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!

115 thoughts on “I Am Standing in Norwich North

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  • DHM

    You’ll be needing funds. Please let us know where to send them as soon as you have made arrangements.

  • Iain Orr

    I hope that many of us who came from outside Blackburn to be part of your campaign in 2005 will be ready to reassemble for a campaign that will attract much attention. Good luck!

  • tony_opmoc

    According to the local press – the grassroots are completely furious about the way their MP has been treated by the Nazi high command. They will no doubt try and impose on them a fully paid up member of the gestapo and imposing he/she/it on them with no discussion.

    I suggest you get your arse down there as soon as you are well enough to travel. You may have a ready made local support organisation available comprised of ex labour party members resigning en-block in disgust.

    Get a Paypal donation button set up prominently on your website ASAP and I’ll send you a tenner.

    If I can send $10 to Feeding America, I can certainly send £10 towards Craig Murray’s election campaign costs.

    It will be my first political donation since the Fascists took over the Labour Party.


  • tony_opmoc

    I reckon it will be a General Election. Brown will pull the plug – or rather the plug has already been pulled.

    This is incredible

    Dear Gordon

    I believe the achievements of the Labour Government to date have been monumental and you have played an immense part in the creation of those achievements.

    However, I am extremely disappointed at your failure to have an inclusive Government.

    You have a two tier Government. Your inner circle and then the remainder of Cabinet.

    I have the greatest respect for the women who have served as full members of Cabinet and for those who attend as and when required.

    However, few are allowed into your inner circle.

    Several of the women attending Cabinet ?” myself included ?” have been treated by you as little more than female window dressing.

    I am not willing to attend Cabinet in a peripheral capacity any longer.

    In my current role, you advised that I would attend Cabinet when Europe was on the agenda. I have only been invited once since October and not to a single political Cabinet ?” not even the one held a few weeks before the European elections.

    Having worked hard during this campaign, I would not have been party to any plan to undermine you or the Labour Party in the run up to 4 June.

    So I was extremely angry and disappointed to see newspapers briefed with invented stories of my involvement in a “Pugin Room plot”.

    Time and time again I have stepped before the cameras to sincerely defend your reputation in the interests of the Labour Party and the Government as a whole. I am a natural party loyalist. Yet you have strained every sinew of that loyalty.

    It has been apparent for some time that you do not see me playing a more influential role in the Government. Therefore, I have respectfully declined your offer to continue in the Government as Minister for Europe attending Cabinet.

    I served six years as a backbencher and, therefore, I am not unhappy to be able to devote myself to promoting my constituency’s interests and to support the Labour Government from the backbenches.

    This is a personal decision, which I have not discussed with colleagues.


    Rt Hon Caroline Flint MP

  • Andy

    The very best of luck to you. No doubt you can rely on the support from many in the blogging community (Mr Dale being the exception of course ;-D )

  • Hugh Kerr

    Craig good luck Ian Gibson is an old friend of mine and he has been treated very shabbily by New Labour his crime was to help his daughter and is far less than many of the Cabinet.I think you will make an impact but dont discount some Esther Rantzen types appearing as well.Let me know if I can do anything to help.

  • Tim Hiscock

    Please don’t do it.

    You won’t win and you’ll split the Green vote, they have a real chance of winning this seat (take a look at the Norfolk results, 5 seats gained today). The Green Party are the most credible anti-sleaze force in British politics anyway. So please think again, and back the Green Party instead.

  • nextus

    Go for it, Craig! You are a man of great principle. The country needs more representatives like you.

    However, your love of sharp invective and taunting polemics, while both entertaining and effective, could now be a liability. Image is everything in this business and the hacks will seize on anything to smear your reputation. People don’t want sleaze-bags in parliament, but neither do they want to be represented by trouble-makers or anarchists. (Especially in Norwich!)

    On the plus side, it could generate plenty of publicity, and you’re great at cutting through the BS when given the chance to answer back. I doubt whether the papers will give you a voice, though. (Recall the Record’s shameful bias before the rectoral election?) You have a higher profile now and the rants on this blog offer a plentiful supply of tinder. It’s in the media’s interest to fan the flames.

