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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  • merkin

    Craig, I think I would be a great Home Secretary.

    You know me; Golden Parachute or Golden Shower – it’s all the same.

  • MJ

    Craig, where has your amusing piece about ugly MPs gone? Surely you haven’t started censoring yourself so as not to give your political opponents ammunition? Probably not such a bad idea come to think of it…

  • Craig

    Phil

    Except it is not true. If you total the Norwich North votes from the Council elections, the Greens come a distant THIRD.

  • lwtc247

    Craig I must ask…

    If you become an MP you will HAVE to swear allegiance to Herr mudjesty. Won’t that cause you a problems pledging loyalty to Elizardbeth who has responsibility for killing millions (and million in the foreseeable future) ????

  • Tim Hiscock

    Dear Craig

    Thanks very much for your reasoned reply. I wish you the best of luck.

    The thing that needs to be avoided if this byelection is to be an effective protest vote is for the vote to be split. You make a good case for your candidacy. I hope that everyone can get behind one candidate and make the best of this opportunity. If the candidate is you, I’d personally be delighted.

    Best regards

    Tim

  • Tim Hiscock

    Dear Craig

    Thanks very much for your reasoned reply. I wish you the best of luck.

    The thing that needs to be avoided if this byelection is to be an effective protest vote is for the vote to be split. You make a good case for your candidacy. I hope that everyone can get behind one candidate and make the best of this opportunity. If the candidate is you, I’d personally be delighted.

    Best regards

    Tim

  • Tim Hiscock

    Dear Craig

    Thanks very much for your reasoned reply. I wish you the best of luck.

    The thing that needs to be avoided if this byelection is to be an effective protest vote is for the vote to be split. You make a good case for your candidacy. I hope that everyone can get behind one candidate and make the best of this opportunity. If the candidate is you, I’d personally be delighted.

    Best regards

    Tim

  • Fred

    How do we make a [modest] contribution to your election expenses? Don’t answer in these comments, too hard to find. Include in some later posting. Thanks.

  • Leonard Fletcher

    The Greens _were_ third across Norwich North as a whole, yesterday, yes – but they have tremendous _momentum_, and in politics momentum is everything, Craig. I was impressed by their two shock Council wins in Norwich North. They normally focus their activity exclusively on Norwich _South_ – which makes these two wins even more impressive. You need to think Craig about what they could achieve if they focussed their attention on Norwich North – as they undoubtedly will, in this byelection. They have a huge activist base in the general area – they will mobilise more people on the doorsteps than _any_ other Party, probably.

    I think that they might just win this seat, which would be a historic development in British politics.

    Craig, I really think you ought to take things a bit more slowly, before you decide to throw a spanner in their works.

  • Phil Hardy

    I read your blog with great interest and I appreciate your values and general principles when it comes to representing the people of Norwich North. We certainly need an MP who will place the common good of his or her constituents before personal gain, and someone who will driven by what is morally right.

    The Green Party will be standing in the Norwich North by-election and we fit this criteria and more. We care about today’s constituents, and those of tomorrow. We have 13 City Councillors and after yesterday, 7 County Councillors, including two in Norwich North wards (Mile Cross and Sewell). We work hard all year round, knocking on doors, finding out local issues and personal concerns and we have an established record of delivering on our promises. We are a strong force in Norwich today because the people trust us, and they appreciate our positive agenda.

    So that is why I urge you not to stand in the Norwich North bi-election, and to support the Green Party. We stand for the people, for social justice and for positive change.

    Best wishes,

    Councillor Phil Hardy

    Thorpe Hamlet Ward

  • stanner

    “you will live in the constituency”? Craig, that’s very attitude party politicians have. Surely you could leave it to an independent who is actually a resident now? Or do you just want to become an MP?

  • stanner

    “you will live in the constituency”? Craig, that’s very attitude party politicians have. Surely you could leave it to an independent who is actually a resident now? Or do you just want to become an MP?

  • stanner

    “you will live in the constituency”? Craig, that’s very attitude party politicians have. Surely you could leave it to an independent who is actually a resident now? Or do you just want to become an MP?

  • JeremyB

    Craig,

    There already is an anti-sleaze party in Norwich – The Green Party.

