Independence needs great integrity


A wide range of people including myself, many current and ex Tory party members and even a number of people who are members of other parties would have been very pleased to see this man get elected as the leader of the Tory Party several weeks ago. Indeed I wrote about it here and then a few days later about the tragedy that his supporters had moved away ending the prospect of his election. The fact is that even though I have never voted for a Tory MP or Councillor, that I know a number of people who I would happily work with if the opportunity arose and indeed many years ago I was approached by one who asked me to stand as a Councillor. I pointed out that my own views would differ from his party policies and he suggested that such an approach would not be a bad thing! When I stood as Sussex Police and Crime Commissioner I did so because I believe that such a role should stand outside of party politics. This election came a few months after the Mayor of London election, but by the time that election took place I was already fully campaigning to win the PCC post. When I discovered that Siobhan Benita was standing as Mayor it convinced me that an Independent elected Mayor also made sense, and that she would have been a great alternative to Boris Johnson which of course presents me with something of a challenge as once again next year as we prepare for the PCC elections, Siobhan is standing again, but this time as a Liberal Democrat and Rory Stewart is standing as a so called Independent. Clearly people are entitled to leave one party and join another, and it is certainly the case that anyone who is a member of a political party is able to leave the party and claim to be independent. However I would argue that someone who has been a member of a political party for 9 years and who chose to join a particular party needs to demonstrate that they are no longer associated with it and would not be inspired to reconnect if the leadership was to change again or that they will not attempt to destroy it while the current leadership are in post. The reason I believe that elected Mayors and PCCs and indeed Councillors that are Independent of mainstream Party politics are more appealing than members of those parties is that when their party is running the Government, they are less likely to challenge the Government for the sake of their own community. By the same token if their party is no longer in Government, they are likely to oppose it on more or less everything. An Independent is someone in my view whose challenge or support to their Government will come on how that impacts their constituents, not on whether it strengthens or weakens their own party or a party they recently left with good or bad experience!

About ianchisnall

I am passionate about the need for public policies to be made accessible to everyone, especially those who want to improve the wellbeing of their communities. I am particularly interested in issues related to crime and policing as well as health services and strategic planning.
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