What Steven asked Medway Elects creator and political journeyman Alan Collins
Just how does someone go from the Conservatives and UKIP to the Lib Dems in a short period of time?
When I decided to do these one-on-one interviews and needed to move beyond my first two, I knew straight away there were more people whose local stories I wanted to share. Luckily, today’s subject was on board with that so we haven’t had to move into the world of unauthorised biography just yet.
To say that Alan Collins - who has been an activist for the Conservatives, UKIP, and the Liberal Democrats all within a decade - has been on a political journey would seem an understatement. But in an area where former Corbynistas can become Lib Dem candidates and even Conservative councillors, perhaps it’s almost common. Alan is also the creator of Medway Elects, a great resource for tracking local election results
Where were you born?
I was born in Chatham in 1990, at All Saints Hospital.
What jobs did your parents do growing up?
My dad was a mechanic. When I was first born my mum was a stay-at-home mother, then she bounced around between cleaning, care, and originally she was a cook. Both sort fairly low-income working class
How did you find school and university?
Well, I tended to excel academically at school and did not have all that many friends, which at the time suited me fine. Whereas by the time I got to University, I had kind of switched off by that point. It would probably have suited me better to have a little bit of a break between school and university, rather than going straight into it.
So what did you study at university?
I studied Law at the University of Kent Medway Campus.
What was your first full-time job?
My first full-time job was (laughs) the same as what I’m doing now just in a different place: A paralegal in wills and probate. The first one was at a family solicitor in Broadstairs, but I wasn’t there all that long because it was a hell of a commute.
Where have you lived outside of Medway?
I had five months living in Birmingham in 2011 and four months in Barcelona in 2015.
What event or issues first got you involved in politics?
Now there’s a question. I don’t think there is any particular event or issue. As far as I can remember I’ve always been interested in politics. One of my earliest memories is of my mum running to be a council candidate. I was probably 6 years old at the time.
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