“After the riots, the Liberal Democrats stood by me” – Pauline Pearce

Writing for The Guardian, Pauline Pearce explains how she ended up standing for the Liberal Democrats:

I announced earlier this month that I am planning to stand for election as a Liberal Democrat councillor in Hackney, yet I’m still posed a common question by journalists and friends alike: why the Lib Dems? Following the riots, all the major political parties courted me. But when the bad press came out about me having being a drug fixer after a sting in November 2011, hardly anyone wanted anything to do with me any more. The Liberal Democrats, however, didn’t turn their backs like others did…

For me, this is all about a second chance. I’ve been in gangs, I’ve dealt with drugs, I’ve been in prison and I’ve experienced the most rubbish of lives at one stage. As I’ve been at both ends of the field, I hope that my input will make the youths look up and say: “You know what? If she can do it, I can do it. I can turn my life around. I can look for that second chance in life.” It doesn’t have to be about being out there dealing on street corners and getting involved with gangs, and doing all the things that lead you to prison…

I’ve met so many people on my crusade who have turned their lives around. They were formerly gang members, but they’re now giving back to the community. Hours and hours of their time is spent doing good for the community and they don’t get paid back or noticed. I was only noticed because of my rant that day and if it wasn’t filmed, it would have been another thing I’d have done that no one would have known about.

You can read Pauline Pearce’s piece in full here.

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