Saturday, 10 April 2010


Below as I promised I post a copy of our 2010 election B4 introductory leaflet, please click on any of  the pictures to enlarge.


 PAGES 2 and 3



Week one of the general election campaign seems to have been dominated by a subject matter which has left most of the public switching off the election coverage before in most cases it even got started!

Just who in their right minds would dream up a strategy which said “I know in week one we will concentrate of the views of big business towards a rise in National Insurance Contributions, that will get the public sitting up and taking notice!"

And of course as soon as the Tories had played their predictable "Big business bosses vote Tory" Joker the rest of the plan then started to unwind.

"For a start" said Joe Public "don't these businesses already make big annual profits?, and if so why are they saying that this small change would cost jobs?, surely if they made big profits last year then they are not going to reduce staff and put future profits at risk over a small rise in NI costs?"

This was quickly followed by even more cold light of day realisation by the general public that if the Government  (whatever its colour) fails to bring in the money from the NI rise then it will have to be found or  cut from elsewhere in the budget? I.e. jobs in the public sector!

Overall then despite the early obvious claims of 2Big Business Bosses Back the Blues2 (as if they ever didn't!) I believe that Cameron has played this one wrong and that over the weekend commentators will declare the first round and salvo to Gordon Brown, leading to more speculation as to a hung parliament where Independents really could make a difference.

Meanwhile though in Northampton, at the real election! People on the doorstep have been very encouraging and warm to our message, it seems as if more people than I anticipated are aware of me standing as a candidate than I thought. they tell me they are backing me as credible local candidate with a good track record,
It’s humbling, but also very rewarding given the efforts we have made.  People are also saying that they are willing to drop their previous party vote in favour of a vote for Northampton. We are currently delivering our introduction leaflet (42, 000 houses!) So far top marks to the Tories who seem to have got their leaflets out (it seems through a commercial company?) and to SOS who leaflets we have also come across in our travels. And the wooden spoon to be shared by Labour and the Lib Dems who seem not to have surfaced.

So anyone wanting to tread the pavements and  join "Tony Clarkes new tried and tested weight loss plan" will be gladly signed up for a crash course in leaflet delivery.

I will also scan and publish the leaflet on the blog. Onwards and upwards, and out now to Duston.

Tuesday, 6 April 2010



And they're off!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  This morning’s expected announcement of the General Election, didn't really surprise any of us, in fact from the rise in numbers visiting this site and the numbers of comments you could say it had already begun. 

So over the next few weeks I will posting here regularly to discuss a whole range of issues with you, the general public, and unlike the other candidates, on here you will get a right of a published reply, I will only delete any posts which are over personal or attack others unnecessary, I want a fair and clean election and won't engage in dirty politics. Our political system is far too dirty already to risk it being involved in any further mudslinging.

We were all outraged over MPs' expenses. But this scandal was only a symptom of a much bigger problem. at the heart of our parliament So simply cleaning up the expenses system and asking a few MP’s to pay the money back is not going to be anywhere near enough to fix our broken politics.

Our whole political system is broken; our Parliament is full of placed candidates who represent their Parties first rather than the electorates that they should serve. I spent 8 years in the House of Commons and I witnessed firsthand how the whips and the national party staff manipulated and controlled constituency MP’s to represent the party’s view to their electorate instead of ensuring that the public’s view was heard in Parliament. I was also on the receiving end of that same manipulative system, no Junior Minister appointments or PPS post for me, despite the fact that many of those appointed were well out of their depths. The small price I paid for my Independence was my Parliamentary career. Others had it a lot worse!

Ultimately the cost of that subservience led to a decision to take this country to war on a vote in the Commons where large numbers of MP’s from all parties voted for a war in Iraq, even though they didn’t believe in it. A few (too few) voted with their conscience, but too many were thinking only of their future career prospects. Sadam Hussein needed removing, but only an international coalition backed by a fresh UN mandate could have won the war, and the peace in Iraq. Without a shadow of a doubt if all those who I spoke to afterwards who said "I don't agree with the reasons we are going to war but felt duty bound to vote for the government" had voted with their conscience then the vote would not have been carried.

Likewise the other serious challenges we face today, from climate change and financial breakdown, to attacks on our civil liberties, can only be tackled with a healthy democracy that works for all of us and not just a powerful few. Our politicians need to be accountable to you, not their Party leaders.

