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BBC Radio York Interview

BBC Radio York interview in Harrogate

You can listen to the live audio broadcast that was recorded here:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p05383t0

You can find exactly what I am saying using the following time codes:

  • 9:46 to 10:45 Introduction
  • 14:12 to 15:15 Opening Statement
  • 16:34 to 17:45 Key Concern
  • 28:25 to 29:35 Security Question
  • 35:32 to 37:00 Policing Question
  • 41:27 to 43:05 Brexit
  • 49:09 to 50:10 Housing
  • 51:31 to 52:15 Education
  • 56:15 to 57:20 Final Comment

 

Not So Snap Election for Harrogate

Since Theresa May called a snap election, many organisations (both governmental and NGO) are under pressure to ensure the high standards of democracy we expect by our nation are delivered. Even commercial companies are under pressure. On May 16th the BBC reported on a Lancashire-based manufacturer Rosettes Direct. Under the heading “Will the election rosettes be ready in time?” The manufacturer said “we would appreciate a little more warning next time”.

Not so The Harrogate Advertiser which takes a more leisurely approach to reporting. I was asked for 200 words as The Independent Candidate on the day which my candidacy was formally announced. So I was slightly surprised 7 days letter to see nothing published in the newspaper but a photograph. What about giving more than just our names to your readers? You promise to give more in following issues, but with only May 25th and June 1st left to run, it seems a little coy when supplied with words to report.

The IPSO Editors’ Code says “the cornerstone of the system of voluntary self-regulation…balances both the rights of the individual and the public’s right to know”. In a one-newspaper town it contradicts the spirit of democracy, but not the code, to delay publishing what you know about candidates that your readers must shortly vote on. Is not “our freedom of expression” lost in a snap election if local newspapers simply drag their feet to report on parliamentary candidates? Healthy democracy depends on reporting, something you give voice to but act in defiance of.

This “Letter to The Editor” was sent today, Thursday 18th, to The Harrogate Advertiser.

Brexit Heart in The Advertiser

An Independent Candidate’s Personal Story

One of the peculiarities of being a candidate for Parliamentary election is that people come and ask you for opinions. The Harrogate Advertiser asked me to supply 200 words to their newspaper for a feature on all the candidates standing for election. It will be published tomorrow, that is Thursday May 18th. Of course we all share opinions all the time, with friends and family. However generally we are not asked, we just give out opinions and hope for a conversation (be that face time or social). So below is what I wrote for our local paper and I hope it kick-starts some support!

I am pro-Brexit but not Conservative. Jones’ majority is 16,000+ and grows unless stopped. Flynn cannot prevent this. My path in life has been drug addiction, homelessness, psychiatric intervention and recovery.

I married Betty from Bolivia. Our non-EU marriage makes us a troublesome, expendable minority to The Liberal Democrats. We have a 15 year old son left behind in Bolivia. I say “Vote for me or I’ll move to Madrid” to pursue a family life.

Conservatives appointed my uncle Lord Advocate in 1989 and he was responsible for the conduct of the investigation into the Lockerbie bombing in Scotland. If elected to Parliament I would re-open it. Libya is a mess and reconstructing their national infrastructure an important priority to stabilise Europe. I stand for “Fair Movement, Not Free Movement.”

I am blessed with 5 brothers and sisters with growing social networks to call upon if I get into Parliament. If A. Jones were to spend another month of Sundays there he will do nothing but sit on the fence on Brexit. I offer the prospect of a regional Yorkshire Parliament in Harrogate under a new, courageous post-Brexit defence strategy. Brexit is safe with me and with no one else.

An Independent Candidate with a Personal Story

The above 200 words give the readership of “The Advertiser” a glimpse into something exceptional. I decided to be candid and honest about my past. Despite being told this or that, politics is not about being a superman or superwoman. It is about being prepared to give yourself in service to a number of goals. I feel strong enough and brave enough now to face my past. One goal is very personal, to reunite my stepson with his mum. Another goal is very big, to work for the 100% of this country who need to see and trust in democracy will work post-Brexit. There are a lot of over-polished messages or degraded viewpoints out there. I will avoid both and just be the bravest Brexit heart!