Dr. Stephen Lathwell, PhD: Luton South

April 20, 2010

This is one of my series of articles on some of the Independent candidates standing at this election. If you want to see a fuller list please go here.

However, I don’t pretend that this is an exhaustive list, you can see more independents on the Independent Network’s website here.

My view is that as an electorate we need more independents to stand – we need more choice about who will represent us. As we have seen from the recent scandals that have hit Westminster, MPs from the main parties all seem to be part of the same ‘club’. To be truly represented we need people that are not part of that club. If you’re constituency has an independent standing, please take the time to consider the difference that having a true member of the local community can bring to you – someone who is working for the constituency and not for the party or their political career.

Dr. Stephen Lathwell, PhD

Luton South

Why do you want to be an MP?
Everyone else argues over HOW to educate children. I am standing on WHAT to educate children. The current politicians are not listening to the problems that companies face in recruiting an educated workforce, and we are declining in educational standards annually.

Why do you want to stand as an independent?
No political party wants an educated Britain!

What are the main issues facing your constituency?
Depends on the region,
The east: the poorly planned housing development
The centre: prostitution and drugs.
The asian community: community cohesion and racism.

How do you think you can make a difference?
I have been a voice for 5 years about the prostitution problem.
I believe that community cohesion does not depend on losing cultural identity,
I am against any poorly planned development.

What are your five main manifesto points?
i > A 21st Century Education System which has the University of Bedfordshire pledged support, and the awareness of all the surrounding Universities. Costs £60,000 to develop will be supported maintained and enhanced by PhD/MPhil/Post-Doc Researchers, it will give children an education which is suitable for the 21st Century. Only 2% of the population know the latest technologies, and industry do not want to employ people only to spend years in remedial education/training! This will give Luton/Britain a clear and decisive employability advantage.

ii > The “New Technology Economic Model”. I will bring the leading researchers from every University in the region to Luton, where the University of Bedfordshire is training an entrepreneurial class of business students, and with the support of the Chamber of Commerce establish new Businesses based on the next generation of technologies here in Luton. To support future growth is the 21st Century Education System to provide the technicians and basic knowledge workers. The expectation is full employment in 20 years.

iii > To reform the House of Commons and Lords, which no party will do as they are all involved in their own scams, no MP will vote to have him/herself jailed. Being in Parliament does not mean being above the law.

iv > To criminalise Scientific Fraud. The American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) proposed in 2003 criminal charges be laid against Environmentalists for the Global Warming Scandal. We are suffering a Solar Cycle, and the scientific community are dismissing the evidence against CO2 based Global Warming. Climate Changes naturally, but we are not having a Climatic Change event, weather is not Climatic Upheaval.

v > To curtail the influence of Lobby Groups. Lobby group can effectively establish law by bombarding MPs without the legal requirement of telling the truth. Where a law is created with Lobby Group influence, the Lobby Group should be named and open to prosecution if the effect of the law is to deliberately disadvantage a group of people.

What one thing would you like to say to voters in your constituency?
Do you want a decent education system? Do you want to have jobs? You wont get either with the main parties, Labour are stuck in the 1960s and Conservatives in the 17th Century.
When discussing education plans everyone else talk £millions and how to educate people, tinkering with at the edges. We are technologically deficient in education. We are training engineers who leave the country because the industries to employ them are in foreign lands. They wont invest and come here, their purpose is to make profits not operate as a social service. We need an education system that has education content which is relevant to the modern world, eg: Fuzzy Logic, over 1 million patents, but only 2% of people know about the

Within a week of being elected I will have been in contact with all the Universities (again) to invite their researchers to Luton to start creating new enterprises.

I have the support of schools surrounding Luton (St. Albans) just by word of mouth!
No main party will properly reform parliament, it means taking away their own scams.
Why should we pay taxes for Climate Change when the climate is changing due to a 60 year cycle? Environmentalists shout ‘Global Warming’, what Global Warming? The CRU emails show there’s been none since 1999, and Prof Jones interview admitted there had been no warming since 1995.

