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!