‘Why bother with politics?’ asks the Liberal Democrat candidate for SW Surrey – Farnham, Godalming, Haslemere and villages

Posted: April 16, 2010 in Common Sense Politics, General Election, Liberal Democrats, Mike Simpson
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After our successful campaign to save Farnham’s Water Meadows we have launched a new ‘Protect Our Greenspace’ campaign in Badshot Lea

I thought I should set out why I’m standing in this election!

What Motivates Me?

I got re-motivated about politics when the Iraq War was being prepared for by Bush and Blair. When my marriage broke up in the mid 1990s I left politics. I had to because I was looking after my twin children and had a full time job, so I had no spare time for politics. It may sound corny but I would say that bringing up my children as a single Dad is the most important and worthwhile thing I’ve ever done.

After a few years I dabbled a bit in politics again but what really got me energised was the run-up to the war in Iraq. The deceit of Blair and Bush angered me as it did many people. I never believed there were weapons of mass destruction (see my recent Blog post on this). I felt compelled to get re-involved in the Lib Dems because they were the Party who stood solidly against the madness of Iraq.

I know what a bad name politicians have these days but that’s NOT a reason to abstain from politics – it should motivate us to try and do something to change things. That’s why I’ve called this Blog ‘Shaking Up Politics’.

What I Stand For

Here’s a summary of my main campaign themes and how I’ve tried to fulfil them over the last 12 months:

I have four campaign themes which dominate my political philosophy:

Speaking up for Ordinary People

• I have spoken out against the plans for the Key Site development in Godalming and fought for affordable housing on the site.
• I have used my position to publicise the plight of Dan Eley, a young man from Godalming who used to work with street children in South America but suffered a broken neck and was left paralyzed, and stuck in Colombia. The Lib Dems put out 14,000 leaflets which publicised Dan’s situation.
• I have been outspoken in respect of the affairs of the standing MP Jeremy Hunt. Hunt has suffered the embarrassment of having to repay over £12,500 of his MP’s expenses claims, after I raised questions at a public meeting in May 2009.

Seeking a Fair Deal for the Vulnerable

• I strongly support the Royal British Legion’s Campaign for better care for returning veterans, having worked with army veterans through the YMCA.
• I am supporting the Act for Justice group in Haslemere, campaigning against human trafficking.

Campaigning for a Sustainable Community

• I chaired the successful campaign to save Farnham’s Water Meadows
• I am now fighting the proposals to double the size of Badshot Lea village
• I raised strong objections to the TAG flights proposal which involved the expansion of Farnborough Airport

Investing in our Children and Teenagers

• Seeking to help and empower young people is key to my agenda, as I have worked with them for many years in my role as a CEO of the YMCA.
• I strongly support the Lib Dems’ plan to phase out University Tuition fees. It’s too late for my own children, but I don’t want to see generations of young people saddled with huge debts just as they start out in life.

If you want to know more about my background you can click here to find out.

  1. Matt Moran says:

    Where do you stand on tactical voting? In my constituency, Birmingham Erdington, we have a LibDem candidate, but the chances of her being elected are infinitesimally small. The Tories are in second place, a fair bit behind Labour. I really do not want to see Labour or the Tories get in, although that’s likely to be the case, but the only hope of ditching Labour in Erdington seems to be to vote Tory. What are the chances of a hung parliament, & the LibDems getting to form a coalition?

  2. Mike Simpson says:

    Ditching Labour by voting Tory would be like – out of the frying pan and into the fire for millions of people. Vote for real change with the Lib Dems.

  3. Matt Moran says:

    Aye, but last election they got 15% of the vote, to Labour’s 52%. This means we need a 37% swing to the LibDems, in an area where the candidate doesn’t even leaflet or canvass. Care you join me in praying for a miracle?

  4. Matt Moran says:

    Care *to* join me, that should’ve read. I mean, I actually joined the local LibDems last time around & offered to leaflet in my ward, but was told they weren’t interested in campaigning there.

    My godmother & godfather were part of the local Labour party group that campaigned in Finchley, North London, to get rid of Mrs Thatcher back in the ’80’s. I saw the level of activism they displayed, the legwork – every Saturday, a table outside the supermarket on the high street, every Sunday walking round leafletting & canvassing door to door. Our local LibDems don’t do any of that, and we expect a win?

    We need passion at the grassroots level, and hard work day in, day out, or we’ll remain a party of opposition.

  5. Matt Moran says:

    Fair play – I’m advocating everyone vote LibDem where there’s a snowball’s chance in hell of success.

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