Local Independents

Discussions about the Parliamentary and local council elections in Hertford
Joined:Tue 07 Jan, 2014 7:17 pm
Local Independents

Post by LoucasX » Wed 12 Aug, 2015 7:17 pm

Interesting article on how a town smashed the stranglehold of the political parties and got locals engaged.

http://www.theguardian.com/politics/201 ... c-of-frome

The Independents did not need a party machine to bring them together or a party whip to keep them in line, but are "held together by a codified way of working that acknowledged the inevitability of disagreement"

The key is getting people with different backgrounds, different interests and different personalities working together for the good of their community. You don't always have to agree or even like each other - but you need to learn when to let someone you do not entirely agree with have some support. One day when you feel passionate about something they might support you.

Joined:Mon 02 Feb, 2015 12:46 pm

Re: Local Independents

Post by SloopJohnB » Wed 12 Aug, 2015 8:43 pm

I suppose I have more involvement in this movement than most. A lot of us stood as Independents for East Herts Council seats back in 2007. We had some minor victories. As you may be aware Town Councils throughout East Herts are now all Tory (there are some non-Tory councillors); as is East Herts on a grander scale.

In 2015 it was our intention to launch another independent assault on the electorate. The feedback and interest was minimal. Jim Thornton published 'Election on a Shoestring' in 2007 for anyone looking to stand for local election without the financial backing of a party network. I helped rewrite the latest version which incorporated many ideas of Frome's 'Flatpack Democracy'. Frome is a one-off as it concentrated on one town and is more of a pressure group than a political party but the ideas formed from that movement are invaluable.

The Mercury in their usual style jumped the gun this week with its coverage of a cross party movement which is to be launched in September.

In the run up to this years local elections the question we asked was 'what is wrong with living here'. What came back was basically 'nothing'. Is there a basis for an opposition or is everyone happy as it is? More to follow from me on this but not until September.

Joined:Thu 23 Apr, 2015 6:19 pm

Re: Local Independents

Post by beebopb » Thu 13 Aug, 2015 9:00 am

the question we asked was 'what is wrong with living here'. What came back was basically 'nothing'.

Joined:Mon 02 Dec, 2013 11:00 am

Re: Local Independents

Post by newcomer » Thu 13 Aug, 2015 9:21 am

I think this Mercury story is what Sloop was referring to. Sorry don't read the offline version...

Joined:Tue 07 Jan, 2014 7:17 pm

Re: Local Independents

Post by LoucasX » Sun 16 Aug, 2015 11:07 am

We need an organisation that supports people to get involved locally (and perhaps run for council) that is not party political, as most people do not see themselves as one party or another.

As in a Frome it should be glued together by a code of ethics and guidance on dealing with disagreements (which are inevitable when people with different backgrounds and different personalities and different aims come together) rather than any political policies.

If this can happen I can see a virtuous circle developing with more local people getting engaged locally and then national government having the confidence to devolve more powers locally. With more apolitical people involved and more powers held locally....even more people will then want to get involved.

Am I dreaming or is this possible?

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Darcy Sarto
Joined:Sun 01 Dec, 2013 7:38 am

Re: Local Independents

Post by Darcy Sarto » Sun 16 Aug, 2015 8:36 pm

Might work for a while but such an organisation would eventually and inevitably be infiltrated by trots and ukippers and the like with their own disaffections to satisfy and with no party line to hold it together schism would end it. Sorry to sound off so pessimistically about such a laudable ideal but there is a reason this hasn't really been sustainable in many places before now... :(