For almost 2 decades I was a member of the Labour party, I was really proud to be so and supported the party whenever I could. However, I have been deeply unhappy about the direction the party had been taking and after 2 years of worry and not seeing any change to a more sensible agenda, I resigned my membership a few months ago.
So, where do I go?
I am not sure what I would call my self, although judging by some of the comments I receive via twitter, there seem to be quite a few people out there who know exactly what they would call me!
I would say I am left of center, maybe progressive left would be a good box to put me in. I believe in inclusive prosperity, the need for our country to provide opportunity for all, in the need to ensure social justice and the defence of the rule of law, I also believe in the need to develop a green and sustainable society and also in fair migration policies.
Labour has been and still is moving to the far left and the Tories are moving further right. In addition both major parties are beset by infighting, neither are showing any leadership and both are putting party before country.
I thought long and hard about joining the Lib Dems, however in my view they have not yet capitalise on the vacuum left by the two major parties during the whole Brexit disaster. Although they have been pro remain from the start, they haven’t set the political debate on fire, at a time when they really had a chance to. I hope this changes during the EU Elections, I hope they get the support they deserve and they realise the potential they have to lead the political Brexit debate as the party who is and has always been the real champions for the UK to remain in the EU.
Our country is arguably facing one of its toughest challenges for a generation and the choices made today won’t change at the next general election, but we will have for a generation or more to come.
Add to this the worrying rise in the Brexit Party, a party that doesn’t have members, it has shareholders, it has no transparency in its funding and is led by Nigel Farage, a person who has lied time and again to the British public about everything from immigration to the NHS (he actually attacked the NHS saying we should move to an insurance based system of health care) and the economy to saying he is the voice of the people, (as the voice of the people did you know he suggested it was stupid that the European Parliament increase maternity pay and also said breast feeding women should hide away and sit in a corner). Nice guy right?! But, this party (if you can even call it a party) is leading in the EU Election Polls!!
With Change UK being set up, I felt this new party was one I could support. Bringing MPs together that were from two different parties cannot have been easy, but they all have a singular focus in mind, to do what is right by the country.
Leaving a party as an MP is not easy, you loose a lot of your support and you loose all the grass roots systems that are in place. It is a massive step, anyone who says any of the 11 MPs have taken the easy route are very wrong.
Setting up a new party isn’t easy, going against the main established players is tough, anyone who has started a business will know that! You have to boot strap, you have to be innovative, you have to be creative. But most of all you have to have passion. Starting a business is not for the faint hearted and neither is starting a new politically party!
For me Change UK are offering something that none of the other parties are. They are offering passion. They are offering a belief in the need to do what is right by the country and for all our futures, even if this is tough to say and for some of us tough to hear.
We need to change our current political system. We need MPs who put country before party, we need them to stand up for what is right for the people, not what is best for their career. We need politicians to be leaders not liars.
I dont know what the future holds for Change UK, maybe it is a flash in the pan, maybe they end up partnering with the Lid Dems in some way or maybe it is the start of an exciting journey. But the MPs who make up Change UK took the tough step to leave the comfort of their own parties and risked everything for something they believed in. A belief that the UK must remain in the EU and that is why I am supporting Change UK for now.