    It could get out of hand quickly, I fear. You may need a fire-fighting team to snuff out the incendiary smears before they spread. I’ll unfurl my hose and do what I can.

  • tony_opmoc

    Tim Hiscock,

    That was completely PATHETIC

    Whilst I am a Fervent Environmentalist, I find the lunacy of The Green Party and Their Belief in The Religion of Global Warming even more Dangerous Than The Extreme Right Wing.

    Were you the idiots who wanted to bulldose the sea wall and rebuild it west of Hickling – because you are so convinced that Sea Levels will continue to rise – when the Real World Data shows that Global Warming ended in 1998, and the real cause of Climate Change – The Sun has currently got its lowest level of Sunspots and Radiation for 100 years.

    The Planet is Getting Colder and You are Pleading For Craig Murray Not To Stand?

    And Yes I admit I didn’t get my boat through Potter Heigham Bridge this year – but there was a Full Moon and an exceedingly High Tide.


  • peacewisher

    Craig, I admire you, and all that you have risked and what you have done.

    But Tim speaks good sense. You may feel a sense of belonging to Norfolk, but it takes much more than being a Canaries fan to make a Norfolker… Yes, they are good people. Let them deliver Britain’s first Green MP.

  • Parasite

    Very best of luck at splitting the upper-middle class sanctimonious Green type vote (the sort of people who call themselves “dissidents” – ooh how radical!) with this vanity project: it’s great you can both lose!

  • Tim Hiscock

    Thank you peacewisher.

    I have admired Craig Murray for some time, and I now him to be a good man. But he seems unaware of the local issues in Norwich, and how his candidacy would play into the hands of the establishment.

    Parasite chooses a perfect name for his/her contributions. Nothing of any intelligence to say, just childish name-calling.

  • tony_opmoc


    You must already sense your strength – by the opposition lining up against you.

    If you were not a force to be reckoned with, you would be ignored.


  • Craig


    I really don’t understand you. I was born in Norfolk and went to school there. On my mother’s side the family come from Nrfolk for at least the eight generations we can trace. My great great grandfather was the first ever coxswain of the Sheringham lifeboat. The Singing Postman was my mother’s cousin, for goodness sake!!! In what metaphysical sense am I not from Norfolk?

  • Tim Hiscock

    Of course Craig is a force to be reckoned with! If I didn’t respect him, I wouldn’t bother joining in the discussion!

    The question is how he wants to use his undoubted influence. He says we wants to be an anti-sleaze candidate, which is a great idea. Except that there is already a party doing mighty well in Norwich who have an excellent track record on opposing sleaze, going back to well before the time when the Torygraph made it trendy. They also have a very good chance of winning the Norwich byelection, as we can see from the results yesterday.

    So the question is, how is Craig best to use his influence to progress his anti-sleaze agenda? I suggest it’s not by splitting the anti-establishment vote and handing this byelection to either Labour or the Tories.

  • eddie

    My ballot paper for the Euro election yesterday had about 17 names – 20 years ago there would have been perhaps 5. It’s the Big Brother phenonemon – everyone wants to be a celebrity regardless of their abilities. Sorry Craig, but this is all about me,me,me and an ego that is out of control. Vanity, vanity all is vanity. If you want to be an MP stand for a party, stand for your beloved liberals.

  • peacewisher

    Thanks, Tim. That’s the point I was trying to make. I can do the same as Craig just did with my ancestry… but you can’t suddenly go back and claim your roots like that. The locals might just resent it.

    Whether you like it or not, Craig, you are associated with Dundee. There are many of crooked MPs around, it seems, that really need the presence of a “white suit” candidate against them – to expose their hypocrisy.

  • MJ

    “In what metaphysical sense am I not from Norfolk?”

    In that same metaphysical sense by which on most days you claim to be Scottish?

