On it’s website the Independent Network has got a letter from Terry Waite which he calls “A New Year Letter to Independent Candidates from Terry Waite”. It’s not the rousing, motivational piece that I was hoping for and half expecting, but it’s still well worth a read here.
A couple of phrases stuck out to me:
“I am an ordinary voting member of the public and as such am gravely concerned about the political health of our country.”
That’s obviously not quite true as Terry Waite is a well known public figure and one who has previously suggested that he may stand as an independent candidate and it is this public recognition that the Independent Network wants to use to support the movement for independent candidates. However, beyond that Terry Waite doesn’t have any political influence and I think his tone is right – anyone and everyone should be concerned about our political system.
“The country needs a strong and healthy Parliament composed of Members who can and will truly represent their constituents and at the same time have the vision and foresight to lead in constructive ways.”
This to me is at the crux of the issue and the main reason why I feel we need more independent candidates – true local representation. Many MPs, especially loyal party members, put the party and themselves and their career before their constituency and that is not what our political system should be about. Local MPs should represent the local population first, the country second and any political association they may have third (at best).
Well done to the Independent Network for getting this endorsement from Terry Waite. Let’s hope it persuades more people to support independent candidates, or even consider standing.