I Am Standing in Norwich North 115

There is to be a by-election in Norwich North. I shall be standing as an independent, anti-sleaze candidate.

Dr Ian Gibson was a good MP, and has done the honorable thing – unlike so many others – by standing down as an MP now. As it happens, my lifelong friend and best man, Marcus Armes, used to work as Ian Gibson’s assistant.

Norwich North is very much home ground for me. I come from just outside the constituency. I am one of the Norfolk Scots! (My father was posted to Norfolk in the RAF, married a local Shannock girl, and stayed). I was born in West Runton and went to school at Sheringham Primary and Paston. I was on the executive of the North Norfolk Liberal party in the days when that constituency stretched into Norwich, including Hellesdon. I am a lifelong Canaries fan.

I believe that parliament needs people of independent mind who try to do what is right, and who are not in it for the money. I sacrificed an extremely lucrative career as a British Ambassador, for the princiiple of opposing British government collusion with torture. I have a proven record of putting principle before money or party.

I know Norwich and its people and will always work honestly for their good.

I will live in the constituency. I will take only take the barest necessary travel expenses to help me do the job, and publish instantly any claim. I will guarantee to keep my expenses to less than 50% of the average, and hopefully still less.

The sleaze of the expenses scam is not the problem. It is just a symptom of the situation, where we have very low quality MPs who are just hacks to party machines. These MPs were sleeping into the economic disaster of the unregulated casino economy and the banking crash. These MPs have voted through the wholesale erosion of our civil liberties. These MPs voted us in to an illegal and disastrous war that has increased the fundamentalist threat.

I will be genuinely independent of any party, and work only for the interests of the people of Norwich. I will be a thinking MP.

I rather doubt that an honest man can get elected. But I think the voters deserve a choice beyond the tired old parties. So we will give it a try!

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115 thoughts on “I Am Standing in Norwich North

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  • eddie

    Mary thanks for the ad hominem abuse, whoever you are. Have I touched a raw nerve?

  • George Dutton

    “Nich Starling – Norfolk Blogger”

    You got the wrong man.Look again,the posters name is at the bottom of the post not the top.

    Hope you don’t make the same mistake when you vote for Craig.

  • Abe Rene

    Possibly there is a solution that avoids any conflict between the interests of Craig and the Green Party. Why not have Craig join them, help them formulate a complete political programme (perhaps as the Liberals might have had if they had not merged with the SDP and lost their reforming vigour, but with a special emphasis on environmental concerns), and then stand for them in Norwich? That might benefit both parties (pardon the pun). Greens in Norwich, what do you think of this idea?

  • Craig


    I don’t think I am another anybody.

    I woujld not stand against Ian Gibson if he were standing. I think his expenses sins were very minor indeed compared to Purnell, Hoon etc. But they picked on Gibson and protected the party elite. It is just because he is a good man that your beloved New Labour kicked him out. They don’t want people with minds of their own.

    Norfolk blogger – thanks. I made it third when I added it up. But definitely this is not a seat the Greens are going to win.


    Delighted to take part in any No2ID event. Would suggest it is broadened onto civil liberties generally in order to maximise public interest?


  • eddie

    So why are you standing. Seriously. Do you want to be another Martin Bell? Is it money that you seek? Or fame? I would like to know. I am thinking of similar people to you -i.e. civil servants who have “gone off the rails” for whatever reason, David Shayler, Clive Ponting. Perhaps you would tell me if you are offended at being lumped into the same category as people like that. What is your motivation? And why won’t you stand as a liberal? Do they not want you?

  • ingo

    Oh dear, a rash of independence has broken out from under the bed. celebrities are falling over themselves to give Gordon brown a bloody nose on the back of Ian Gibson immediate resignations.

    That Independent slot might get quiet crowded. next to the

    Independent for banning criminal Uzbek oligarchs, there might be the

    Independent to abolish academics in power, or the Independent for the Legalisation of Cannabis, or the Independent for spinning Independents chances of avoiding incoming shoes in mid air.

