I Was Rubbish 93

I can’t think of a great deal more to say, except that it is worth noting that the Conservatives are celebrating wildly losing 2,000 of the votes they had at the General Election. It was great to see the New Labour betrayers getting almost totally deserted by their followers, and instructive that the LIBDems also lost a third of their vote.

The real lesson is that the total vote for the three “Main parties” fell from 42,000 votes at the general election to 23,000 now, with each of them shedding votes. That is a profound statistic. The political landscape is indeed shifting sharply, even if my own efforts to affect it were rubbish. Tory braying is futile and shallow.

In this “great victory”, 18% of the electorate voted for them. I know form doostep experience that many of those who stayed at home were not merely apathetic, but actively hostile.

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93 thoughts on “I Was Rubbish

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  • dreoilin

    “Dizzy tweeted it and I retweeted it.”

    Oh, right. And you know what retweeting is for, Iain. Retweeting is for things that you don’t like and don’t agree with – RIGHT??? Go and be petty elsewhere. Gloating along with “Dizzy” is not an admirable activity.

  • Paul J. Lewis

    You’re not rubbish. In fact, you didn’t even lose. How could you lose when you weren’t being allowed to play?

    It reminds me of the ‘free trade football’ matches played at Make Poverty History; the players representing global south countries had to play on their knees with their hands tied.

    If nothing else, I, and I expect many others, have come to realise the depth of corruption that pervades our political system, and the very real limits bounding and constraining our democratic ‘choice’. I thought – all through the Bush regime – that at least that level of electoral corruption would not happen in Britain. You have been one of the clearest voices that has shown I was wrong.

    In the end you may have the victory.

    You have said what many people are starting to realise: that voter apathy is not the same thing as political apathy. More people than I can remember are engaged with politics, in any pub, at any coffee break or just about any gathering I’ve been to; they are just ignoring the traditional party structure, and much of tabloid-chasing agenda of party hacks. More and more people seem to be aware of the scams, lies and disgraceful tactics and actions of our politicians, even when these have completely evaded the mainstream press.

    As I have searched around I have found people and organisations enough to fill many pages (just with their names) who aim not merely to change the faces of the people in power, or the colour of their badge, but to change the shape and process of our fractured democracy itself.

    I hope that what we are seeing is only the start of the next movement for change, on a par with the Suffragettes, and other movements before and after. If so, you will have an honoured place in it’s history.

  • Abe Rene

    “Two-bit politician” sounds like someone who would keep his mouth shut when ordered to, in order to preserve a wealthy career and personal prestige, and of course uncritically support the Establishment, complete with imperialist aggression and cover-up of torture, human rights be damned. Sounds just like a Tory, in fact.

  • Canuck

    You can torture yourself at your leisure Craig.

    In the mean time please remember that you, through your actions, have lit and fanned a small flame of hope in people.

    Should you conclude at the end of your soul searching that politics isn’t really for you…then that would be a defeat and a betrayal of those who were encouraged to hope through you.

    People usually want champions they know how to vote for. You’ve got it half right…so far.

  • Clark


    do NOT refer to your efforts as “rubbish” any more, and that’s an order, OK? You are one of my very few sources of political hope. I discovered your blog by accident, but your campaigning in NN will have brought you to the attention of a lot of other people who, like me, needed to hear your message.

    Selfishly, I’ve missed your insight into the news, and I’m looking forward to your blog getting back to normal and telling me things that the mainstream won’t mention. Not that I’m trying to hurry you up – for goodness sake, take a rest or preferably a holiday.

    Same goes for the team; thank you all for doing what I couldn’t. You’ve got all those posters to take down (apart from the ones the council / opponents did for you, of course), then go and have a well-earned rest.

    Best wishes to all.

  • Jaded.

    I thought it was quite amusing that we finally got to see your face when they were reading out the final results. Everyone was being friendly and congratulating each other on a fair campaign etc.. You were amongst friends :-0. That’s 1000 votes you got and you have learned a lot more about electioneering i’m sure. You did great and I hope you stand again next year with renewed optimism.

  • JB

    If the Tories are celebrating the fact that their vote has seriously depleted in a few short years, then they are more stupid than I thought. They should be shitting themselves. People are starting to wake up.

