There are plenty of challenges standing as an independent candidate for parliamentary Election. I don’t have anybody else waving flags and saying what I’m all about and what you get for voting for me, and I don’t have anyone to promote me except friends, family, and hopefully supporters once I have some! I also have to come up with all of my own policies and things I would fight for myself.
But that last one, “my policies are my own and nobody else’s” is both a huge challenge and simultaneously the most important reason why you should vote for me. I don’t have a party line to tow, I have not been indoctrinated from an early age on what I should think, and I have not spent years kissing butt in a party just to get to the point of selection (I’m not insinuating other candidates for Reading West have done any of these things, I’m just saying that I definitely have not). That means that the only influences on what I would fight for and changes I would aim to implement would be either a) the good of the people of Reading West, or b) the good of the UK as a whole. Nobody else. And you can talk to me directly and tell me what you think and what will help you – and why my suggestions are wrong, if necessary.
I believe, very strongly, that there are far more wise and clever people in our society than our current politics, economics and media would lead any outsider to suggest. But it is currently not easy enough for people to contribute their ideas. In the modern age of social media that is pretty shameful. If I want to know what the most important issues are to people in Reading West, TODAY, I should be able to fire out a doddlepole in a few minutes, and as long as I could connect to everyone in Reading West (obviously participation does not have to be compulsory) then when the government proposes something stupid like… “let’s promote breastfeeding by handing out supermarket vouchers to new mums in deprived areas on the condition that they breastfeed for x number of weeks” with minimal time and effort alternative ideas could be collected from everyone, and critically from experts like mums, health visitors, GPs and midwives, who will clearly have a much better idea how to support and promote breastfeeding than a bunch of old blokes from Eton.
In this way your local MP can then put forward suggestions for improvements and alternatives directly in parliament which have been well-reasoned out and are supported by real people. If you want to lobby parliament to change something, then electing an MP whose fundamental reason for standing is so that your voice is heard, is the most powerful way to do that in our current political system.
It is a MYTH that you cannot make a difference if you are not in the ruling party (or coalition). ALL MP’s get to sit in the house of Parliament and contribute to debate, all MP’s can submit their own requests for legislation (via private members bills, either of their own or via a third-party MP who can submit them) and all MPs get to sit on specialist committees which work on specific topics. In fact those who make the least difference are those who are in the ruling party and are trying to get themselves a double salary by getting chosen by their buddies for a ministerial position. (See how broken our system is?)
If you still believe that we can make democracy work but are disillusioned by the current main parties (and horrified by the extremist who have emerged to capitalise on the Protest Vote market) then voting for an Independent candidate is the smartest way you can spend your vote. Especially if, like I do, they support the introduction of a genuine recall law (which would mean that you could sack your MP for not listening to you, or to their expert advisers, or for generally being useless).
By voting for me, as an Independent Candidate for Reading West, you would be voting for the Independence of Reading West from the status quo parties who have let us down so badly, and from the hate-preaching crazies who are currently benefiting from protest votes.
I am standing, not just to be a smart alternative, but to be your best hope for a better future for YOU, for Reading West and for the UK, because between us we are talented, clever, wise, experienced, caring and industrious, and we deserve the chance to change our own lives for the better.