5Live discussed Independent MPs

October 27, 2009

Last week on Victoria Derbyshire’s 5Live programme there was a discussion about whether there should be more independent MPs at the next election. Unfortunately I haven’t had chance to blog about it earlier.

The debate was started because Martin Bell has revealed that he has been contacted by a number of people that seem to be keen to stand as independents to oust some of the more high profile MPs that have been caught out during the expenses scandal (especially Alan Duncan and Keith Vaz). As he was interviewed by Victoria, he made some really interesting comments about what it takes to be an independent MP:

– “You’ve gotta know what you’re getting into”

– “People are entitled to know … what kind of person you are and roughly how your votes will be cast on the big issues”

– “You need enough money to compete with the incumbent and you need a lot of supporters, boots on the ground”

– “There are no automatic votes for independents, you have to win every single one of them”

Some really good comments there and a lot of things to think about for anyone looking to run. Obviously the boots on the ground is one area that I’d love this blog to able to help with.

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“Only one of the candidates lived in the constituency”

June 15, 2009

I heard that comment on the radio this morning as I caught about five minutes of a 5Live show asking people why they voted for the BNP in the recent European Elections.

The thing that surprised me the most about it all was the fact that people were phoning the station to admit voting for the BNP. Of the two or three people I heard before I had to turn the radio off, the mood was one of, ‘we’re not proud of it, but it was a protest vote. And I’m not racist, but maybe they’ve got a point that immigration has gone a bit too far’.

And then I heard this quote from a guy in Wales – “Only one of the candidates lived in the constituency”.

I think he was describing the last general election and not the European Elections, but it was used as a way to explain how traditional party politics has lost its way representing ordinary folk. He didn’t know who to vote for as they were all career politicians from outside the area who knew nothing of the issues facing local people. And he has a point.

It’s still a poor excuse to vote for the BNP …