It has been a rollercoaster of a week for me. I genuinely feel like I haven’t had a day to just sit and think about the enormity of the task I have set myself, namely to become a Member of Parliament, but here we are.
It might make sense to talk about why I have set that as a goal. Years ago, I would have considered myself a political apathist, really not caring who was in charge because everything seemed to tick along regardless. In hindsight, this was an incredibly privileged position where I didn’t have to worry about benefits being cut for austerity reasons and didn’t yet have any real dependence on services like the NHS. In short, I was pretty unthinking. Not selfish – but not really considering the needs of others purely through ignorance.
Looking back, I think this is not only commonplace, but also a design feature of our current electoral system. Under First Past The Post (FPTP), the vast majority of votes are wasted. Vote for a losing candidate and you might as well not have turned up to the polling station – that one is obvious. However, what about votes for the winning candidate? Well, any excess votes over what they need to win are also wasted. So in essence, the only votes that matter are the ones that push one candidate ahead of second place, and arguably that means that only one vote actually carries any weight under the current system.
Worse yet, this system has a knock-on effect of generating an effective two-party state. Indeed, the basis of our government is that power is wielded solely by one party (or a coalition) until the system listed here results in a swing to the other large party, at which point all the power immediate transfers over to a new set of politicians. Because of this, we generally see successive governments spending inordinate amounts of time simply unwinding what their predecessors did, and the adversarial nature of this system makes long-term compromise on key issues very difficult indeed.
It is for this reason that I firmly believe that the UK needs a form of Proportional Representation desperately. Under PR, we would have genuine representation of the electorate at Westminster, while the current system generates less representation than simply picking 650 people at random from the electoral roll. Under PR, politicians would need to get used to the idea that compromise and collaboration would need to be the norm, as majority governments would become increasingly uncommon. In short, under PR we would have an actual, functioning democracy.
This has been a fairly lengthy diversion from talking about why I decided to get involved in politics, but it hopefully shows where the idea came from. In other blog posts I will talk at length about specific subjects, but invariably it will always boil down to these core messages:
Everything else is, to me, linked to one or more of those core concepts. I am also a huge fan of a philosophical morality concept known as the “veil of ignorance” when it comes to considering policies, in that I try to assume that I could be anyone when thinking about an issue.
I believe that the current government has fundamentally breached all three of these core principles, and as such I see it as my duty to stand against them and fight for a better UK.
Ian, thank you once again for your support. It means a lot.
Thank you so much for [creating this petition] and so amazingly quickly!!!
You did a brilliant job on both the blog and petition. Some of the NHS staff were even impressed with the speed at which you addressed this, and I have had varying positive comments from friends who have read your post.
Hazeena A – Ruislip, Northwood & Pinner Resident
Having worked with Ian I can say that I found him incredibly transparent and honest which I think would be rare and much needed in today political arena. He is also very clever, direct and a great communicator.
Sheena Y, former co-worker
Ian is a very smart individual, but more importantly is honest and truly cares about people.
He is an unselfish individual and would absolutely have the public’s best interests at heart.
Andy H, brother
I met Ian a few months ago for the first time and straight away I felt confortable with him and I thought: ” Ok I would trust that guy”.
Luca M, fellow speakers’ club member
Throughout the 12 years I have known Ian, he has always demonstrated to be very bright, kind and upright. I’ve seen all of these attributes in his personal life, for instance, in our sport association he volunteered as treasurer where he improved the overall system and costs as well as championing charitable giving & generous donations. He’ll definitely make a difference in a bigger role in politics.
Francisco V, fellow jū jūtsu instructor and friend
You have the moral integrity and high standards in all aspects of the requirements of your potential constituents. You will stand up to injustice and defend those deemed to have had injustice against them. You are committed to environmental change and to look after the less well off in society.
Irene H, mother
First and foremost, your personal ethos of kindness and care for others is your top qualification. That you are also highly driven with a need to be productive, and understand very complex matters such as financial systems, makes you stand out.
Graham C, fellow jū jūtsu instructor and friend
You are one of the most principled people that I know. You are committed to making changes that support the most vulnerable in our society and you don’t give up when you know you’re fighting for what’s right.
Unlike the rest of us who are disillusioned with the lack of honesty, morals, and the unfair and outdated ‘public schoolboy network’ displayed by this government, you have decided to stand up and make a difference.
Your constituents couldn’t have a better candidate.
Helen C, Aunt
Having known Ian for a number of years during which we worked closely as Financial Advisers, I am confident that he would make an excellent MP. Ian is an intelligent man who has the ability to absorb, understand and manage complex information quickly; I have, on many occasions, witnessed him do this whilst retaining the ability to explain it, in a manner which is easy to understand.
I have seen Ian display the courage of his convictions on a professional level, where he has put the clients needs before that of the company and have no doubt he would carry this attitude into public life.
Ian and I have disagreed on politics in the past, but he has always listened carefully to any position and taken time to offer a thoughtful response. If he became an MP I am sure his constituents would benefit from an effective and hard working representative.
Miles H, former co-worker