By putting my constituents first and refusing to be manipulated, I was expelled from the Labour Party. It set me free from their shackles, it has made me more determined to serve my town and speak out. So are you with me? Isn’t it time we took our political independence back? Isn’t it time to clear out the sty and clean up our parliament once and for all? If you want to support real change then on Polling day I hope  that this time you will vote for Northampton and vote for an Independent MP to represent you in Westminster


Sunday, 4 April 2010


As if in response to the recent debate on this blog as to what a real "Localist" agenda really means, both of the main two parties have made feeble attempts to try and convince us all that they too are listening to the voices at the grass roots.  They at least acknowledge that they are responding to the need to tackle the we know best "Big Government" approach to our local communities and the services delivered in them.

David Cameron for the Tories weighed in first with a pledge to create and train 5000 strong "neighbourhood army" to help set up local community groups. The Conservatives are promising to fund the training of 5,000 full-time, professional community organisers  over the course of the next Parliament. They say this is based on a movement in the United States which has trained generations of community organisers, including President Obama.

He told a central London audience (where else!) that: 
"We want every adult to be a member of an active neighbourhood group, I know some people argue that there isn't the appetite for this sort of widespread community participation. I don't agree."
But no new funding will be set aside for this still very much centrally controlled intervention into our local community instead it must be pilfered from the existing Futurebuilders project, a government programme which provides grants and loans to charities and other voluntary bodies to help them bid for and deliver public service contracts.

And as an Independent colleague Phil Andrews in a similar blog asks:

"In short, can Community Power be imposed by government initiative, or must it necessarily be organic and rise unassisted out of the efforts of the people themselves?

Would the organisers withdraw once local people had been trained, and would there be strings attached to the continued support of the "experts" as there always is under Labour?"

Meanwhile Tessa Jowell has responded for the government by announcing new plans to let parents run "Sure Start" centres and nurses and doctors to have more of a say in how the NHS is to be run, she said:

"The era of top-down government is over. Often, the best people to decide how local services should work are the local people using and running those services".

Meanwhile the Liberal Democrats whilst short on ideas themselves at least acknowledged the shallowness of the above half hearted attempts on local involvement with party's community’s spokeswoman Julia Goldsworthy. Saying
"The 'Big Society' is just patronising nonsense, particularly for the thousands of dedicated people who are working to make their communities better every day,"

And maybe she got the closest to the truth?  You see David Cameron and the Tories need to realise that you can't implant community activity! For example what happens if the community doesn't want their "Trained Community Organiser"? And who chooses them? Or what happens if we find that 5000 organisers divided across a 65 million population doesn’t fit nicely into our settled community boundaries?

He also fails to understand that many communities already have good community groups and local organisers working in their neighbourhoods and that often it is the lack of "top down" "organised"  interference which gives them local kudos needed for them to be respected in their areas.

Tessa Jowells intervention is equally uninspiring and seems to be driven by a need to placate the workers in our NHS and to engage parents more in Sure Start, both of course are very welcome gestures but are they really born from any real desire to give power back to local people?

And what about local government? What about the role of elected Councillors, who are year by year losing more and more authority (often guilty themselves of voting to hand over control of services to the unelected and unaccountable) and who are becoming more irrelevant to the needs of their local community?

 Both the Tories and the Labour Party it would seem have no real agenda for devolving real power down to the people, they just want to spend existing funds to finance new projects which don't really engage people but simply tell them how they can become local advocates and more more locally aware.

It is for this reason that I believe more than ever that the only way to change local services and to create real difference within local neighbourhoods is by the communities deciding to do it for themselves. To identify their own leaders and to get them elected to office if necessary to shake up the system. Our neighbourhoods don't need government trained yes men and women imposed on them to activate their community.  They just need to do what they are already doing and to start making decisions for themselves and taking on the big government agenda wherever it may based at Westminster or at  the Town or County Hall.

We need more locally elected, non party, non controlled, non whipped, non conformist people from the community taking real decisions at a local level, not a pre election call from London telling us that they have all have big plans for us



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Thank you for visiting "tonyclarkegreenparty" The views expressed here are mine and mine alone. They are made by me personally in my own capacity as free citizen and not as representative of any outside body or council that I may serve on or be employed by. However if anyone is offended by any of these comments or feels that they should be corrected then please contact me in the first instance at and I will do my best to consider your comments and correct any errors.


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