    (Sorry, only being mischievous)

  • Craig


    apologies, I might have deleted one of your comments in getting rid of some duplicates.

    I am aware of the green party’s history in Norwich and how well they did in Norwich today. You probably know I gave a high profile endorsement to Rupert for the Euros.

    But at the parliamentary election the Greens came a very bad fourth in this seat – and I think lost their deposit.

    When I stood in Blackburn, the Greens asked me to stand down and support them. I got 2,082 votes. They got about 500. And that was in the most rotten of NuLab rotten boroughs, in a place where I have no connection, against a senior NuLab cabinet minister in a general election NuLab won. I wasn’t allowed into the candidates’ hustings, I wasn’t allowed halls for meetings, my electoral addresses were not delivered until polling day. I could go on. I can do much better in Norwich where the authorities will not be sabotaging me.

    This is also going to be a by-election that gets huge national publicity in testing public disenchantment with the main parties in this major political crisis.

    It is therefore fair to ask which candidate has the experience of pressure and the ability to speak and argue on a national stage against the might of the big party machines? The Green candidate in the constituency is an actor and local councillor and I am sure very nice and capable, but he doesn’t have anything near my life experience. And I am a known figure who attracts a lot of media publicity which will be helful

    So I am not convinced to stand aside for the Greens. In fact, I am inclined to wonder whether the Greens shouldn’t reciprocate my endorsement of Rupert. They felt I was well enough known to promote my endorsement in the national press…

  • Craig


    My mum still lives in Sheringham. You might have difficulty convincing her that I only “think” I am from Norfolk. You would also have some difficulty convincing the half of the town who are related to me.

  • George Laird

    Dear Craig

    Good luck.

    Yours sincerely

    George Laird

    The Campaign for Human Rights at Glasgow University

  • Craig

    In fact I see on today’s results in Norwich North, the Greens would have been third a long way behind the Tories.

  • ken

    I hope the voters of Norwich North realise the power that will exist in their voting papers.

    The very best of luck to you.

    In 1942 my dad volunteered for the army on his 18th birthday, rather than wait for his conscription. (He had volunteered 6 months before but his real age was found out).

    Before that, his dad had been a Labour council candidate in the borough of Westminster.

    I’m thinking of continuing the line, and volunteering to be a parliamentary candidate, before there are so many vacancies and so few candidates that conscription has to be introduced to fill the House of Commons.

    Or maybe there won’t be another General Election in the UK.

  • lwtc247

    I think if he were to hold his tongue and regreting that he wrote on this blog then that is the gateway to sleeze. Surely he is promoting and offering his virtues of: clear and honest speaking (amongst others)

    The Greens address a worthy cause but do sometimes peddle right stonkers! I can’tt believe someone is looking at county council elections and extrapolating into predictions of parlismantary elections. LOL. Yip, a stonker!

    Go for it Craig! but don’t believe the seat will just come to you. A number of people still voted for that murdering scum bLiar even though they were anti-war.

    A friend of mine once said “I’ll always vote labour” Ne was obviously saying ‘no matter what’. Each party will have a solid core vote.

    Check out the rules on donations and then open your donations portal asap. Ensure all data is secured and that you have at least one backup.

    Update here, ( or on a specific ‘elect craig’ site), what help you need.

    Best of luck.

  • kevin

    enjoy your blog and hope your getting better.well done on the nipper front.do stand,this country desperately needs men of honour and courage to sort this mess out.your work on torture has shown that you enjoy both of those qualities in abundance.to be able to pursue this work actually in parliament itself would be excellent progress that may well bear fruit.so go for it.if you need help email me.good luck

  • Phil

    Hi Craig,

    The downside to your otherwise good idea is that you will likely prevent the Greens getting their first MP. They have a great track record in local government in Norwich and would have a strong chance of taking Gibson’s seat. However, if you stood you’d likely split their vote letting in the Tory candidate.

    Please reconsider. I’d really like to see you in Westminster but at the expense of Labour or the Tories, not the Greens.

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