32 days until the General Election …….
It’s been 6 month’s since I’ve logged onto this site. I was going to kill the URL and get rid of the whole site but something inside me told me that it was probably just about worth keeping alive ……. just in case.
Throughout 4 months (early-June until end-September) of that six month period I spent in a deep depression. In spite of different medications, counselling sessions and psychiatric evaluations I slowly emerged from my period of emotional and social paralysis in late September.
It feels great to be back in the room but in recent years these depressive bouts have become deeper and more frequent so although I might try to think and act positively, part of me fears the next onslaught I don’t assume inevitability but when the Black Dog creeps up so stealthily and regularly it is a valid fear.
The first tell tale sign of an approaching Black Dog is stopping listening to music. It feels as though any right-brained creativity suddenly drains away dropping me right down the scales of humanity and vibratory consciousness. Having run a record label for almost 30 years and played in bands for the majority of that time, these sudden abdications of ‘the musical’ are by no means debilitating or life threatening. As a psychologist recently observed they do however threaten ‘who I am’ and how ‘I relate to the world and others relate to me’.
I picked up my Gordon Smith for the first time in 4 month’s in early October. Ignored and bypassed daily by the cat / human processions to and from Progress’s food bowl, Gordon stood rigidly in his stand awaiting the smallest scintilla of attention. It’s good to have Gordon back in my life but he and I have both made it clear that our rapprochement might be fleeting so we will have to make the most of it while we can.
The appetite to attend football matches also returned and it was at this weekend’s Blackpool v Morecambe FA Cup fixture that a
gathering of likeminded individuals in The North Stand sparked discussions about participating in, rather than just observing the upcoming General Election. Emboldened by a sense of standing up for what is right doubtless lubricated by libations as the day progressed, a further coming together of likeminded souls was scheduled for Monday evening at Rox Towers.
Three of the expected five attended. Standing in a General Election is a big commitment in terms of time and endeavour (not to mention money) and always at the expense of family and the routines of daily life, so I fully understand it when sobriety and the cold light of day kick in to create ‘cold feet syndrome’.
During the day I visited the elections officers at Fylde and Wyre Councils, in theory leaving the Blackpool and Lancaster visits until tomorrow. Collecting paper bundles of submission forms, checklists, codes of conduct and the Electoral Commissions’ ‘guidance for candidates’ felt heavy and oppressive but in a very innocent way. The civil servants were helpful, diligent and kind but they have a job to do and the exchange feels like being given unwanted homework by a sympathetic teacher before being despatched into the cold outside.
With two fifths of the necessary collateral in place three fifths of the expected attendees ruminated over plans for an ALLIANCE of INDEPENDENT CANDIDATES. We aimed to stand in 5 seats Blackpool South and North and the surrounding areas of Fylde, Wyre and Preston North and Lancaster and Fleetwood. The constituencies are all different and we all have our own views on how this alliance could be forged.
I think it was Bukowski who is sometimes credited with the cliché ‘the bad thing about the world is that the intelligent are full of doubt and the unintelligent are full of certainty’. So today’s meeting was maybe a bit like the result of the Brexit referendum 52% against 48% with us having our own thoughts if the scale was tipped towards doubt or certainty.
The meeting ended shortly after the completion of the draw for the second round of the FA Cup and I retired to bed after being up from 3:00am. I awoke about 11:00pm and gathered my thoughts to the background noise of Newsnight’s Emily Maitlis opining the Faragian decision to stand down 371 Brexiteers in Tory seats. I compiled the following missive for the other 2 potential running partners ……
Dear Gary and David,
Chaps, the following piece is based largely on Chris Hull’s recent FB Post which I think created a great reaction. Please can you review it and feedback your thoughts.
I would like to get this out on social media feeds tomorrow as a statement of intent to discourage others standing as INDEPENDENTS from standing in the 3/5 constituencies and splitting the vote.
I will ask Chris Hull’s permission before posting this piece however as I haven’t heard back from Neil this evening re Blackpool North – I would like think Chris might re-consider his decision not to stand and possibly take on Blackpool North to make our group up to at least 4.
Suggested Press Release : 11:11:19
If you, your friends or family are from the Blackpool Fylde and Wyre area, myself and my 2 colleagues would be delighted if you would consider sharing or liking this post, making a comment or getting in touch.
This statement has been put together as a result of various discussions and with the assistance of Chris Hull who we still hope will join our campaign and stand as an INDEPENDENT MP.