    If you stand you’ll split the vote and allow the big parties to win, at the expense of the Greens.

    Please support a party that is campaigning locally and already representing the residents of Norwich.

    Please don’t stand in this by-election.

    Thanks.

  • lwtc247

    Craig. I hope you can address the kween allegiance issue. It is tricky I know but important. If Herr Saxe-Rottenberg (or whatever their name real is) decided to sign up to killing more people, then from loyalty, doesn’t that men you should support the old hag?

    As for the Greens, why don’t you stand down in that single constituency??? If as is predicted Craig can split the vote a sizeable number of people will want him to stand. The claim ‘momentum is everything’ is laughable. ROFL.

    “Think what we [greens] could achieve!” propably involkves the same kind whipped party crap largely responsible for what we see today.

    Tell me oh greens.. What’s YOUR policy Nuclear energy, Nuclear waste management and decomissioning?

    The latter ones should some of the most discussed politics amongst you so you should be able to quickly indicate what your policies are and brief outline as to how they can be achieved.

    Then, what’s your foreign policy in relation to on what’s known in some circles as “Israel”, Afghanistan, Iraq and Pakistan?

    Whats the bet ‘read out manefesto’ which will propably contain vague references to a general idea and not answer my Q, or that the Green won’t bother to answer. Prove me wrong.

  • ora

    This is excellent news!

    I am a Norwich resident (though to my irritation in Norwich South).

    I know a few of the Norwich Greens one way or another and while personally good people I still feel their party is not a credible political force. I am a staunch environmentalist but believe single issue parties are a mistake.

    You can have some of my evenings and weekends to trudge around, Craig, and I can probably find others willing to do some of the same.

    With you human rights credentials, speaking to the local stop the war coalition may well be wise, they hold protests in the centre of the city all the time and in fact I was promoting you and your books to some of them recently! I really do think you would be the best candidate for a protest vote in the area.

    If nothing else, let me offer you a pint in one of Norwich’s many, many pubs when you come down.

    Good news for Norwich!

  • Craig

    stanner,

    with modern careers, people move around all the time. In just my adult life I have lived in 11 different homes. I think the notion you can only stand for parliament where you happen to be living at the moment is a peculiar one. Of course if elected you should live in the constituency. I was born and bred in Norfolk. The many Green commenters who want to try and rubbish me as some kind of foreigner will have some difficulty.

    Were you there, Stanner, at the League Cup final v Spurs, when Kevin Keelan made the most incredible penalty save? It was a low well-placed penalty just inside the left post, and Keelan got down just incredibly, diving absolutely horizontal to the ground, as only he could. His palm, in the green gloves he always wore, got to ball miraculously, on the end of his outstretched arm, and he deflected the ball onto an inside post.

    Cruelly, it returned almost straight back to the penalty spot. Coates – who looked like a shorter, chubbier Bobby Charlton, with calm precision placed a shot low and hard inside the opposite post.

    Unbelievably, Keelan performed a lightning contortion like a comic book super hero. He was streaking, again flying horizontal, towards the opposite post. Noboy elese – not Banks, not Bonetti – could have got near. But it just eluded those magic fingertips, and Spurs won 1-0.

    Out hearts broke. There was a last minute reprieve when Duncan Forbes got onto the end of a corner at the far post with the kind of header that he routinely split the net with. He nodded it down and just wide. Afterwards he explained that he had been told he should head down, something he never did. He tried it and it didn’t come off.

    Were you there, stanner? No, didn’t think so. I was. Got the coach at dawn from Sheringham and football special from Thorpe Station.

    I was also at Pompey the very first time we got promoted to the old First Division. Martin Peters – two goals.

    You spend your time going around telling people not to vote for me because I am not from Norwich. I would love to fight on that ground.

  • MJ

    Kevin Keelan? Duncan Forbes? Now we’re talking. What about Graham Paddon, Ken Foggo and David Stringer to bring the memories flooding back? Or huddling in the ghastly, uncovered Riverside End as the rain lashed down?

    You are not alone on this one Craig.

  • Craig

    Barclay End, me, then South Stand after the place got too rough for a young teenager.

    The infuriating Ted MacDougall. Hands on hips, head down, silly perm. Then strike like a cobra. Three touches the whole game, two goals. Charlie Boyer working his arse off around him.

