Vote for Something You Can Believe In
I will be your delegate in Parliament
If you elect me as your next MP, I will always act in your interests.
When was the last time you saw our MP in person? We seem very important to the parties right now but it’s been five years since the politicians last cared what we thought.
We deserve better. I am standing as an Independent in Sheffield Hallam because I want to change the way MPs work. At the end of this column I will make you a big offer, one that none of the main parties will dare to.
I am a father of two, living in Fulwood. I’m a school governor and a volunteer youth leader at my neighbourhood church. I run a small business from home and teach at Bradford university. Sheffield is my home and I care about what happens here.
I believe MPs should keep their promises. I think our local MP should act in our interests. I believe our government should protect the most vulnerable while working to create a flourishing society for everyone. Our last MP and the Coalition government haven’t done any of these things.
We need change. I believe we should be investing in our future not simply cutting costs. Austerity does not address the causes of our economic problems and it won’t create a sustainable recovery. We need to think longer term if we want an economy that is strong enough to repay our debts and provide decent public services. I don’t believe any party has a monopoly on good ideas so we need to work together for the sake of Sheffield, Yorkshire and the UK.
I will let you decide how I act
So here’s my offer. Elect me and I’ll take your views to the Government for the whole time I’m your MP. If there is significant interest in Sheffield Hallam on any issue, I will let you decide how I act. I will do the research, speak to experts and present my findings. Then I will conduct a poll to ask how you want me to vote in Parliament. Where there’s a clear majority that’s how I will vote.
At this election, we have the chance to make history and change the future. I will represent you, the people of Sheffield Hallam, not a political party. I won’t be the absent partner, taking you for granted for the next five years. I’ll stand up for you every single day. Vote for me and we can change politics, make our voices heard and our lives better.
[This article was first published in the Sheffield Star]
Who do they represent?
Should our politicians represent the interests of the people in their constituency or the big businesses that donate to party coffers?
First we had the revelation that top executives from HSBC had donated nearly £900,000 to the Tory party. Last week we discovered that PwC donated nearly £400,000 to Labour. These are very significant amounts of money. Yet both HSBC and PwC have been implicated in massive tax avoidance schemes. That’s scandalous. Every pound that we lose through tax avoidance and tax evasion costs our public services. This so-called tax gap was worth £34bn last year. Just imagine how many doctors and nurses that would pay for, or apprenticeships, or how much that would reduce the deficit.
So why is it that successive government’s seem to turn a blind eye to such schemes? It would be naïve to think that these companies donate such vast sums of money to the political parties and don’t expect anything in return. These donations buy influence.
When the Westminster Parties accept such massive financial contributions, they cede power away from ordinary citizens. When the parties accept these corporate donations they stop representing the people of the UK. You can see the influence of corporate backers and lobbyists across government policy-making: it is very revealing to see how many of the politicians who decide the fate of the NHS receive funds from private health care providers.
So what should we do about it? I think there should be a cap on political donations and I think finding out who has given money to MPs and political parties should be much easier to find out.
Of course the big party machines need feeding so they’ll keep seeking big money. It’s another reason that I’m standing as an Independent – I won’t be in debt to big business: I will only work for the people of Sheffield Hallam.
Is swapping one party for another real change?
That’s what an article in today’s Guardian asks.
There’s a growing sense that Nick Clegg will lose his seat in Sheffield Hallam but some can’t see beyond the existing broken system of party politics.
There’s lots and lots of us who want better than we’ve experienced with Clegg – not just on national issues but locally too. I’m hoping people will vote positively for change rather than simply with a protest vote against him.
Just about everyone I speak to is looking for a genuine alternative. Not just replacing one party machine with another but electing someone who represents the people of Sheffield Hallam.
That’s why I’m standing as an independent.
That’s why I need your support.
Share. Donate. Vote.
The Real Alternative
I met with the independent councillor and Mayor of Frome, Peter MacFadyen, today. We talked about the possibilities unlocked by being independent. The success in Somerset offers a model of what could happen here in Sheffield.
Peter (and other local residents) stood for election because the main political parties no longer represented his home town. Not only did they win, they’ve transformed the local council through common sense and collaboration. It’s good to see how non-party politicians can make such a positive difference to their communities.
If they can do it in Somerset, we can do it in Yorkshire. Sheffield Hallam could enjoy the same free thinking, pragmatic approach to government that puts the interests of the local people first.
Whatever Westminster might say, Independents are the real alternative to party politics.
Standing as an Independent for Sheffield Hallam
I’m standing as an independent candidate for Sheffield Hallam in the 2015 General Election.
I’ll be fighting Nick Clegg and the other Westminster-based political parties because I think there’s a better way of government – one where policies are decided in the interests of the people rather than the interests of the parties.
I’m talking to professionals, experts and stakeholders in Sheffield to determine where the challenges and opportunities lie. I’d love you to be part of the conversation.
We deserve better than party politics. Together we can do things differently.
Would you support the campaign? My crowd funding site is now live.
Otherwise, please get in touch through my contacts page.