    Well done Craig – a thousand people who actively engaged their brains turned out to vote for you. If the left united in this country we could sweep away those corrupt bastards over night. We just need to realise our potential and be able to persuade people that there is something better out there, and not everyone is in it for themselves. That’s a tough task but we’re in the right climate to achieve the seemingly impossible.. I don’t think we can let this crucial moment in history pass us by without seizing it with both hands.

  • David Allen

    No Craig, you weren’t rubbish. You did make a few tactical misjudgments, but that’s all. Labour made so many misjudgments, and more importantly, betrayed so many of their ideals, that they lost most of their supporters. Meanwhile the Tories faced an open goal – but persuaded less than one in five electors to vote for their relentlessly negative, content-free campaign.

    As Paul J Lewis says, apathy won the day. Many people told me that they wanted to “put an honest man into parliament”, but found nobody they knew they could trust. So they stayed at home. Sooner or later, someone will find a way to transform that angry resentment into a force for change – for good or ill.

    It could be for ill, if the BNP get their way. Not in Norwich they didn’t though – you showed them the door!

  • JB

    Iain Dale – so you ‘retweeted’ it did you? get out the gutter you childish fool. All that wall-to-wall coverage and you still lost shit-loads of votes. A total blackout for Craig and he gained 1000 votes. Don’t you get it yet?

  • Christine

    Craig, I think you should stand again at the next election because it takes time to gain the confidence of people and even more time and effort to convince people of the need to do something. It may be the case that, that something is to demand answers from their preferred candidate to some of the points you have made rather than vote for you as an independent candidate, but if more people start to require answers from those who wish to act as our elected repesentatives as a result of your campaign or blog, your efforts will have helped to enliven the democratic process.

  • Ben Fairweather

    Craig, unless you had, or could find, £100,000 (and more) to spare, a by-election was never going to be right for you, and especially not one in an area where both UKIP and the Greens had some strength. My guess is that Tory/Labour/LibDem/UKIP funds were always going to mean they could out-gun you, while Tories and LibDems could also get more people on the ground from across the country. But a General Election is different, with lower expenses limits, and other parties spread across lots of constituencies. It will also give you a chance to stand against an MP caught up in the expenses scandal who is actually seeking re-election (and with their party’s backing). Which one depends where you have local links that has an MP that the Telegraph picked out who is seeking re-election. If that leaves you with a choice, go for a ‘safe’ seat, rather than somewhere where another party will be campaigning hard to unseat anyway.

    Yes, you could have had a more effective campaign in Norwich North, but you still wouldn’t have won, and in the mean time have learnt some more about campaigning tactics.

    Well done on beating the BNP: their bubble has burst already!

  • You Got My Vote!

    Politics is a dirty game, you are much better off out of it! I think you can make more of an impact by campaigning outside of parliament (not literally of course, as that’s been banned now) and not having to frequent so much with the political panderers. The media’s appalling sidelining was the key factor that meant that you didn’t get your voice heard by the public. Lazy hacks, most of them. Surely they should represent everyone standing, and leave it to the voters to decide? Not very democratic if you ask me!

    As someone else has mentioned, I was extremely pleased that I voted for you and that we managed to push the BNP out further. My vote really did count, and so did your participation, so that matters. Your voice must be heard. The things you are saying are too important to be stifled, and the support that you gained can only grow from here. Whether it’s in the parliamentary sphere, or elsewhere, is your decision, but keep on fighting!

  • MG

    Firstly Craig don’t call yourself rubbish, thats not true. However you made some fundamental mistakes and I don’t know whether those mistakes were calculable or inherent to how you operate. To me the glaring problem was calling yourself “honest” because it seems to me honest people don’t go around saying their “honest”. Associated with that problem was saying you were the “only” honest person. In effect therefore it was tantamount to saying all the other candidates were dishonest. Again thats not something an honest person would be perceived to say and doesn’t come across well in the current climate when a candidate like yourself would be trying to say they were new, fresh and not tainted. Another problem was the notion that all parties are inherently corrupt in some way yet people sense from their own lives that by working together more can be achieved and they want an idea of the values that a candidate suscribes to and is supported by. Without that context its hard to know who someone really is and what someone will actually be like. I accept that you may not see it all this way but I felt it was important to at least try to explain my take on the situation.

  • ianjuggles

    You certainly weren’t rubbish. You made some sacrifices and stood up against the odds to effect some positive change. In the process of doing so, you also inspired a great many people.

    That’s much more than most do. (It sadly seems that many can’t even be bothered to vote.)

