My top five reasons why not to stand as an independent.
1) Many people think you are a complete fruit loop.
For some reason we trust people when they belong to groups. We have faith in numbers. We support movements. We want to belong to bodies. And we have absolute trust in the common denominator. But if you are an independent you are alone. And alone means solitary, it means lost and it means you are not loved.
2) There is a reason for party politics.
Party politics didn’t just spring onto the scene by chance. It was not on some whim that people decided forming a party might be the best way of mobilising others to join. Parties have a sheer mass of numbers, geographical reach, unlimited funds and ability to get old ladies to canvass for them. An independent may only dream of such things.
3) The system is against you
I am not one for blaming the system. I think we have seen quite enough of that in recent weeks with the expenses furore. But, when it comes to standing as an independent MEP, it is fair to say that you are the poor man at the casino. The ballot papers stick you at the bottom without a logo, the voting system means you could get more votes than any other individual but not win a seat, and the Ofcom rules says the media do not have to talk to you. I am feeling almost subversive.
4) A drop in the ocean
In terms of size, the regions in which you campaign are simply phenomenal. I am talking huge. The South West region is so expansive that Gibraltar, the Isle of Wight, Gloucester and Hampshire all get a mention. I am surprised we didn’t pick up Wales. The party can simply crank start the party machine. Comparatively all I have is a hand whisk.
5) Your mother worries for you
Like all good mothers mine worries that I take on too much. This latest endeavour would be another great example. In my defence, if you don’t stand up for what is right, that what do you stand for? And if my children are to grow up learning anything, I want it to be that we were individuals long before we joined any party.