invincecable 2

March 12, 2010

I mentioned the movement invincecable earlier, well I was invited to join in a conversation with the organisers this afternoon.

My view is that this is a great movement for independent candidates to get behind. There are two main reasons for that.

The first is that one of the biggest issues people have raised with me when I have discussed independent MPs with them is, if lots of independents get elected who will actually run the country?

My first response to that is that I believe that in a constitutional democracy we should create the best system we can for those constituencies. We should vote in the very best MPs we can … and then create the government. We shouldn’t accept that local constituents will be badly served just because we think certain people need to form the government.

That said, we will need to form a government after the election and we should make sure that the best people for the job fill the senior posts. Independent candidates should vow to support the best people to fill the senior roles in the government in the case of a hung parliament. And who better than Vince Cable to be the Chancellor of the Exchequer?

The second reason that independent candidates should get behind this movement is that this is likely to be a very interesting public movement. The people involved are very skilled PR and social media practitioners. They are going to do whatever they can to rouse support for their movement – independent candidates could tap into that support and use it to help in their election campaign.


March 8, 2010

For those of you up to date on Twitter, check out the hashtag #invincecable. If you’re not on Twitter then click here.

A group has been set up with the motto: “In times like these, it’s the economy stupid. In times like these, vote for Vince Cable for Chancellor.”

The argument is that if we have a hung-parliament after the next election then the Lib Dems would be proportionately more powerful (as potential power brokers) and therefore we should lobby for Vince Cable to be the Chancellor.

I like the idea.

Would any new independents that are elected after the next election support a motion to make Vince Cable the Chancellor?

Speaker says Parliament must reach out to public

December 4, 2009

I saw this article on the BBC from a few days ago and thought it was interesting that John Bercow, the Speaker of the House is urging parliament to find ways to better reach out to the public – especially after the expenses scandal.

He suggests that select committees are the best way for parliament to do that as “they instinctively look at issues which matter enormously but do not organise themselves in party political packages”.

That may be true once MPs are in Parliament, but surely we need to look at how to make the whole system one which the electorate has more faith in – and I still believe that independent candidates and ultimately MPs are the best way to do that.

No Response from The Jury Team

December 3, 2009

UPDATE: I have now been contacted by someone from The Jury Team. He said he sent me an email on 30th Nov, although I didn’t receive it. So if I have mis-represented their desire to get in touch I apologise.

– – –

After the recent BBC1 programme called Make me an MP I wrote a post called The Jury Team fails to ‘Make Me an MP’ and I was pleased to receive comments from someone who had been involved in the campaign to get John Smeaton elected.

In the comments they didn’t agree with the points I’d made in my post – but that’s all good discussion. However it was one phrase at the end of the comment that was particularly interesting to me: “I wouldn’t try to analyse a political party on the basis of a sensationalised and inaccurate BBC documentary.”

And that is at the nub of my suspicion of The Jury Team – it looks to me that it is a political party trying to enter politics almost by the back door. It claims to support independents, but instead I feel that it wants unaffiliated candidates and wants to build a party that way. Obviously very different from truly supporting independents.

I don’t want to ‘bash’ The Jury Team and if it is genuine in its support of true independents then I’m happy to support it as much as possible – it clearly has more budget than I do to effect change. However, I’m just not convinced …

So, in my comments I said this:

“I’d love to chat about this further – either on here or even face-to-face (I did ask The Jury Team for a meeting a long time, but have been ignored). If The Jury Team is genuine about helping genuine independents, then I’d be happy to help them. I suspect it’s not, but I’d be happy to been shown otherwise.”

And someone, claiming to be able to get in touch with The Jury Team got in touch and we exchanged emails offline and then … well … nothing.

So this is an open request to The Jury Team to get in touch so we can discuss how we could support each (if they genuinely want independent MPs).

Please contact me at or on Twitter @independent_mps

I’ll sit and wait …

Is it time for another push?

October 15, 2009

I got a comment from Mike a couple of weeks ago urging another push for independent MPs … and I think he’s right.

So, I’m going to try and be a bit more active with this blog and a bit more active on raising awareness generally and let’s see if we can make this happen between us. Obviously, it needs help – your help. So mention the blog to friends and family, comment on it, provide feedback, ask questions etc etc. Anything you can do will help and will be appreciated.


August 17, 2009

Those of you on Twitter (follow this blog – @independent_mps) will have seen the latest trending topic #welovethenhs.

(For those of you not on Twitter – Twitter ( is a social networking site where people write little updates of their life in 140 characters (just a bit less than a text message). A trending topic is something that lots of people have been writing about at the same time. And the use of the ‘#’ symbol is called a hashtag that makes a topic more searchable for other users on Twitter.)

This, of course, is in response to the US lobbyists who are trying to stop Barack Obama’s healthcare plan by rubbishing our NHS.

The attack on the NHS has been helped by a couple of British women who were used in the propoganda (and are now saying that they were fooled as to the intentions of the film. They say they have legitimate concerns about the NHS, but they would never want it to be scrapped).

But it has also been helped by Daniel Hannan, Conservative MEP for the South East of England.

A bit like my previous post when I questioned Alan Duncan’s recent comments, I think we can also ask – what on earth was Daniel Hannan thinking?

I can’t understand the motives for his comments and perhaps more importantly the placement and timing of them. Politically it’s surely a crazy move, for no matter how much the Tories think that the NHS has been badly run under Labour they can’t be considering scrapping it – so politically it’s an embarassment for the party and got to be damaging to his political career. And if it was an attempt to improve the NHS, then why do it in the US at such an incendiary time? Start a debate here at home by all means, but not in the US.

The only advantage can be if he wants to be a consultant in the US for drug companies or the very well paid health insurance sector … oh, wait a minute. Maybe I can see his motives!

As for my view on the NHS. Well, for what it’s worth I’ve not joined in with the #welovethenhs trend on Twitter. I love the concept of free treatment for all. But the implementation still needs a lot of work. I’ve had cause to use the NHS quite a lot over the last couple of years (fortunately for relatively minor issues) and I’ve always found the system to be under pressure, but the people outstanding.

For me it’s a case of #welovethetheoryofthenhsbutitstillneedstobebetter – but I think that’s almost 140 characters on its own.

More to come …

July 27, 2009

I’m afraid that I’ve slightly neglected this blog over the past few weeks.

It was a combination of workload, being ill (no, not swine flu) and just being personally busy, that has meant I had no time to post. Of course it didn’t mean that I’d stopped thinking about it all – just stopped writing.

Anyway, I’m not going to make any grand promises of what I write over the next few weeks, but I’m fairly certain it will be more than the last few.