    Given your limited campaign resources and the virtual media blackout, you captured a significant portion of the vote. Don’t let the buggers get you down. It will take a concerted effort to pull down the wall of apathy which they have constructed. But, if you keep chipping away at it, it will eventually come crumbling down. The cracks are there.

  • Peter Reddish

    Craig, Followed your activities on the internet from Solomon Islands where I am now working with great interest. I respect your stand in support of the outspoken individual with real moral values.

    Better luck next time.

    Am also enjoying The Catholic Orangemen of Togo.


  • mrjohn

    I think you have to ask yourself why you ran. Did you see a chance to be the center of attention, and was your concern with being ignored by the media more to do with your desire to be in the spotlight ?

    If you have a cause I think you need to focus on that cause, not to distract yourself with complaints about the media and other candidates.

  • Langue d'Oc

    Iain Dale used to be a refreshing voice in the then-relatively-dull surroundings of other UK political blogs.

    Unfortunately, since then he has either lost his mind or sold his voice in the name of traffic and exposure and, frankly, become a pitiable human being as a result.

    A bit like Stephen Fry, he has become a prisoner of his own caricature.

    I am sorry for you, Iain. Get well soon.

  • hawley_jr

    “Success is going from failure to failure without losing enthusiasm.”

    Winston Churchill

  • anticant

    Glad you’re back on line, Craig. I hope you will take heart from all the thoughtful and very positive comments above.

    I must agree with MG, though, that to proclaim yourself “honest” was a mistake. It had a sanctimonious ring about it, and we are none of us totally 100 per cent. honest about everything, are we? It was a fair point, but would have been better phrased differently. You were the anti-sleaze and anti-humbug candidate, and I am sure this has not gone unnoticed in many places besides the Solomon Islands!

    Hope you are having a refreshing weekend.

  • Ben Fairweather

    Brent North?

    In my comment – July 25, 2009 12:36 AM

    I said “a General Election is different… will … give you a chance to stand against an MP caught up in the expenses scandal who is actually seeking re-election (and with their party’s backing). Which one depends where you have local links that has an MP that the Telegraph picked out”.

    I can’t see anything in Norfolk, if reports that Christopher Fraser is standing down in Norfolk SW are true. However, Brent North (Barry Gardiner) looks like the most obvious one if you are back in Acton: boundary changes make it notionally safer for him, but the write-up on UK polling report suggests that could be fragile. In second place are Tories who it seems are in disarray, while the LibDems will be looking at the new Brent Central. Add to that the fact that boundary changes mean that the constituency comes as close to Acton as Alperton.

    Good luck!

  • anticant

    Brent North sounds like a good idea. Brent Central will, I hope, be won for the LibDems by our excellent Brent East MP Sarah Teather – the most conscientious constituency MP I’ve ever had, and whose expenses are clean – against the sleazy Brent South Labour MP Dawn Butler, who took £60,000 “second home” expenses when she only lives a few miles away from the constituency and from Westminster.

  • Sam Hunt

    Were you an Honest Man with your wife and kids, when you ran off with a belly dancer less than half your age?

    Or all the other affairs you’ve had, which was your lame excuse to your wife about your Uzbek affair?

    Did you Put An Honest Man into her too?

  • Rhisiart Gwilym

    Craig! I second the ORDER above to stop calling yourself rubbish! 🙂

    Before passing to more substantive matters, can I just suggest to anyone reading this is that the way to deal with a petty fool like Iain Dale is to ignore him completely, and never rise to his ridiculous remarks. Trollettes suck your energy only if you pay them attention. There really are life-and-death urgent and important things to do with every scrap of personal energy that we can muster in these increasingly-hairy Interesting Times. Pointless to waste it on witless toxic midgets.

    Regarding the serious business of where you could take it from here, Craig:

    I suggest that probably it was an over-trusting move to think that an honest, insightful and principled candidate was ever going to get a fair ride from our current ruthlessly anti-democratic system.

    I haven’t been following the NN election in detail, since I always thought that it was virtually impossible that you’d win. But that was a good vid, which, on a genuinely level playing field, would have touched a lot of people. Couple that with an honest media system, and proper, equal exposure for all the candidates, and you could have had a real chance.

    I remember reading on one of your blog-posts a while back (can’t just trace the refs and I’m a bit short of time to go looking) something that made me see very sharply that you’ve been undergoing a cascade of de-illusioning about the system in which we have to live in Britain, since you made the principled decision to step out of it as a good-faith servant.

