Politics over the last two or three years has been characterised by improbable victories by unlikely people and issues. Jeremy Corbyn became leader of the Labour Party. Donald Trump became President of the USA. Marine Le Pen came close to becoming the President of France. And, of course, we voted for Brexit. Sadly all these insurgent victories rather than being politically liberating have been damaging and divisive. Independents don’t win Parliamentary elections very often, but I am standing in the hope that this trend towards insurgent victories can lead to the election of someone who stands against this polarising move away from the liberal society I treasure.
In my view. Brexit will be a disaster for this country. Like many others I still struggle to understand how leaving the EU went from being the rant of UKIP and a pompous Tory fringe to having been voted in by the majority of the British people. I do not, though, support calls for a new referendum. I’m embarking on this campaign in defense of the democratic process. This is paramount and, stupid though we’ve been to let this happen, we have made our bed and we have to lie in it.
However, I do not accept that those of us who opposed Brexit now have to be silent. During the referendum debate we were told half truths and fantasies by many of our politicians with various agendas, many of whom are now in senior cabinet positions. We have been told that in the interests of national unity we now have to forget these. This cannot stand. If victory relieves the victors of responsibility for their unprincipled actions during the campaign, there will never again be any reason for our politicians to tell the truth. The Labour Party is not fulfilling its responsibilities to provide proper opposition. I intend to do my part in holding these people to account. Maidenhead was a “remain” constituency and I believe many of its voters will agree with me.
Mrs. May herself maintained the smallest of “Remain” fig leaves on her neutrality during the referendum. Her words since, though have worried and angered me. In her “Citizens of nowhere” conference speech she embraced the small minded nationalism and bigotry into the core of the Conservative Party which had previously been disavowed. In announcing this election Mrs. May says that she seeks a mandate for herself and her Brexit policy. I agree that she should do this. What I cannot accept is her suggestion that after this election if, as seems likely, she has an increased majority, that any opposition is somehow treacherous and anti-British. More than ever opposition is essential to the health of this country.
Over the past decades the western world, and in particular this country, has become a more tolerant and compassionate as well as a more prosperous one. We have become kinder to people of different creeds, races, nationalities, sexes and sexualities. The European wars that our grandfathers fought in seem a thing of the past. I cherish this beyond all things but l also fear that this progressive, liberal trend is in danger of being reversed. To date the new insurgent politics has been polarising and destructive. By standing against Mrs. May in Maidenhead, I hope to use this insurgent trend for something more positive. I want to send a message to our politicians that they are accountable for their words and actions and that the voters by supporting people like me have an alternative outside the main political parties to do so. I believe that the people of Maidenhead have not become the illiberal xenophobic people that the government suggests, and I want to give them a voice.