Thursday, 21 April 2011

A Question of Independence

I have been asked this question:  What happens if you are successful?  Do you intend to stay independent and serve your full term as an independent, or might you be tempted to rejoin the Lib Dems or some other party?

It's a fair question and the first part is easy to answer.  If elected as an independent I will serve my full term as an independent.  That's a point of principle for me.

I can't see me being tempted to rejoin the Lib Dems in the next four years in any case.  If there was any real likelihood that the party would come to its senses before the next general election I might have been persuaded to stay in the party.  As it is I just can't see how after five years of shacking up with the Conservatives and bad mouthing Labour they will be able to credibly claim a position of equidistance between the two big parties.

None of the other national parties is a particularly attractive proposition, but there is a group of independents on the Borough Council who have formed themselves into the Independent Party of Eastleigh Councillors.  If I am returned with a mandate as an independent, it might make sense to join them.  Places on Borough Council committees are distributed according to the size of the parties.  A lone independent has no status under the principle of proportionality, but a group of independents - even a small group - has a chance of getting one or two of its members onto some of these committees.

1 comment:

  1. Its a fair answer thanks Keith and a very good idea to put the answer on your blog....!

    Glad to hear you're planning to serve the full-term, but if you wanted to join another party a couple of months before you are up for re-election, I wouldn't criticise. That would be fair enough.

    The concept of an "Independent party" of Eastleigh Councillors is a wierd one though. A contradiction really. Jury Team had the same problem not so long ago, more or less as soon as it was launched. People started questioning the idea of a party of independents. And I have to say it is reasonable to do so.

    Trust me. I know why it makes sense for the independents to club together. Provided it is genuinely just a convenient grouping of like-minded free-spirits, I don't have too much difficulty.

    But as a soon as somebody starts leading the independents and rules/policies, do's/dont's etc start to appear, the word independent should probably be dropped and a bone-fide new "party" formed...

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