    Can I suggest that there’s a further illusion to be got rid of here, encapsulated in that old joke about: “If voting changed anything….”

    I’m not talking about the small but often crucial assistances to us common citizens which can indeed be created by playing the system on its own rules, even in this rotten and deceitful fake democracy. Such small positives are allowed because fundamentally they don’t affect the things which really matter to the true power-holders. We’re allowed them only for that reason: they’re not important to the gics (the gangsters-in-charge).

    But for radical rebuilding of the realpolitikal system in Britain to achieve a set of genuine democracies here, for the first time in the history of the island over the past fifteen hundred years (at least), then playing a system which has been *specifically evolved* to ensure that that never happens is a recipe for failure and depressed frustration.

    Despite your honest efforts to do real democracy-in-action, Craig, I think that you’ve just had a bloody-nosed lesson on how hopeless that tack is. The gics and their servants in politics and media were never going to let that happen. The route to genuine democracies in Britain isn’t that way, I fear: no road.

    Without going on a lot about it here, can I suggest that anyone reading this who hasn’t yet done so needs to get familiar with the Propaganda Model of media function in the Western ‘democracies’, as expounded with such masterly insight by Chomsky and Herman about 20 years back in their now-classic ‘Manufacturing Consent: The Political Economy of the Mass Media’.

    Understanding the underlying realities of media function, as made clear by that study, makes it very obvious that there’s no point at all in hoping and badgering for across-the-board fair treatment form the dominant corporate media (very much including the BBC) for people trying to do practical democracy here. That’s just a way to ensure that real populist would-be democrats run all their energies into the sand, quite harmlessly from the viewpoint of the gics, without ever getting anywhere substantive.

    What, then, is to be done?

    In three words: non-violent revolution. (Revolution without the qualifier seems, bitterly, to run just about inevitably into failure of the original hopes, and a final state of affairs as bad or worse than the status quo ante.)

    Now it’s apparent instantly to anyone with a pulse and two brain cells that there seems to be zilch prospect for a real, thoroughgoing socio-political velvet revolution here in The Isles, right now, isn’t it?

    Ah but not so fast! Pull back the zoom to a long, wide shot, and take another look:

    The mess that Britain is in now isn’t transitory, despite all the ‘green shoots’ bollocks that froths up and then recedes every few weeks. This isn’t a recession, or even a depression that we’re living through. This is an epoch change. The Synergising Global Crises that are driving it are manifold. But most crucially, it’s to do with the peaking of world energy supplies right about now. The twin peaks of global crude oil production are now appearing ever more clearly to have been in Spring ’05 and Autumn last year.

    Now that the relentless growth of global energy supply that’s happened over the past one and half to two centuries has stopped –stopped for ever, that is — economic growthforever (hah! as if!) has stopped too, and is now dying.

    It won’t revive. Repeat: it won’t revive, beyond occasional brief rallies. Ever.

    Worse still, from the viewpoint of Britain’s particular predicament, North Sea oil-production is bombing as fast as that of Cantarell, the Alaskan North Slope and the other handful of supergiant cornucopia oil provinces that have splurged a cubic kilometre of crude onto the world markets every few weeks, reliably for the past several decades. There’s nothing to replace them on the horizon, anywhere, nor any reliable prospect that any more will be found (Four more Ghawars every few years? Do me a favour!) That time is gone. Suddenly, in the matter of energy supply, foreign-exchange earning capability, and the capacity to import vast amounts of cheap food, Britain is in deep, deep doo-doo.

    To make things worse, the current crop of gic-servants in Westminster — very much including the pencilled-in next-government-in-waiting of Dave’s venal and ridiculous lot — are clueless about this gathering storm, and how to ride it out with a hope of survival.

    The prospects for gainful-employment for masses of us common Britcitz are evaporating with a horrifying unstoppability. The prospects for funding even minimal dole-support for the rising tide of indigent ex-workers are increasingly unconvincing. Actual hunger, let alone a near absence of ready cash, is starting to appear amongst particularly vulnerable people whom I know and can observe personally. (As soon as I sign off from posting this comment, I shall be going round to my quietly-desperate neighbour to slip him a bag of vegetables gleaned from the CSA scheme which I support.)

    These aren’t isolated weird anomalies, but the first signs of a trend that’s set to grow. Why else are so many common citizens, sensing the way that the wind’s blowing even if not grasping all that clearly why, teaching themselves survival gardening as fast as they can go?

