why vote independent?

Politics is a rather confrontational affair. Even the construct of our legislature is designed to reinforce the extremes of opposition. Typically once in the ‘party’ fold you must uphold the ideology of that party, even if you don’t agree with it. The two party system that our electoral system perpetuates, with one side having all the power and the other side none at all has eventually led to the extreme polarisation of, not only in the political environment but in the populace as well.

But we aren’t like that in real life. Most people want the same things, Justice, prosperity, security, education, healthcare and many more. We don’t only see one side, we can, at the same time, support things that might well be artificially described as left wing and things that could be equally labelled right wing. The reality is that these divisive terms are meaningless, but they do concentrate power in the hands of the few, which is why it is like it is. 

Independents don’t have to operate in the same way. They aren’t subject to the pressures of automatic loyalty which is often reinforced with  range of carrot and stick accompaniments. The likelihood is that independents will be better representatives, because the pool from which they can be selected is larger than the miniscule size of political party membership. Above all, though is the importance of a single loyalty. To the people, to the constituents and not muddied or diluted by party demands and ulterior agendas.

Whats for the future

Tonbridge Independents is an organisation created to help people become candidates and elected representatives in elections bounded by Tonbridge and Malling Borough Council, Tonbridge and Malling parliamentary constituency and the Tonbridge Division of Kent County Council. In the future we will also be contesting the Police and Crime Commissioner election, but not this year.

On May 6th this year, the election is for the Kent County Council, Tonbridge Division, which is essentially the town and it’s estates. Tonbridge Division has two councillors, so there are two vacancies and each elector has two votes.

On May 6th, we have two candidates for the KCC election. We’ll be delivering a leaflet to each house in the division to let people know that there is a real alternative to the political parties standing, yet also to deliver a message that serving your community as a councillor can be a rewarding activity and it brings you closer to the people who live here as well as providing real opportunities to change things. It is our intention to provide or support an independent candidate for each of the 54 vacancies in the 24 wards that make up the Borough, in 2023.

Over the next two years we’ll be holding events and seminars to de-mystify the process and provide help and encouragement to people who may not have even thought about running for office before. It’s important, therefore, that you let us know through one of the mechanisms on the site so that we can keep you informed of future activities. The website is a work in progress, so if something isn’t there yet just use the contact us option.

Just to finish on this, I want to acknowledge that we do have some good councillors in parties and in our borough. I’ve no doubt that when they can, they do their best for the community. The problem is that the overriding allegiance to a party hierarchy can, sometimes, override their individual concerns and force them to agree to actions that are in the interests of their party, often the national party, and not the constituents they should be serving, the development in Capel a classic example.

You can be sure that they would like this situation to pertain. There is zero interest from political parties in encouraging or educating people to become elected representatives, unless it is under their banner and their rules. Quite simply, they need compliant people and independents tend to act in quite the opposite manner.

That’s jolly inconvenient for the parties, but fantastic news for you .