Well, there’s at least two of us

June 4, 2009

I had a good meeting this afternoon with Lloyd Davis (twitter @LloydDavis and hashtag #lloyddavis4mp), who was one of the inspirations for this blog (and potentially this movement) with his post To run or not to run from last week.

It was good to meet and to talk about what this means and where it might go (neither of us know the answer to that right now) and perhaps more importantly how we might do it.

Although we don’t know the exact answer to the final question either, it does seem easier to address initially. And in effect the first part of the answer is to just get it out there and to see what happens. I detect a mood from people about a desire to have politicians that more closely represent the man or woman on the street, so if that desire is really out there then let me know, make a comment, follow me on Twitter (@independent_mps) and join the debate. I’d love to know what you think about this and how you think we should do it.

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Introduction

June 2, 2009

This blog has been set up to discuss the possibility of setting up a network or group or club (or whatever) of independent political candidates (and hopefully MPs). I’m going to use this blog as a way to express my views and thoughts and to work out what it is exactly that I think about this. Hopefully it will generate some comment, start debates and refine and prove (or disprove) some of my thoughts.

The immediate background to this is of course the scandal around MPs expenses, however I’m not going to discuss any of the individual cases. Instead I want to discuss what I think the scandal has highlighted – and that is the fact that we currently have a ‘political class’ in the UK that feels and acts like a members club that is subject to its own rules.

I think that lots of people feel detached from the political process and the scandal has brought that to a head. The current political system and the current political parties don’t seem to represent the people any more. Now more than ever the old adage “It doesn’t matter who you vote for, the Government always gets it” seem true.

Recently there has been a lot of talk in the media about independent candidates standing in the next election against some of the most ‘shamed’ MPs. However, I have two big issues with these discussions:

1 – They’re only talking about standing against the so-called worst offenders. Why shouldn’t all constituencies have independent candidates? I feel that the problem is with the system, the parties and the ‘club’ that has developed; the individuals are just a representation of that.

2 – It is mainly ‘celebrities’ that are being discussed as potential candidates. I have nothing against celebrities per se (and I heard Esther Rantzen on 5Live answer the question very well recently by saying that she is an ordinary person, who just happens to be well known for what she does), however I feel that this should be about ‘real’ people taking back the political process.

While all these thoughts were running around in my head I came across this post by Lloyd Davis and the twitter hashtag #LloydDavis4MP (and the excellent follow-up post) and I realised that I wanted to get involved.

So I’m going to write this blog for a bit and see what happens. If it seems that other people are interested too then we might have something, if not then we’ll just have to lump it if our ‘elected officials’ fail us again.