    The underlying single point that I’m making here for Craig and like-minded people, is that we are — right now — in a pre-revolutionary ferment which is set to grow inexorably. And if we don’t want to see it seized and steered by such truly toxic delusional schmucks as the BNP and UKIP simpletons and their sleepers in the Tory party, then we — decent, civilised, tolerant and above all properly-savvy true-democrats — need to be up to speed with what’s really happening, and ready with intelligent — and APPROPRIATE — strategies.

    Contesting elections in our terminally-tainted system probably doesn’t satisfy that capitalised adjective above.

    Best wishes Craig. Don’t repine, mate. You are very much the sort of figure around whom a properly popular velvet-revolution could begin to crystalise. But we all have to heed Chomsky’s old notion of intellectual self-defence, and struggle clear of the Permanent Bullshit Blizzard which enwraps our entire lives here, the better to see the actual realities with which we must all now cope, without the option.

  • Peter

    Not rubbish.


    Don’t give any opponent free publicity unless you really must.

    Don’t appear sanctimonious

    Do choose a constituency with an unpopular sitting MP seeking re-election, maybe where the main challenger has “history” too.

    Do choose a fairly cosmopolitan constituency where people are more likely to be open minded.

    BTW next time UCU asks me for money, I’m going to refuse to pay the political levy.

  • Jives

    Well done Craig…you weren’t rubbish at all.With a total media blackout and very limited funds you still got 1000 votes.

    That’s a success in this game.

    Look at the numbers the “big” parties got.


    That’s the real story>

    The lack of people voting due to general apathy and disgust.

    The major parties are gonna have to face this voter disgust soon and your efforts helped highlight the malaise.

    Now for God’s sake man go and relax awhile with your family and friends…;.)

    Best wishes.

  • ingo

    I can very much agree with many on here, rubbish is not the word, if nobody ever tries, apathy will take hold and in this melee, so aptly pictured by Rhisiart’s comment above, more and more will turn away from participating in democratic discourse.

    I also agree that we are in a pre revolutionary stage of sorts, some people talk of tax boycotts and such, they are not playing the system anymore, whatever the BBC, as sleazy as the Houses of parliament, proclaim and placate.

    Promoting apathy by giving fraudulent parties more coverage than Independent alternatives, is gerrymandering consent and creating a negative cycle of despair.

    By relying on perceived perceptions that are inherently false, because one’s own dependency is more important than the public one is supposed to serve, the BBC has now set itself up against the general public, made its nest within the seedy establishment and hence, signed up to its own downfall in future.

    It has nothing to do with the BBC’s largesse, but all to do with an inherent bias in favor of those who are in Government, or might come into power.

    Far from joining the Greens who are striving to become a mainstream party by placating a biased media, Independents can show the way forward and a leavening of them in Parliament would make a real change to this molasses of self centred party hacks feeding on vested interests.

    I made msiatkes, so did others, in a fast and furious campaign that speeds along for 21 days that will happen. We did not have 300 people at our dis[posal, nor could we generate leaflet fatigue by delivering 27 leaflets, some 1.5 million.

    Cloe Smith was rejected by Ipswich, because they could see through her facade, sadly Norwich seems to have got used to giving rejects a chance.

    Like I said before, she has made her nest and its full of vipers.

    As for Ian Dale, he wants to detract from the loss of thousands of conservative votes by making out that we ran a dishonest campaign, like spitting into the wind, it will come back to him soon and hit his snug face.

    I will do it again tomorrow, but I would like to have some more time to prepare for it and a dedicated team to prepare for the next GE, like NOW.

    My sincere thank you to all the lovely people I have met during the campaign from all over the world, a truly global effort.

    I have been in The green Party for 34 years and have never felt such buzz at any of their election efforts, so we can be proud of having beaten the BNP into 6th. place.

    UKIP, Bill Holden and the other two Independents apart from Craig were also ignored, they will not be happy with it either and hopefully give the BBC some gibb for their bias.

  • JimmyGiro

    Iain Dale wrote:

    “Put an honest man into Parliament, eh? My arse. He became just like any other two bit politician in the end, and I suspect he knows it.”

    And where do all these two bit politicians come from, if it wasn’t for the party juggernauts shoeing them in?

    When the previous Norwich North MP represented the people instead of the party, he was sacked. I doubt Chloe will risk representing the good people of Norwich North, if she’s a good Tory career girl.

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