Thanks for taking an interest in this election. I hope you realise that neither the BBC or the sentinel have bothered at all, and we wonder why people are not bothered.
Q1. I have no intention of changing my 35 year commitment of telling the truth to anyone who is interested in politics, either International, National or local. Anything other than to tell the truth would expose me as a fake to myself firstly and to others if found out lying.
I have no reason to suspect or believe that I have got something completely wrong and so I must be generally within the same sphere of opinion as most people around me.
Naturally, I take a more closer inspection of events due to my long term personal interest of all things political and my 30 years former membership of the Labour Party of which I stood as a Labour candidate locally and for 4 years sat on a Parliamentary panel awaiting a vacancy (all tests passed and unanimous nominations accepted).
I am now out of a political party and therefore I answer to no group whip and no majority view held by any party leader. In other words, I do not have to vote in anything I do not believe in.
I could go on and on and point out to you where that is exactly the case for some local politicians and (would be) candidates which has caused absolute chaos in my City.
So of course I will listen to the local electorate and all decisions made by me will have a considered viewpoint.
Q2. I’m busy at the moment putting out 10,000 leaflets (the second time) in this ward which is far too big.
I was the only person in my area of Baddeley Green that turned up for a boundary commission meeting to discuss this GIANT ‘single member’ ward (of three Councillors). It came to pass that the boundary commission did not have a clue of the remaining part of the City, so they lumped it all together. My idea was to draw a line along the River Trent with one councillor each side, save money by a reduction to two councillors and make it easier to manage. It can’t happen because we have too many residents in Baddeley Green and the immediate surrounding districts.
I was also the only person in my area to attend a meeting with the Primary Care Trust to establish a Health Centre on a piece of vacant land adjacent to Nursery Lane.
To engage on a personal basis with a massive ward such as this is a huge undertaking and not to be taken lightly or offhand. Of course this is a challenge that must be taken up and organising councillor surgeries is a natural part of that process as well as attending as many community groupings as possible.
I am proven to engage with residents anyway and many already know what I stand for and what I want but more is always possible and certainly more achievable by becoming a Councillor. I would consider it an honour and a privilege to communicate more widely with fellow constituents.
Q3. This a tricky one with many consequences for getting it wrong. To be honest I could pick a few for my first choice due to politics and political analysis being a part of my life for many decades (it’s not a fad or phase I’m going through as I am credited with writing a part of the 2010 Labour Party policy forum document of which Labour fought the National election).
(1)Conscience is first because I have to live with myself and look my wife and family in the face (and I stand by every decision that led to me being expelled from Labour in 2010 for 5 years).
For the life of me I cannot separate National interest from City. If the national Interest is screwed, then we are as dead as we are now, but this is my home. I was born here and I shall die here and so I will opt for City as (2) Councillors can do a great deal of damage voting for something they don’t believe in (told what to vote for).
I have fought the Nazis, who did believe in the repulsive views they stand for and I’ve battled away for many years against Tory dogma.
The biggest betrayal EVER in this City, in my view is the City Independents who have SHUT OUR CARE HOMES and began to dismantle in-house care for the elderly.
They should be ashamed of themselves but they are in denial and refuse to accept or acknowledge any blame.
They ran the City in 2009 and passed that policy and the budget to go with it for 2010.
HAVE NO DOUBT, THAT IS WHY I AM IN THIS ELECTION.
National Interest(3) Our Country is led by a Conservative Party that acts like one. When in debt, cut back ( a no brainer for the average household with debt). But our Country is no a household and cannot ever go bust and those that say we can, lie.
This Country’s debt will double by 2020 and the Conservatives spin the nonsense that we have to cut our own throats to solve this problem. This is a falsehood with hundreds of years of folly attached to it.
The truth is simple, cutting back will solve the problem of debt DEFICIT, not the debt itself (which is to double).
They wish to reduce the deficit to a manageable 40% of which I reckon is almost achieved and no doubt they will tell us of this before the next GE.
The problem of what has happened is the £350bn worth of Quantative Easing (QE free money) that has to be repaid.
When the Country gets back on its feet, there will be £350bn too much floating around which will (could) spiral vast inflation. (high mortgage repayments, high food prices causing high wage demands). They will therefore push up Interest rates accordingly.
My preferred method would be to follow FDR in the 1930’s and undertake capital spending on projects that would boost the economy in a natural way, including 2m houses for the 5m families that haven’t got one. This would create hundreds of thousands of new construction jobs, tens of thousands of apprenticeships in all trades and increase the tax income to government, thus solving a debt burden. Speculate to accumulate is a Tory watchword never admitted to in public unless during private business (a con trick).
The Tories can credit themselves with massive spending already, due to higher social spending than the previous Labour Government, but I believe this to be unintentional.
(4) Ward. Two eyes on the City, one eye on the ward. That is a proper and commonly held view of many past Master politicians who have served this City well over the years.Let’s get off the nonsense that they’ve always been bad people who have undertaken public service.
Each and every day I will wake up in my ward, do what I have to do and return home to my ward.
4th is therefore a misnomer.
(5) Party. I can’t help but laugh at this part of the question because I’m not in one.
Nobody can force or bully or buy my view and vote and I therefore can live with my vote and conscience.
