouTube film refers to the wound and -once opened in YouTube has this link beneath it.


I ve got your back Sally Ann and Peter

“I’ve got your back, Sally-Ann and Peter”

by Paul Crosland (2019 Independent Candidate)

Out of the boisterous air of the Hastings Independent hosted hustings of 5th December, the soundbite that became viral and led both local news stories and the BBC’s “Victoria Derbyshire” discussion programme by 10am the following morning was “Some people with learning difficulties don’t understand about money”. This sentence could be parodied in so many ways, but “I stood for Generosity” and to me that stand involves making the effort to mediate mutual comprehension rather than conjure up an “enemy image” of a Conservative and treat her words as confirmation that the Tories stand for demeaning, patronising and "othering" the disadvantaged.

For me, “Community Development”, the cause that led me to stand as an Independent with an intention of going on to found a new “Sharing & Care4Caring” political party/politics, only takes place when we hear each other to their satisfaction and having clarified what needs we are each trying to serve, see what alliances we can make to #MoveForwardMoreTogether.

In this spirit, in 2011, I formed the St Leonards Sharing Consortium with the Centre for Peaceful Solutions as a key partner. It’s founder, Maria Arpa, now the Executive Director of the International Centre For NonViolent Communication (, came to St Leonards to lead a weekend’s training, about which the chair of the Hastings Pier and White Rock Trust (as was) said the following:
“I’m breath-taken and inspired about the last two days; it’s been quite changing for me. I’d recommend this training across the voluntary and corporate sectors; across every walk of life this could add value”.

As creator of the Dialogue Road Map (DRM), Maria explained to me: "Magnified by [some of] the media, as a society we've reached a point where it's all too easy to judge what someone's saying to suit our own story. A healthier society would be one in which we take the time to unpack and understand the meaning and intention behind what's being said. When we choose dialogue over debate, with goodwill and co-operation, the apparently difficult choices we face will become less conflicted. My friend, Paul Crosland, has come out of this situation more determined than ever to stand for the values/practices of Mutual Understanding, Self Responsibility and Action Planning/(Non-blaming) Review which, in my experience, lie at the heart of effective action in the wake of hearing what we don’t like to hear."

600 words as the length allotted for this piece doesn’t allow space to unpack the issues of what “public good” is being blocked by “minimum wage” policies, as opposed, for example, to the “Basic Income” scheme I was trying to convey during the cut and thrust of those hustings. Ironically I was also trying to get out the message I put out at the Rye Hustings of job-share opportunities that cover us having an off-day in terms of our mental health. This policy I call “I’ve got your back”. Just as, in running a Restorative Justice project in HMP Bristol I was 100% on the offender’s side, 100% on the victim’s side and 100% on the community’s side without breaking the rules of maths, so too am I equally on the side of Peter Chowney and Sally-Ann Hart getting a fair hearing when challenging a value held dear by a majority. Here the “golden cow” was the minimum wage. Just to give a flavour of another unorthodox view on this matter, my (election-time) wingman, Tony May, never wants to work for the minimum wage because, amongst other things, that amounts to his being labeled “a minimum person”; he’d rather work for free as the “Clean-Up Man” and retain his dignity.

I close with a refrain from one of Maria Arpa and my highest mentors, now departed, Marshall Rosenberg:
“Words are windows or they’re walls;
They sentence us or set us free,
When I speak or when I hear,
Let the love-light shine through me.”

election 2019 index

Hastings Citizen Manifesto 007
Hastings Citizen Manifesto 008

On being asked to end my political gesture

“Hi , I was at the hustings this thursday and it was clear that you are a man of compassion trying to help people , but it seems to me positively counter productive of you to then  stand as a progressive independent here in Hastings thus splitting the progressive vote and therefore in effect  helping the distinctly uncompassionate Sally Ann Hart become Hasting's next MP. Please , therefore stand aside and recommend your supporters transfer their support to the equally compassionate Peter Chowney who can if elected actually then bring practical help to the poor and vulnerable in Hastings , which is so desperately needed rather than political gestures , however well intentioned.”

Hello “Fred”, or do you prefer that I address you differently?  Thank you for taking the trouble to contact me with your request that kind of assumes my votes are coming from those who would otherwise vote Labour, rather than that my candidacy will, for example, equally reduce the Conservative vote. Is this a “received wisdom” that you are passing on, or based on something more substantial?
Furthermore you write of compassion, a topic that I value reflecting on. What kind of compassion do you think Peter Chowney stands for and what kind do you take it that I stand for. Do you see clear water between our approaches to compassion etc?
Thirdly, and finally until your reply, what “gesture” were you born to make and how’s that going? Seriously, I want everyone to stand for what they believe in and do it with the support of us all. I look forward to taking note of your #HastingsCitizensManifesto and doing my best to uphold it; which would be aided if you’d join this playlist with a 3.5minute introduction to you hashtagged #HastingsTube. Thanks:



Looking Back To The Early Campaigning on Kings Rd, St Leonards -9th September 2019

Question about Housing Developers -Rye Hustings

I'm Dreaming of a Green Brexit

My position on leaving the EU I make clear at the top of my Twitter Account and on a number of T-shirts:

The possibility of a Green Brexit was upheld by George Monbiot in the wake of the 23rd June 2016 referendum:

I have attempted to encourage the Green Party - of which I am a member - to account for how they became a pro-EU party; asking this question at the 2016 Green Party Conference in Birmingham: