Norwich North 45

I have been coming under a lot of pressure from the Greens who want me to stand aside for them in Norwich North.

This from Norfolk Blogger:

A few lies being spread about the Norwich North By-Election

A few lies are starting to be spread to various websites and blogs which seem to be emanating from the Green Party. So it seems it is right to out these lies in to a factual context.

1) The Greens did not win the popular vote in Norwich North. They came 4th across the whole constituency which includes far more than just the four Norwich Wards.

2) Norwich North is NOT on the same boundaries as Norwich City Council. Half of Norwich North is made up from parts of Broadland District Council, an authority that has no Greens elected.

It seems that the Greens, so keen to position themselves are showing that facts shouldn’t get in the way of misleading the electorate.

That is not just fourth, it is a very distant fourth, with the Tories miles ahead. A strong independent candidate is needed to stop a simple swap of Labour for the Tories, which won’t improve anything.

I am standing to give the voters a chance to reject all the political parties and put an honest man into parliament.

I will not put my snout in the trough. I have proved I am not motivated by money by giving up an extremely lucrative career as Ambassador on principle in opposition to our complicity in torture.

I am not just a single issue candidate. The sleaze of the expenses scam is not the entire problem. It is a symptom of the situation, where we have very low quality MPs who are just hacks to party machines. These MPs were sleepwalking 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 am born and bred in Norfolk and there is hardly a lane in Cawston or Drayton I haven’t cycled down. I know the estates of Hellesdon.

I hope that we shall channel people’s resentment at the corrupt careerists who run our parliament and political systems.

We are going in Norwich North to start a movement for reform that will bring in a flood of Independents at the following general election. It’s a Norfolk movement for people power. We are going to start on Mousehold Heath working for freedom against a corrupt London, just like old Robert Kett.

Only this time, we are going to win.

45 thoughts on “Norwich North

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  • Norwich resident

    Honest enough to tell us about your Scottish nationalist sentiments? You will not be riding this English gravy train anytime soon.

  • Craig

    Norwich resident,

    I belive in Scottish Independence, yes -and English independence too. Actually very few English people are particularly strongly opposed to Scottish independence.

    What’s your problem?

  • dodoze

    I have been involved in practical and political “green” work for over 30 years. Some within established political parties (at that time there was a Liberal Party), some with national campaigning organisations, some with fringe Festivals and some local or charitable work in related fields.

    The effectiveness, strategy and tactics of the UK Green political (now post-alternative) establishment are the palest of reflections of the far more effective German Green (and anarchist) example from which lessons have not been integrated in the UK movement. Acknowledging that the socio political history of the two nations is rather different.

    For the Green Party to be so self-deluding as to conceive of their having any realistic chance of election in Norfolk is exemplary fantasia. We need a Parliamentary and Constitutional context which is of scrupulous integrity, which distances itself from the Corporate and which facilitates a more proportional representation. Without that, the chances of Green policies getting through are insignificant. Reform is necessary first.

    And the Green Party needs to attract candidates of a higher calibre than the well intentioned but politically naive people who work so hard yet so ineffectively.

    It is that combination of addressing the matter of scrupulous integrity and real political and diplomatic authority which underpins the validity of Craig’s decision.

  • samarkeolog

    Yes, good luck!

    I trust your science and international politics policies are better informed than the Greens’, too. (For science, see their manifesto opposition to stem cell research and medical animal testing, and their support for homeopathy on the NHS. For international politics, see Green MEP Jean Lambert’s support for the PKK…)

  • Ruth

    You’ll need a lot of help. I expect the Establishment via the Tory party in Norwich will do whatever they can to stop you being elected. You’re really not the sort of person they want in Parliament.

  • Geoff

    Bloody typical,

    As a Norwich North constituent and Hellesdon resident (not the hospital), I find it sodding annoying that this is all announced just as I am in the process of moving out of the area.

    Never thought I’d be reading about Mousehold on this blog.

    I shall be telling everyone I know to vote for Craig in the election – so if they all listen, that should be another 2 votes.

  • Courtenay Barnett


    There are two (2) points that I raise with you:-

    1. Fine thing that you are seeking elected office ?” but how best do you go about it as an independent?

    2. The Greens say: “We are going in Norwich North to start a movement for reform that will bring in a flood of Independents at the following general election.” ?” so if the majority mood is to boot out the representatives of the “two party hierarchy” ?” what real problem do you have?

    With regard to point 1:-

    Do you think that you could learn more than a little from George Galloway?

    N.B. Please don’t answer this question with a response that states or inclines to stating why you may dislike the most assertive aspects of his personality and/or politics ?” but do weigh very carefully the man’s strategies against all the odds.

    With regard to point 2:-

    Why won’t you simply play politics with the Greens ?” isn’t that what what the nature of the beast is? I am questioning whether there is common ground between you and the Greens, and implying that you might devise strategies that work in the best interest of both. For goodness sakes man ?” its politics ?” which is what you now entering into, not as a paid servant of the state’s interest, but as one who is prepared to be a voice of and for the people ?” get real ( George Galloway did ?” circle of comment now compete!).

  • Courtenay Barnett



    Am corrected.

    Tell me – do you thing that Craig has a chance – and – are you with me on his taking a few pages from George Galloway’s political book?

  • Courtenay Barnett



    Am corrected.

    Tell me – do you think that Craig has a chance – and – are you with me on his taking a few pages from George Galloway’s political book?

  • Nich Starling - Norfolk Blogger

    There is a misconception that the Greens are anti establishment. They have, in Norwich, full time politicians who do not work and instead they are full time politicians. Is this anti establishment ? Hardly. An anti establishment candidate would more likely represent people much more if they had a normal every day job.

    Also the Greens in Norwich are not exactly friendly to Norwich Airport, which is a large employer in the Norwich North Constituency.

    Also it is worth remembering that despite the Greens doing well in two of the four city wards in Norwich North, they were nowhere in the other two City wards and in the rest of the constituency (in Broadland District Council) they polled very poorly.

  • David Wearing

    Craig – it would be tragic if at this time of great political opportunity for genuine change the progressive cause was again split between several candidates. It would be unforgivable if, given this chance to land a major blow on the political class, the progressive side dissolved into petty squabbling between the Judean People’s Front, the People’s Front of Judea, the Popular Front, and so on and so on, thus giving Labour or the Tories a clear run at victory.

    Is it not worth at least talking to the Greens and others to see if a unified ticket can be agreed upon with the aim of maximusing the chances of electing a progressive non-establishment MP (be it yourself or someone else)?

    Its not just the ruthlessness and cynicism of the elite that turns people off politics. Its the sheer historic incompetance of the forces that offer radical change and then invariably fail to get their act together. But this time could be different, couldn’t it?

  • Craig


    I would happily stand down for a better qualified Indpendent candidate (eg Martin Bell). But quite simply the Greens are not going to win Norwich North. They came fourth at the General Election and fourth in the constituency in the local elections just last Thursday. There is no “Green momentum” in Norwich North. It’s propaganda.

    Standing down for the Greens would not enhance the chances of keeping the big parties out. The Greens cannot win Norwich North.

  • George Dutton

    “Tell me – do you think that Craig has a chance”

    Courtenay Barnett

    Where there is life there is hope.

    “are you with me on his taking a few pages from George Galloway”

    George Galloway is a high profile politician who has a big but different kind of following.Although similar in many ways it’s like chalk and cheese.

    Craig’s best chance (in my humble opinion) is to go into TOTAL aggressive and attack mode in Norwich North and get noticed on every subject he can think off.

    Have heard a little rumour…”Gibson hinted he might be standing as an independent, relying on loyalty voting”.

  • David Wearing

    thanks, Craig.

    I don’t necessarily argue that you should stand aside for them. I merely wonder about how you might work in co-operation with them and others who agree broadly on the main issues to maximise the chances of beating the establishment. Is there a candidate (be it yourself or someone else) that you, the Greens, and other independents and anti-establishment folk can unite behind and campaign for together? Can efforts be pooled to that end?

    Is it not at least worth discussing with the other progressives? If you yourself were to end up being the candidate at the front of that effort, your chances of success would be significantly bolstered with that extra material and human resources behind you.

  • Craig


    I would indeed be prepared to stand down for a better candidate – though I don’t think I am a bad candidate myself! I named Martin Bell as someone I’d stand down for. He too has connections to Norwich. I am certainly prepared to take part in discussions around a single progressive candidate, and not with the pre-condition that it must be me. But no party would beat the Tory party in Norwich North at the moment. It does need to be an independent.

  • David Wearing

    thanks, Craig. I do think those sorts of discussions could be very useful.

    And no, I don’t think you’d be a bad candidate either!

  • Abe Rene

    This talk of a ‘flood of independents’ reminds me of the American neocon vision to unleash a ‘tidal wave of democracy’ in the Middle East. If your vision were realistic, I might have expected a larger number of councillors outside the major parties to win at the recent local elections. But 85 percent of the council seats lost by New Labour went to the Tories. Therefore, I am doubtful whether there will be a tidal wave of independents at the next general election. The country may give the Tories a landslide, though the LibDems may gain several seats, and a number of independents (like yourself, should you win in Norwich) may be elected. But there may be no more than a dozen of these.

    I wished you luck in Norwich, and I won’t retract, but victory in my opinion is by no means certain. Unlike Tatton, no major parties are standing down in your favour. My guess is that New Labour will make the best of the country’s prospects for economic growth (and hence jobs) next year, and I would expect a stiff fight from the Tories in view of the enthusiasm generated by their taking almost every English council. As for the Greens, time will tell whether you underestimated them.

  • James

    It seems a shame that

    a) you’re just reprinting Lib Dem “only we can win here” propaganda; and

    b) you decided to blog this rather than have a constructive discussion with the local Greens.

  • Craig


    Actually Norfok Blogger, whom I quoted, hasn’t made any claims the Lib Dems can win.

    In fact on the party vote from Thursday, there is no denying that the Tories were absolutely miles ahead in this constituency. None of the other parties is has a chance to win. That’s why it needs an independent.

    On your second point, I am quite happy to discuss anything with the local Greens, or anybody else. But I don’t need their permission to speak in the meantime. I see no sign of the Greens observing media silence in Norwich. Have you made the same point to them?

    I have made quite clear if a decent independent candidate with a better chance than me emerges, I will stand down. But I am not going to stand down to allow the Greens and the Lib Dems to have an uninterrupted fight over third and fourth place.

  • Craig

    Abe Rene

    Actually there was a very large increase indeed in Independent Councillors in Thursday’s election. There were very nearly as many independent councillors as New Labour councillors elected, which is amazing given that independents only stood in a minority of wards. So their success rate in being elected when they stood was higher than that of New Labour candidates.

  • kc


    You have my best wishes and full support. I live in London but my family on my father’s side goes back many hundreds of years in the area around East Dereham so I feel a natural affinity to that part of the world. You seem to have had numerous offers of assistance already so I suspect I’m a little late in the day, but by all means contact me at my email address if you wish and I’ll see what I can do to lend a hand.

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