Archive for March 16th, 2009

The new political party – launch of “The Jury Team”

This morning I covered the launch of the Jury Team, Sir Paul Judge’s inspiration and desire to destroy the party whip system.

The overall aim of the party is to seek out intelligent people who want to stand as independents to make a difference. People who are sick of “confrontational politics” and want to break the present political mould.

Countries in the EU who trust their politicians vary. The highest is Denmark with a whopping 76%. Amazing! I bet Gordon Brown eats his heart out when he reads that. The second lowest in the EU is France with only 35% of people trusting their politicians. Now that is disappointingly low isn’t it? Hands up who of you instinctively know that Great Britain came last with only 25%? No don’t bother, it is pretty obvious you all knew that!

The launch started with an explanatory film, and then Sir Paul addressed the audience. We were told that the present system was not 21st century government and that all semblance of honesty has been lost with the rise of the political classes.

However, a little more about Sir Paul Judge should be included. After getting his degree at Cambridge, Sir Paul continued his education at the Wharton Business School. He then worked for, and led the buyout of the food interests of, Cadbury Sweppes to form Premier Brands which was successfully sold in 1989. At one time he became Director-General of the Conservative Party and at present holds the following positions: Chairman of Schroder Income Growth Fund; Director of ENRC plc; Director of the UK Accreditation Service; Director of the Standard Bank Group of Johannesburg and Director of Tempur-Pedic International. Inc of Kentucky. He also has an impressive string of honorary positions both now and throughout his working life. Which reminds me of the phrase:

“If you want a job done, ask a busy person.”

The line up included

Martin Bell
– who had set up the “Independent Network” to support non-aligned MPs, remember Reg Keys who stood against Tony Blair?

Martin was still wearing his trademark white suit. I do hope he gets a tax allowance on dry-cleaning!

Lord David Ramsbotham
– former career soldier who served in six areas of the world, and who became the Chief Inspector of Prisons told us how having independent members works perfectly in the House of Lords and generates good serious debate. He spoke of his burning desire to produce this intelligent debate into the Commons

Dr Richard Taylor
– the doctor who stood for parliament (Wye Forest) because an independent MP because the Health Service was going to close Kiddeminster hospital. It was in the news at the time, but it seems he got in for a second term. He used to be totally disinterested in politics but moved into the political arena by complete and utter anger that a very few ill-informed people thought they had the right to take away a vital service for a population of 140,000 and wrap it up in spin.

Tony Egginton
– was elected in 2002 as Mansfield’s independent mayor and had done such a good job for the area that he was voted in in 2007 for a second term. Tony said he would set up a cross party cabinet as the local authority should be about local people and issues, and not about politics. Tony’s ‘hands on’ policy approach and ‘open door’ policy means that he can be instantly recognised by the people of Mansfield, who have adopted him as their champion.

Councillor Keith Ross
– who, after 21 years in local politics, became Leader of the West Somerset District Council and is leader of the “Independent Group” of the Local Government Association of which over 2000 councillors belong.

There was a lot of additional information both in the talk and handed out to us, but I deliberately decided to keep this as brief as possible.

We were also introduced to two candidates of the new party, Miranda Banks, who was young and brash but, as part of her upbringing was in Australia, I guess I can overlook that. But, in her young life she seems to have done a lot and nobody could deny that she was passionate in what she believed in. And I can forgive her anything as she loves rugby!

Lyn Tofari had a varied working career before settling down to raise her two children. But afterwards, she joined the Denham Parish Council and is “the village voice” in the local Bucks newspaper. In 2003 she canvassed as an independent for Gerrards Cross East and Denham South West, and took the seat from the sitting Conservative.

The Jury Team intends to make full use of the Internet and mobile phones so that, instead of the local executive choosing the party candidate, everyone in the area can choose the person standing under the Jury Team’s umbrella. There are 125 mobile phones in the UK for every 100 people! By checking on the SIM card, the Jury Team can ensure that there is only one vote per SIM Card – or mobile phone.

Although extremists are not welcome, the Jury Team accepts applications from Socialists and Conservatives although I have a feeling they would prefer Centists and Libertarians rather than those who are fully paid up Statists – but that is only my opinion.

I won’t go into their list of twelve “Commons Standing Orders” proposals, suffice to say they are all based on the Jury Trend’s “Three Governance Principles” and can be seen on their website – these are:

  • Governments should be run for the benefit of the people and not for the benefit of any political party

  • Elected representatives should vote according to their view of what is best for the country and their constituents and not at the direction of the political party.

  • Politicians should fully comply with the “Nolan Principles of Public Life” and have externally decided and transparent remuneration.

My verdict. Looking at the trends of voting, I have a feeling that this is the right time for a party such as this. The party itself has no policies, it is there solely to give support in all the regions of the UK for people wanting to stand outside of the party system. If you are not an extremest, you might get their support and backing. Yes, it could go somewhere. Personally I hope it does. I have joined, it is only a fiver and one can pay through PayPal which at least shows their willingness to get involved with “the net”.



Leave a comment

%d bloggers like this: