Faith in Humanity

It has struck me a number of times that; the more “ordinary people” I meet, the more my faith in humanity is restored (and the more I want to get involved in making our world a better place for all people).  Because I have met so many people who might seem ordinary until you spend a few minutes getting to know them – and usually appearances would have been deceiving.

We are literally surrounded by heroes; from the chap who cleans up the coffee station in the reception of my office building at the end of the day (who volunteers for the RNLI and saved two teenagers from the North Sea this weekend just gone) to the gentleman who brings live music to the living rooms of those in greatest need of cheering, to the lady who founded a charity collecting donations for wildlife vets in Africa and nurses British Wildlife in her spare time.

I have also been inspired by A Bed for the Night, run by a group of 7 Reading churches, in a brilliant effort to give Reading’s homeless a hot meal and somewhere warm and safe to sleep through January this year.

So whatever happens on Thursday, I only hope that the fantastic work of all these amazing people we have in Reading West will continue and will be supported by whoever the local MP will be.

Hopefully we will have a new government which will listen to all those brilliant experts who have worked so hard to prove that it IS possible to have a strong economy AND a functioning NHS and social safety-net, AND quality, free education for all, AND a greener economy. 



The Last Pre-Election Push

A week today Britain goes to the polls for the most wide open, rainbow coloured General Election in a lifetime, possibly ever.  The popularity of the main parties is at an all time low yet so many people are still talking about which candidates “have a chance” by comparing with the 2010 General Election.  Why?!?  To quote a friend:

“If ever there was an election to vote with your conscience, then this is it.”

How do I think it will go?  I have absolutely no idea (points for honesty?) because I think so much depends on how confident people feel on the day; that others will also be voting for the candidate they want, rather than the least bad of the two “most likely” to win.

The more we talk, read and think about the best policies, the best people and the positive changes that we want to see to make our country better, then I think the better the final election outcome will be.  I’m trying to ignore the ridiculous last-minute promises…

Here is what I will be doing in the last few days of the campaign (apart from the day job):

  • This evening (30th April), 7-9pm I am on the panel at the Federation of Small Businesses Hustings at the Holiday Inn Reading South, (sold out)
  • Tomorrow (1st May) I am giving a lunchtime seminar at the Walker Institute for Climate System research at the University of Reading on my specialist subject; Carbon Capture and Storage, the technical and policy challenges, (open to the public, 1pm, here)
  • Over the long weekend I aim to be out and about in the afternoons talking to as many people as possible,
  • Continuing to respond to queries and requests from constituents and general public via this website, my gmail (, Facebook, twitter and instagram…
  • Finding homes for my last 3 estate agent boards – thanks to FineImages for their very significant donation in kind in the form of these fantastic boards, my business cards and posters.

Election Expenses


In the interests of transparency; I have just been checking my accounts, and I have so far spent a grand total of £714, including; my £500 deposit, my website theme and domain name, a tank of petrol, 1000 extra flyers, 10 posts, a selfie-stick/tripod, a pack of drawings pins and a pack of white-tac (other brands of sticky stuff are available).  And 9 months of lunch breaks and late nights…

We shall see how our democracy has changed in the era of internet and social media.  It is now possible to mount a meaningful campaign as an Independent when you have a day job and zero personal wealth, but it has certainly not been easy.  It is time for the people to decide.