    Norwich North was once a marginal Conservative seat and will go back to the local grain barons and east Anglian mafiosis, ‘no need to get a bloody nose in Narwich boare’

    I strongly advise against unless you want to spent your life arguing the toss with them on a daily basis.

  • Craig

    Oh, I cut my political teeth fighting the Tories and the hedgerow-rippers in Norfolk. No worries.

    Why do you think an independent can only have views on one subject? I know you have been looking at this blog for years. Do you really think I can contribute on nothing but Uzbekistan.

    I am genuinely surprised how many people can’t think themselves out of the political party box.

  • ora

    I was going to reply to eddie but his last post clears any doubt he is anything but a troll. Anyone confused about him should search for “Troll (Internet)” on wikipedia. Comparing Craig to the very slimy Shayler did give me a chuckle though, so ridiculous is the notion.

    Craig, will you post details for those of us that want top volunteer for your campaign when they are available.

  • desertson

    Why not contact George Galloway and stand as a Respect Party candidate? Seems like Gibson will be standing as an independent, relying on loyalty voting.

  • desertson

    Why not contact George Galloway and stand as a Respect Party candidate? Seems like Gibson will be standing as an independent, relying on loyalty voting.

  • lwtc247

    “I am genuinely surprised how many people can’t think themselves out of the political party box.”

    I’m not. It’s been clear to me for a number of years now, that the length of stride of zUK Goosestep in Britain has increased over the years.

    When eddieTroll(TM) is being tasered (assuming he isn’t the one doing the tasering – which from what he writes seems a distinct possibility!) for thinking about turning down the volume of his ‘off-buttonless’ TV, he and most Brits, will still convice themselves that the zUK is a democracy, a world leader, a country that commands respect around the planet and somehow radiates ‘Kiplingesque benevolence’ all over the planet. That is the mental self-deception the vast majority fo Brits have. Political heads so far up their …. that all they can see is …. and can’t comprehend anything different.

    They believe they have a good system but just it needs band-aiding.

    It doesn’t. It needs wholesale binning. The prostituting of the political process to corporatism and those who own the corporations (MSM is included in this), as well as the related personal financlal sleeze of the hookers in the commons (common prostitutes) means the system is dead. CPR and ECR will fail.

    Discard the pac of bandaids or extra strength condoms. Overhaul the system from scratch.

    Personally I’d build it on unspun monotheistic principles, but that ain’t gonna happen. For the unreligious out there, and oxymoronic secular theists, building it on a Bill of Rights FOR THE CITIZEN would be a good start as would lifelong state provision at a reasonable level for anyone entering public service (civil servants), cutting them out of the world of financial greed. No MP’s but local councils. One of which meets in in a regional assembly and one of then meets in a national assembly. Laws for the electorate to vote representitives out. Laws so that citizens can take action against Corporations in their area. No kween. She and members of her lazy racist scrounging family to be booted out of _uckingham palace and sent to Oldham to live and get proper jobs.

    Radical reform.

  • eddie


    “Radical reform” – yes towards a fascist state by the sound of it. Monotheism, you must be joking. Most people aren’t scared of the dark any longer and if mad mullahs and paedophile priests aren’t enough to put people off religion I don’t know what is.

  • Ingo

    Craig, I have and can think outside the party boxes, hence my objections. This bye election will be the magnet for all sorts of political opportunists, inlcuding the Greens who have not got much support in Broadland, a part of the constitutency.

    Off course they would like you to support their candidate, but who is it? Will it be Adrian Ramsay trying to be the fastest,first and youngest Green ever elected to Parliament, a short cut from his target seat in Norwich South, or will it be a bussed in, newly converted, quickly selected Green like Tony Juniper?

    The Green party will increasingly be seen as an easy springboard into Parliament and I would not be surprised if old mama Parkin will soon put on the slap and her nurses uniform in order to look good at the camera, whether she would do the required footwork is questionable.

