It was really interesting to hear Dr Richard Taylor the independent MP for Wyre Forest speak on Saturday. He was the first speaker at the workshop for independent candidates on Saturday – and it was a great way to kick off the day.
The one thing that came through very clearly while he was speaking was his enthusiasm for being an MP and the sense of responsibility he felt at having been given such an important job. In fact he talked several times of the ‘tremendous responsibility’ he had been given.
It wasn’t just being an MP that he had such enthusiasm for – it was being an independent MP.
He spoke quite eloquently about the problems it can bring – which was also one of the main privileges – having to decide for yourself how to vote on each issue.
For most party MPs the decision making process is removed for them as they have whips to tell them how to vote, or even if the whips aren’t there they just vote against the other lot. They don’t have to consider what is best, to genuinely weigh up the facts of the case, to reflect on what would be best for their constituency or the country. In many instances they only have to take into account what is best for their career – and that, of course, is voting along party lines.
As an independent you have both the luxury and the responsibility of voting with your conscience on each occasion.
I was honoured to be able to meet, talk to (briefly) and listen to Dr Richard Taylor explain this so well.