Prior to standing as a candidate, I went on quite the political journey. I thought it might be interesting for others to have a read about my political journey to see whether they can identify similarities in their own position.
Very Early Days
I grew up in a very Conservative area, and as a result that was my natural position. To my shame, I participated in the voting process without really understanding any issues, apart from the fact that I was informed that “Conservative good, Labour bad”. In other words, I was the result of a successful (mis)information campaign. It’s fair to say that my parents were also victims of this, as they genuinely believed that the Conservatives were on their side, despite the fact that recent decades have not really had any examples of policies introduced by the Conservatives that have helped anyone but the wealthy.
Once I had some experience of the world outside my bubble, I became disillusioned with politics. I fell into the trap of believing that “they’re all the same” and that my vote was meaningless. I call this a trap because our vote is the only way that we can have a meaningful impact on day to day politics. We can protest, but protests can be ignored. We can strike, but strikes can be ignored (and indeed can be declared illegal if the current Bill is made law). But our vote cannot be ignored. Combined, our votes can change the country.
Unfortunately we are not in a real democracy at the moment. As such, it is easy to feel like our votes are wasted, but the reality is that until we start only voting for parties which actually support democracy, our vote is only wasted if we don’t use it.
Current Conservative poster. Slightly modified…
Imagine there is a line drawn in this sand…
After years in the political wilderness, I started to realise that my apathy wasn’t helping anyone, least of all me. I was getting annoyed at politicians, but wasn’t offering any sort of solution to the problems I was encountering. At this time I started to look more into what all the major parties in my constituency were trying to achieve. I found myself aligning most with the Liberal Democrats, with Greens and Labour not too far behind. After some analysis, I realised that Labour wasn’t right because of their stance against Proportional Representation (and later their stance on Brexit), but I did reluctantly vote for them in my local constituency because I felt that the Labour MP was doing a decent job.
Unfortunately for them that support has now ended. I can no longer countenance voting for any party which doesn’t fully embrace democracy, and in this case that means Proportional Representation. Labour’s leadership have come out firmly against this policy despite support for it at their conference last year, which is now one of my non-negotiable lines in the sand.
So we come to now. Now I am a political candidate, something that took me by surprise as much as anyone else. I came to the conclusion that there are problems with UK politics, but that these problems will only get better if people decide to make those changes. As such, I now want to be part of the solution, not part of the ongoing problem with UK politics.
It’s fair to say that I have undergone several instances of introspection as part of my political journey. What I hope from this post is to show people that I am not campaigning because of what I was brought up to believe politically, nor am I doing so purely out of frustration and reluctance. I have assessed what I believe needs to happen for the UK to progress, and I have thrown my weight behind that.
Final Thought – Help Me
Unfortunately getting elected is neither easy nor cheap. I cannot rely on donations from the super wealthy or from large companies, nor can I expect any help from the unions. As such, I expect to have to fundraise for all my campaign expenses. I will accept any help you want to give as a result, whether that be in for form of volunteering or making a donation. I will also accept good wishes gladly, though pragmatically I can’t promise to use those to help me achieve office.