I read a blog post by Karen Roberts, who seems to be the de facto election agent for Amanda Jones, who is a candidate for the Rhondda Ward election.
The post, which appears to be about the Pluralist Party I co-founded, concludes with the following:
Now I am all for democracy and getting as many people involved in the electoral system as possible, but really, does this further the democratic cause? I can’t see this one catching on.
What does Karen Roberts mean by this? Does she not think a Pluralist Party that seeks to reduce the size of standing politicians who engulf the membership of political parties and discourage peaceful congress is a good idea?
She critiques our membership policy of only having candidates and councillors as members. That is because we believe having a permanent membership – a grassroots – is not good for democracy.
I joined New Labour in 1997 expecting it to be a pragmatic party that would make parties only when needed to solve the problems of the day. But on leaving and reflecting in 2011 it seems it was far from it. It seemed the only reason Labour members wanted power was to impose their policies on others. My view is that policies should be made as and when the public need them. If I were to be elected by the people of the Rhondda Ward I will seek to use the council as a way to get their issues heard. It should not be for councillors to make policies on the hoof, but to meet the needs of those who elected them.
It seems from Karen Roberts’s post that all she cares about is getting Amanda Jones elected so that Amanda Jones can push the Liberal Democratic Party’s agenda. My party does not have an agenda beyond our value system of being a party of the people – Wales’s People’s Party. If the people of the Rhondda Ward elect me, they will be electing someone who represents them, not a political party, nor myself as with many so-called Independents.
I read the recent spat between Karen Roberts and her former colleagues in the Observer with concern. It seems that the Liberal Democrats and independents are in turmoil, not knowing whom to stab in the back next.
The Liberals, under the stewardship of Ms Roberts and her worrying existence of a colleague Councillor Mike Powell, have treated the people of Cilfynydd with such contempt. First they select a candidate who saw himself earning over
I have High Functioning Autism, this means I am very clever, but can’t feel the way others can feel. I can still show that I care, but it’s a rational concern for others based on values about what is right and wrong that I learned from discrimination as a child, rather than one based on emotion.
I am also a Chartered Fellow of the British Computer, something I spent 10 years of my life working towards. I was even willing to give up a grant from the European union worth over £20,000 to be a Fellow of the BCS, so if my party asked to go against my beliefs and lie, like they tried to do Aneurin Bevan, who gave up his cabinet position because they tried to force him to vote against his belief in nationalisation, then I would resign like he did.
I think all politicians should have to say where stand on all the significant policies, fundamental to the country’s functioning that are in the UK Citizenship Test so they have less opportunity to say different things to different people, base on his knowledge of whether they are socialist, capitalist, liberal or conservative.
As the people of Treforest know I stood against John Bell at the last election. They knew I was autistic, but didn’t know That John was dyslexic.Had they known than the same understandable worries the ruling body of the Labour Party (the NEC) had about me would have been cancelled out. During this elected I was told shopkeeper in Treforest at the election that John Bell was telling people I had autism. I trust them to have told me the truth – why would they lie? Also, the Chair of RCT Lib Dems Karen Roberts, stirred things up by posting to the Pontytown forum saying ‘Is this Man (me) fit to be a town councillor’. I am honest, if I were to lie, I could be ‘impeached’ by the British Computer Society and possibly lose everything I’ve woeked for. So I would like the public to have access to ‘the whole truth and nothing but the truth’ about politicians. So if I got my way, John Bell would have had to have declared his dyslexia like I did my autism – Then we would have been on a level playing field.
Even if this happened and politicians were made to tell the truth, the media would still have the powers to tell lies about them and damage their character. David Cameron can’t make a speech without the Daily Mirror spreading mistruths about him. Ed Miliband can’t make a speech without the Daily Mail misrepresenting him. A similar thing happened to me recently – the press said I was a “nominated” councillor who hadn’t been elected by the public. This was a mistruth: I had been nominated by two prominent members of the community and then no one stood against me so I was elected unopposed. I see this as no less democratic than when Bill Clinton stood for the very senior position of Attorney General, which while making my position of a town councillor seem insignificant, the principle stills applies â€“ My election to public office was no less legitimate that his.
So, in addition to making politicians provide more information to the public and think while there should be freedom of the press to say what they want, they should be made to give the public the chance to test whether what they are saying is correct. My mother reads her paper as a way to relax and escape from the real world. My father on the other hand watches the news on the TV to relax and unwind. But I, like many other people read and watch the news to see what is going on in the world, in search of the “truth”, which even if we don’t find it, it won’t stop us looking. So what I’d like is this:
Whenever the media reports on a speech by a politician (whether in Parliament or in public) they should have to provide an Internet address of where their readers can go to see the original, such as ‘Hansard’ or the Prime Minister’s website, or Leader of the Opposition’s for example
I would like the rules of the game of politics to change as I say about – so that people like me who are upfront and honest are not disadvantaged when contesting elections. Do you think if the public had known that within days of George Bush getting into office he was preparing for a war against Saddam Hussein they would have voted for him? I don’t’ and that’s why I want the public to have full access to information, so they can make an informed decision, like I am giving them the chance to do by putting everything I have said and done since 2002, including my weblog, letters to the press, press releases and news coverage on my website for all to see.
If I am being upfront and honest with the public, why shouldn’t other politicians have to. The media, through fairly holding these politicians to account by providing the public with full access to the information they need, then maybe politics will mean more genuine people like Gordon Brown and me will be in politics.