Thursday, 22 April 2010

Election special

Dave Proctor, once of grindpop specialists, The Farming Incident, is standing in the UK general election as an independent green socialist type in Leeds Central, which is Hilary Benn's seat.

Here's why you should vote for Dave:

1. He's a socialist, and we all love socialism, right?

2. He's got a lovely accent.

You can also find out more reasons why you should vote for him, here.

I've done a quick interview with Dave to try and find out why he wants to be embroiled in bourgeois elections. It's probably an expenses fix, or something...

Why did you decide to stand?

Because there's no-one standing in my constituency who I'd want to vote for. No left-wing parties, no greens. Who do I vote for? Myself!

And why did you not either join a left group or The Green Party?

Too late in definitely deciding to stand - you have to be a member for a year in the Greens (and I assume the same for other parties too) before they let you stand. And rightly so.

You're up against Hilary Benn. You're clearly not a fan of his, but where you a fan of his Dad?

I like Hilary Benn the person, but the policies he votes for (and he has to as a cabinet minister if he wants to keep his job) are draconian and right-wing. His dad suggested to me in an email he sent me on Monday night that I should join Labour and fight for my policies inside the party where I would have decent support. It saddened me to have to write back to someone who has influenced my political thinking so much and my own background in the mining communities between Stoke and Crewe and explain all the reasons why I could never join the party.

What's the most frustrating aspect of the UK left, in your opinion?

That it's too splintered into factions still. How the electoral system stands at the moment, all left independents of whatever persuasion are fighting amongst themselves at times. Generally when 90% of the ideas are the same.

And do you see any positives for the left in the future?

Absolutely. A hung parliament will change things and allow left leaning and green parties to have more weight in the political debate - if the LibDems use PR as the lever if we have a hung parliament, then the left will become stronger - I think quite a few Labour MPs will defect as more leftish ideas become seen as the norm again.

How is the campaign going so far?

Slowly and stressfully. As an independent, you have a lot of paperwork and blogging and publicity to deal with. But it's fun. I'll be worn out by 6am on the 7th of May, but happy that I've put myself forward.

And what would you class as a decent result?

A decent result? For the country, a hung parliament. For me personally, getting my deposit back, but more importantly, giving left and green people a choice in Leeds Central. Other than me there's the main 3 parties, BNP and a Leeds Utd footy fan independent.

What's the main message you're trying to get across with your campaign?

Ignore all candidates who promise cuts in public services. There are plenty of other things we can do before that has to happen.

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