Stupid decision such as a bus station too small (City Independents) a shopping centre without a brick being laid (City Independents) and care home closures (City Independents) actually make my skin crawl.
Labour taking power from them in 2011 embarrasses me to death and makes me feel ashamed as they target elderly dementia sufferers and vulnerable old people’s services.
I will fight the lot of them with every ounce of strength I have and until my final breath.
Q4. This is the question that at least one other misread.
I do not believe the question is right as the questioner is pre-empting an answer ( a loaded question).
This Council DOES believe in their own argument, that is the whole point of the matter.
Many successful and high percentage footfall Cities do operate from the centre and they also have a University, railway and bus station within eyesight.
Our problem is a six Towns (mentality?) City that is only 85 years old. Many other Cities are hundreds of years old and started from the centre in the first instance.
Hanley is dying and the footfall is abysmal but whether the new build Civic Centre is the kick-start to a successful business district is debatable.
My view is that the Civic Centre should always be in the Centre of the City but somebody made Hanley the shopping centre of the City over a hundred years ago.
Stoke should have been the centre of the City ad the shopping district built up around it, but they did all that in 1910 (1925).
It’s a massive problem and dilemma which appears to be a half-way house situation at present.
Do I believe in this Council’s thought process? They don’t know if it will work and neither does anyone else. Anyone who tells you different is lying to you.
It’s a gamble that could pay off.
What would I believe to be a better option?
Confidence levels in the other five Towns are continuously at a low ebb and I believe this to be un-necessary.
I have always believed that 5 Directors should be a prime aim of the other Towns with a remit to progress their respective aims.
These could be politicians or officers. The general one cabinet fits all approach causes conflict and the City-wide approach appears to pass by local feelings.
I would invest in this approach because I believe it will work. Not could, but will.
Q5. My priorities for my ward would be to serve and vote with my conscience first and foremost. Residents will be assured that if I can live with my views, thoughts and voting structure, then they should continue with that confidence in me. My intent is to not get it wrong.
My ward consists of two vast areas. One is a privileged and one considered to be disadvantaged.
There are two clear approaches to how to manage aims and values needed to fulfil the role of Councillor.
Any candidate worth his salt will die for their ward and tell of wondrous things and even some fall into the trap of offering up a shopping list they have compiled (read their leaflets worthy of an Oscar).
Pragmatism brings many down to real time earth and whatever can be done will be done.
Many people in this ward will require a helping, guiding hand for social equality whether they are from a privileged area or not and so I can see much work in this particular area. It is what I truly believe in anyway.
Allowing people to live dignified and self respective lives is also a major priority with a crack down on ASB.
My ward has recently been unfairly placed near the top on the ASB table. Break it down into three correct areas of similar size (as other single member wards have) you then see we are bottom.
There are many pet projects that can be undertaken such as parks and other social facilities that can be worked on.
Q6. I don’t understand this question.
Hanley MUST undertake continual re-development and I will never get in the way of that. It would be a stupid mistake to be a Councillor and use that position to frustrate any development that betters this City.
Note the stupid mistake of this Council to frustrate the Potteries shopping centre wishes to expand leisure facilities on site. Completely wrong and I would not ever support stupid thoughts.
A criminal act, in my view.
Development in my ward is not connected to anything going on in Hanley, and that includes any money they are attempting to invest.
This requires a different set of money. Do not let anyone tell you anything different.
My ward can be improved massively and I see it every day (5 hours a day) as I campaign on the streets. I see it everyday, all day in the area where I live.
Speeding traffic near schools, un-kept areas requiring intervention and a general clean up of parks.
The one missing ingredient of my local area is a community, as in a people community and that can be addressed if undertaken properly.
Q7. I would be remembered for standing alone and highlighting what they have done to us.
I know what they have done to us but many do not.
Ask any of them and they will tell you a different tale which fits their party and public platform.
They all listen and they all didn’t come into politics to cut and slash us. They have no choice but to do it they all say.
The City Independents ran this City before cuts came in during 2009 (Gordon Brown) but they passed a policy of care home closures. They deny it but google and Stoke Council’s own website proves otherwise.
It wasn’t the fairies who ran the City in 2009 nor was it Labour either.
In 2010 they did it all again to prove their culpability.
Did anyone walk away (Dave Conway?) No. They shut us down.
In 2011 Labour took full control and continue to do things they just don’t like doing (hankies out) such as more closures. But as we all know money is awash for private companies to the tune on £Ms.
A complete betrayal of old and young people alike and not worthy of our votes.
The lot of them play to the crowd and want you to believe in what they say.
The City Independent currently shout against cuts they initially introduce.
That disgusts me, but that is the City Independents for you. Say one thing in power and say another thing when in opposition.
My victory will signal to other non-party Independents that they can win also and together we can stop unnecessary and unwarranted attacks upon vital services serving vulnerable people.
I will stop them and reverse any cuts I find inappropriate.
With enough support I will re open any service cut that is required (St Michaels/Dementia Homes) and pursue the ideal local Government aim with a social conscience and for people who believe that the Labour Party no longer represents them in a working class City.
Will I be standing again?
If I said No, no-one in political circles will believe me.
I just don’t know but a victory in 2013 means yes.
I hope these answer are are at least something that you require and if you need further clarification on anything, then please ask.