Where can voters find out more?
I write for www.The-Daily-Politics.com as a columnist, which is a news server to the British Army and Navy abroad.

Esther Rantzen – and Joe

January 26, 2010

As I mentioned before, I was at the Independent Network’s workshope for prospective independent parliamentary candidates. While it was very interesting it was mainly populated by white middle-class men (including me), but I’ll talk about this a bit more on another post. However, someone who added a bit of glamour as they entered late blaming the traffic was Esther Rantzen.

In the past I’ve been a little dismissive of her desire to stand in Luton South. And, to be honest, I’m still not convinced about the value of having a ‘celebrity’ MP. However, having met and talked to her (briefly) I can say that Esther Rantzen seems genuinely interested, knowledgable, passionate and determined to the best job she possibly can for the constituents of Luton South.

We had a very brief conversation about the question of whether not being a local would hinder her chances, or perhaps more importantly, affect her ability to be effective. Esther (as I now know her … ohh, get me!) had had this conversation with a constituent who had replied “Local” when asked what the first quality was they were looking for in a candidate. Esther had replied, “instead of able?”

My response to this was that nearly all constituents want someone who is ‘representative’ of them and their constituency and being local is a short-hand way to ensure that.

My point from all of this though is to say that Esther Rantzen seems committed to the constituents of Luton South and, should she be elected (and based on the limited amount of time I met her for) would make a very good MP.

However, on the same day I also met another prospective independent candidate for Luton South – Joe Hall.

Unfortunately I spoke to him even less than I spoke to Esther Rantzen – we met and had a chat, then the busy day took hold and I didn’t get the chance to chat again. But, he too seems like a genuinely passionate candidate and someone who would also make a great MP.

Joe is local to Luton South and seems determined to represent and promote his area to the best of his ability. As he says on his website:

“Since 1951 the people of Luton South have always elected an MP from the party that wins the country. If it’s good for Luton to have an MP from the ruling party, we would be thriving, we should have a better town to live in than anywhere else in the UK. But that isn’t the case. We need better and deserve better.”

Some people were saying that it’s a shame that two independent candidates were going to stand – ie that would reduce the chance of an independent being elected. However for me it is really positive. The whole point of independent candidates for me is not about the winning (although that would be nice), but it is to offer real choice to the electorate. Two independent candidates can offer more choice than one.

I just hope that Esther Rantzen’s celebrity doesn’t generate extra, unearned votes. I hope that people vote for her only if they think she will make a genuinely good MP for them. Because one thing I’m very happy about is that Luton South now has two great independent candidates.

So what have I missed?

August 9, 2009

So what have I missed?

In my last post I promised to write a bit more … and then of course I haven’t. My only excuse is that the day job has been busy and I’ve had to focus on that. But of course I have, I’ve got a business to run, a livelihood to maintain and a family to support.

I’m not trying to be all Edwardian about it all, but those are exactly the issues facing any potential independent MPs – it’s all about the money. How can you build up  a support base and start the process of generating a network that could eventually get you elected if you’ve got a life to run as well? No matter how good you might be as an MP, for most people family and livelihood has got to come first. And of course you’ve got no way of knowing when the actual election will be, so you don’t know how long you might need to be postponing other elements of your life.

Of course, if you’re a member of a political party, you can get all sorts of support with this kind of stuff – a network of volunteers is already established for you.

Anyway, what’s been happening since I’ve been ‘away’?

I suppose a couple of relevant things have occurred – the first was the Norwich by-election. Unfortunately, as you can see, the independent Craig Murray only got just over 2.5% of the vote. I don’t know if he was actually any good, but I’m sure that if he’d had a stronger network, more time and money then the result would have been better.

The second of course was that Esther Rantzen has decided she will stand as a candidate for Luton South at the next election.

There’s an interesting quote from the Conservative candidate about it – “That Ms Rantzen continues to be so interested in Luton – where she has no apparent links and even though Margaret Moran is standing down – has surprised many Lutonians.”