    My very first game Tommy Bryceland scored twice. Paddon never the same after he broke his leg.

    Trevor Hockey – mad axe murderer.

    Have a little scrimmage.

  • MJ

    Barclay End? You must have been mad. My dad wouldn’t take me in there and I’m glad he didn’t. It looked frightening enough just seeing it from the other end. We moved to the South Stand eventually too. Covered, seating, very posh. But not quite the same.

    MacDougall was a twilight-of-career purchase from Man Utd I seem to recall. Remember seeing him in their side that hammered us in the first season up, Charlton in full flow but Besty sadly absent.

  • Craig

    MJ

    my memory was we got him and Boyer together from Bournmeouth, but I might be wrong. He did have a not succesful stint at Man U.

    Peters has an incredible career twilight with us. Chivers less so. We’d better stop – we could bore on for ever!

  • peacewisher

    The reason I gave you a hard time earlier was that I’ve been reading your blog for years and there was hardly a mention of Norfolk, but plenty about Scotland and even Italian ancestry. I thought there might be better causes for you to address, but it could be that there isn’t an election until 2010, so why not have a go now.

    I can tell from your responses that you have made your mind up anyway, and good luck to you. IMO, the best political site is http://www.politicalbetting.com, and the good folk on there are still debating candidature for Norwich North even now. Judging by 2005 voting figures, all you have to do is get most of the Ian Gibson votes to go your way…

    I followed with interest your campaign in Blackburn, and it was clear that you were disgracefully squeezed out by the media… as was David Icke in David Davis constituency, not that I ompare you with him, but the media will try to…

    I couldn’t understand why your youtube videos didn’t got greater exposure, and you need to make sure that important aspect of modern campaigning doesn’t get neglected.

    Having said all that… best of luck. Hope you win!

  • Tom Read

    Hi Craig

    I’m trying to arrange a hustings event for the Norwich North bye-election regarding civil liberties and electronic surveillance, with each political party’s views on these issues, and so would be extremely interested in your participation.

    I am only just getting the details together, but please get in touch at my email address, which I believe is provided, as your contribution would be most welcome!

    Best regards

    Tom Read, Norwich NO2ID Coordinator

  • eddie

    If you think you are another Martin Bell you must be joking. Hamilton was a disgraced MP and Bell had a national profile. Gibson is a respected MP and you have no profile. Vanity. But I guess your six years’ taxpayer-funded salary must be running out so anything for a bit of publicity eh? A thousand votes if you are lucky?

  • Dreamer

    Craig,

    Why not set up some kind of national party that would/could really make a difference instead of standing on a (negative)platform of anti-sleaze? (I’m not suggesting you stand or not)

    You have a readership, don’t know the numbers, perhaps some could be pursuaded to contribute time to building this national party and its manifesto. A manifesto that would be binding. A manifesto that would enable people to actively participate in politics instead of the sham we live with now. At least something positive for people to aim at and more importantly contribute to.

    Big project perhaps, but…

  • Dreamer

    After thought,

    Perhaps it’s too dangerous politically, and physically; have you had your heart checked lately?

  • MJ

    eddie: the current climate demands strong, independent candidates. They do not need to have a national profile. The contest is not with disgraced individuals (disgraced or not, Gibson is not standing) but with a disgraced, corrupt, tired and complacent parliamentary party system that has outgrown its usefulness.

    Vanity? Sure, name an MP who doesn’t have a bit of vanity. It’s requirement number one on the checklist.

    Craig is obviously an intelligent, informed and, above all, decent and principled man the likes of which the country clearly needs. It does not need your dreary cynicism.

    Craig may not win, but if he is not subject to the dirty tricks of the Blackburn campaign he should comfortably improve on that result. And that would be a healthy step in the right direction. Wouldn’t it?

    (By the way Craig you’re right about MacDougall. Bournemmouth it was).

  • Nich Starling - Norfolk Blogger

    Hugh Kerr, stop telling people it is bad for democracy for people to stand in elections. Far from it. If Craig want to stand it will strengthen democracy even if I won’t be voting for him.

    As for the lies being peddled about the Greens, please note that only two of their gains were in Norwich North and they came 4th in the popular vote across the constituency.

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