Monday, 17 August 2009

Independents need teamwork

This week independent MP Martin Bell and former Beirut hostage Terry Waite began a campaign to organise a network of “anti-sleaze” independent candidates to target discredited MPs.

But they are not alone. The Independent Network (IN) is a not-for-profit association aiming to offer support and advice to those independent candidates previously left out in the cold. It aims to promote independents as a credible alternative to established political parties and to raise funds to achieve this. Jury Team is another coalition which sees independents as a way of reviving the public’s faith in politics.

But one of the biggest problems facing independents today is the lack of a single identity, familiar to the big three parties. The Independent Network is unique in its aim to create a national identity for independents standing for election. It wants floating voters with either similar or conflicting views to see themselves as independents, giving them a sense of cohesion.
But they are more likely to gain a strong identity and the recognition they deserve if these groups worked together to support and promote independent candidates. If they combined their efforts their message has a bigger chance to stand out and be heard by the growing number of voters disenfranchised with party politics.

The Independent Network is holding a meeting for all independent candidates on Friday September 25, to create a forum to exchange advice and resources. At the meeting a new executive committee will be formed and members will also discuss how candidates can access and share resources to aid their campaign. For more information go to

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