Hopefully there will be enough interest and support from the people of the Blackpool Fylde and Wyre area to help make our Alliance of Independent Candidates a successful and effective campaign. We intend to stand as a group against the established tyranny of the Conservative and Labour Parties in the December 2019 General Election to provide a real option for creative and democratic change.
We are doing this for the following reasons.
We all love the town and its surrounding area and its people. We wish to give the people of Blackpool, Fylde and Wyre a chance to be represented by peopke who are not parachuted in from elsewhere but come from, live in and care deeply about this area and their respective constituencies..
If elected, each of us will donate a significant portion of our MP salaries towards initiatives to regenerate the area in order to give young people from Blackpool opportunities to learn, grow and succeed.
Our alliance is also closely linked to the political tumult which has surrounded our local football club Blackpool FC under the ‘despised’ Oyston regime. Adversity can breed strength, character and resilience. As individuals we all paid a personal price for standing against the Oystons – some life changing – but being part of the biggest, longest and most successful boycott in English Professional Football is something of which we are all proud,
For all of its many challenges – of which there are many particularly in our central constituency of Blackpool South – we want to champion the area as a whole to the very highest levels in the U.K. and abroad in order to help it’s people to succeed.
‘Progress’ is the motto of the town of Blackpool but this forward-looking goal is shackled by political party restraints. The likes of Simon Blackburn (Labour leader of Blackpool Council and Councillor for Brunswick Ward) and Mark Menzies (Conservative MP for Fylde) are typical career politicians. Vain, insincere opportunists who are not from the area with a track record of mocking the local people and and disrespecting their office. The people of Blackpool and the wider area deserve far better.
If we were to be be elected Independent MP’s we will have the freedom to:
* Stand up for the views of Blackpool, Fylde and Wyre constituents without fear or favour.
* Represent passionately, with fervour and to the best our abilities the views of the people on all the deep issues affecting the area.
* While Parliament sits, encourage weekly school groups and young people to visit Westminster to inspire them to their great futures and what Blackpool, Fylde and Wyre can offer going forward.
* In one Blackpool neighbourhood more than half of children are living in poverty. In a recent government survey a total of 26 per cent of children in Blackpool were living below the breadline
*Homelessness, mental health, deprivation, teenager issues and lack of employment opportunities , substance abuse and a magnet for squalid low rent out of town accommodation seekers are just some of the areas that need addressing.
*Promote electoral reform to transform these ‘rotten boroughs’ so they are not dominated by established political parties (Unlike constituencies elsewhere in the U.K. Independents have never been elected in these 3 closed-shop constituencies)
*Continue and maintain the growing local tradition of promoting improved governance in English football and other areas of public concern such as wealth and health inequality.
We are all very proud to come from and to live in Blackpool and it’s surrounding area – let’s help make all the people to be proud of this once great and internationally renowned area once more.
We are not backed by the ideological juggernauts of the Labour Party or the Conservative Party nor do we have access the free finance of the new billionaire backed parties such as UKIP and The Brexit Party. None of these parties have a love of Blackpool and they might not even be around for much longer – whereas we, our families and children will be.
We are a small band of individuals hoping to be supported by the good people of our area so we can work on their behalf. Unlike Simon Blackburn and Mark Menzies we have dreams for the area rather than just for our political careers and we are not going to give up on them.
We were told by Blackpool’s Returning Officer that INDEPENDENTS never get elected in Blackpool – in the May 2019 local elections the people of Brunswick Ward proved him wrong when ex-mayor Gary Coleman and his running mate Andy Higgins pushed Simon Blackburn and to the limit in the staunchest Labour Ward in the town. Gary was elected and now sits on Blackpool Council holding the swaggeringly self confident Simon Blackburn to account.
The only limits in life are ones we impose upon ourselves. As a group we believe many things are possible and with the backing of the people of Blackpool, Fylde and Wyre we believe all things are possible.
We represent the only alternative to MPs being jettisoned into the area with no connection to the area simply to service their party’s ends and their own political careers.
To succeed we will require the assistance, passion and backing of the great people of Blackpool, Fylde and Wyre. We need YOUR help to help us to run a successful campaign to create change, so please get in touch if you would like to support us.
British people are constantly reminded that there is a real appetite for change like never before. If people want change then maybe it’s time for the people of Blackpool and this historic area to be the ones that will make this appetite for change a reality.
Anyone that doubts a small group of determined individuals can change history knows very little about history. Join us on our journey.