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A strong, radical voice for us at Westminster

October 7, 2009

column-picture2Did you see the BBC’s ‘Question Time’ programme last week..?

I thought it was a good panel. Among them my old favourite Charles Kennedy. And the ever-tart, and irrepressible, David Starkey.

Why am I telling you this? Well, I was struck by what David Starkey said about politics and celebrity.

I can’t quite remember how it came up… Maybe they had just had the question about whether or not it was reasonable for Andrew Marr (the BBC presenter) to have asked Gordon Brown about prescription medication…

In any case, the basic premise from Starkey was that we don’t have politicians any more, we have political celebrities, and that this means that their roles have changed, and that the information we have access to about them must change.

[If I’ve remembered it wrong Dr Starkey, my apologies]

And so I started to think about my Conservative counterpart, and how we have got into a pattern lately of me sending her emails with heartfelt questions asking her what she thinks about different controversial political issues, and her not bothering to send replies.

And then I read an article in the local paper on Friday about her visit to Hillcrest School, and bristled that she still won’t answer my question about whether she supports the Conservative County Council’s proposed Academies for Hastings.

Which led me on to the number of fetes that she attended over the summer, and whether the total was the same as the number of issues that I have raised with her that she will not go on record about…

And it was at that point that I thought, hang on. Maybe Amber wants to be a local political celebrity, rather than someone with political convictions who wants to be an advocate for her community?

I know that our current Labour MP gets about the constituency; that he opens a good many fetes, and buildings, and suchlike, on top of his casework responsibilities (not to mention his Ministerial ones).

Michael too, it must be said, has a bit of the ‘local celebrity’ about him.

So let this be confessional.

I am not standing for Parliament because I want to be a local celebrity. I do not.

I want to be the Member of Parliament in order to represent the interests of the people of Hastings & Rye at Westminster.

I will do my share of openings and glad-handing, but my primary objective is to be a strong and radical voice for the constituency. To get our case heard.

I have endeavoured on my blog, and through these columns over the past two years, to tackle some of the important political issues locally and nationally, and I will continue to tell you what I, and my party, think about them.

I do not want anyone to be able to say, come the General Election, that we Liberal Democrats have not been clear about what we believe in.

I hope you will vote for it.


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