    Should you support the legalisation of cannabis you are assured of some support, dare I say foot soldiers prepared to do some leafletting, let us know.

    Alternatively do the populist thing and join the Green party, maybe they let you jump above their own shadows and fight the seat for them, a double whammy, but would they play ball? I somehow doubt it.

    I was not infering that you stand just on the Uzebkistan issue, just lamenting all opportuinists alike.

    If you do stand, consider taking on some single issues and you will get a lot of support with the practical side of things.

    good luck with it anyway, you will need a press officer and agent, someone who knows the local media and is not overburdened too much.

  • Emma

    I totally agree with your anti-sleaze stance, but as the Green Party have done so very well in the recent elections in Norwich, including Norwich North, and have an unblemished reputation, I urge you to join and support them rather than stand against them.

  • Chris


    I’m a Green Party Member and former Blackburn resident.

    I supported you in 2005 because although you were not local, you had more reason than most to oppose Jack Straw, and seemed to have an outside chance of beating him.

    The Green Party in Blackburn was weak – myself and other local Greens tried to persuade Graham Carter (the Green Candidate) to pull out and endorse you, but having stood numerous times in local and national elections in the borough, he was determined to carry on.

    I urge you to reconsider standing in Norwich North for the following reasons:

    Norwich North is a completely different constituency to Blackburn. It has probably the strongest Green Party in the country, with a genuine chance of causing a shock, as last week’s local and European election results clearly demonstrated.

    The Green vote in these elections isn’t a just a protest vote against MPs expenses – Norwich Green Party has been growing strongly for years, and has a large presence on the City council.

    Although I’m a member of a party, I accept that the party system has it’s faults, and applaud independent candidates (as I did when you stood in Blackburn).

    You mention the dirty tricks employed by Blackburn Council such as barring you from the hustings. You will probably recall that these were also applied to Graham.

    The fact that Norwich has such a strong anti-establishment voice is a clear indication that the cronyism you encountered in Blackburn doesn’t exist there. There is no Lord P**** (you know who) pulling the strings.

    If sleaze the issue you wish to highlight, the sleazy MP in question is no longer there, hence the need for a by-election.

    I appreciate that given the way major parties select their PPCs, there is a good chance the next MP could also be without morals, but there are plenty of proven sleaze-bags who aren’t stepping down. Why not stand against one of them? Hazel Blears for example.

    The Green Party is probably the only party with no history of sleaze, and is likely to pick up anti-sleaze votes in their own right. If you stand, that vote will be split, which in our archaic electoral system benefits neither candidate.

  • Craig


    Thank you. I guess graham had earned his last run in Blackburn.

    I keep having to say this. In Norwich North last Thursday, the Greens came fourth, after the Tory, Labour and Lib Dems. It is simply rubbish to say they have a realistic chance of stopping the Tories. And it’s not a close fourth in a four horse race.

    The Greens last Thursday were fourth in Norwich North constituency more than 30 per cent behind the Tories. And they also came fourth at the last general election.

    If I thought the Greens had a chance of stopping the Tories, I wouldn’t stand. But it’s utter delusion.

  • Monica Shelley

    Can anyone tell me the date of this forthcoming election?

    It sounds as if Craig is standing for good reasons, but how would we form a government of independents? They need to have a shared agenda in order to take over from Labour.

  • Monica Shelley

    Can anyone tell me the date of this forthcoming election?

    It sounds as if Craig is standing for good reasons, but how would we form a government of independents? They need to have a shared agenda in order to take over from Labour.

  • stephen

    i’m not saying he is not a good choice. but in his campaign leaflet it states Craig murray is not in it for the money and can’t be bought then later it tells us he is executive chairman of Atholl Energy and chairman of Westminster development Ltd a gold mining company as if that was not enough he is a best selling author. to me this suggests he is fairly well off and buying him off is pointless because he has plenty of money and nothing to do with morals.

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