To make a difference

One of the first books I read on deciding to enter politics was John Redwood’s I Don’t Like Politics: But I Want to Make a Difference. From the jacket:

The past decade has seen a sharp decline in membership of political parties, with a severe drop in those who vote in local and general elections. Voters are disillusioned by spin and ‘Punch and Judy’ politics. There is cynicism and a breakdown in trust that Westminster can really make a difference. But millions back campaigns for trade justice and against world poverty, attend meetings and protest about environmental issues. They are deeply concerned about nuclear and renewable energy, about the transfer of power to quangos and Brussels; they seek to defend free speech and freedom from the abuse of power, and are often passionate about local issues that matter to them. John Redwood targets those who believe that they are apolitical, but who are genuinely concerned about issues which they do not see as ‘politics’. He tells main parties they need to change, to make themselves more relevant to the modern fancy-free and passionate electorate.

He addresses the public’s concerns and suggests how the issues can be woven into traditional politics, so that the energy and enthusiasm of these voters can change the real seat of power in Westminster and those who ‘want to make a difference’ can find the way to do so within and without a political framework.

And so here I am, trying to make a difference within the political framework, even though I don’t like “politics”.

Last night, I was in Totteridge, meeting members of the community to discuss the withdrawal of services from the hospital, community cohesion, my stance against war and other issues.

This morning, I will be introducing myself in Disraeli, High Wycombe.

Beth and I are looking for a home in the constituency right now. As I have pointed out in the comments on this article, we have an unbroken relationship of over two years with the area. I wrote:

I understand people’s disillusionment with politics. It is a desire to improve things which motivates me.

On the facts of the process [of becoming a Conservative MP], please see this document:

Ivor writes:

“The winning candidate had lived in our area some years ago but apart from that they had no other connections with our town.”

However, I have had an unbroken relationship with the area since August 2007:

– From August 2007 to March 2009, I lived in Walter’s Ash. That is just outside the Wycombe constituency of course.

– I have attended church in a nearby village since autumn 2007. I did not change churches when we moved.

– I volunteered in Wycombe Winter Night Shelter last winter.

My wife and I moved to RAF Brize Norton in March. This has made me personally known to David Cameron, a fact which should help the people of Wycombe in due course. We are looking forward to moving into the Constituency as soon as possible.

A comment by nick591 of Prestwood on the following article is relevant:

He writes:

“Too many people moan about their local MP without ever speaking to them or attempting to find out anything about them at all.”

I start knocking on doors on Saturday. I hope I find people in and I look forward to getting to know you. We can only defeat this despairing cynicism together.

Steve Baker
Conservative PPC for Wycombe

Here we go.

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