Open Letter To the Progressive Alliance and Compass
My GE2017 slogan is “Vote Ethical” and I am standing on a platform of fighting corruption and supporting whistleblowers and hope to raise awareness of how corruption affects the residents in the constituency, and that something can be done about it. It therefore stands to reason that I would want to see an open and transparent campaign conducted in Hastings & Rye. I am surprised and disappointed that the Progressive Alliance don’t appear to share my values.
Yesterday I attended the Rock the Vote event at the Printworks in Hastings. A well organised and enjoyable day, held to encourage people to register to vote in the election. The event included a “barnstorming” session, which, as had previously been explained to me by James of Compass, would be a non-partisan workshop type event to promote successful campaigning techniques, adopted in the US by the Sanders campaign.
I was quickly made aware of the true purpose of the event when James, in his opening remarks, explained that it was to decide the best way to ensure the Labour candidate Peter Chowney was elected. Since I am also a candidate campaigning on an essential issue, but was not consulted by the Progressive Alliance about sharing a platform, it became obvious the supposedly neutral event would be of no benefit to my cause, and I left.
As I walked out, host James noted I was an independent candidate, could not recall my name and stated that ‘we don’t want to split the Labour vote’.
My election agent, who was also there, left when the Labour candidate Mr Chowney went on stage to make a speech. Mr Chowney had arrived at the venue just 10 minutes beforehand; I had been there all day. I had not been asked to speak nor was I consulted, so people attending the workshop were not aware of my campaign issues.
There was a further speech by the Green Party and the Libdems had sent a message that although they had fielded a candidate, they would not be campaigning. The Greens had already decided to stand down. So it appears a “progressive” alliance had already been formed, without reference to, or consultation with, me or my agent.
I have tried for years to make my voice heard to speak of the corruption, financial and political, that is destroying this country and the lack of protection for whistleblowers that expose it. It is unfortunate therefore, that when I stand for parliament to have these issues aired, I am silenced by an undemocratic and underhand alliance that is not so much “progressive” as a good old-fashioned stitch-up.