Election Night: Who says Single Issues suck?
I’d just like to take a very quick moment to blog about something that has just had me dancing in my chair. The Independent Kidderminster Hospital and Health Concern Party have just gained a seat. My friend in the area always complains about them, especially for being a single-issue party with apparently very little to offer the people. It seems they are now proving to be a rather good option. They’ve just made a single seat gain, taking them from 9 to 10 seats, with the Tories staying the biggest in the Council at 18. They appear to have made the gain from Labour. So what does this say?
I’ve followed this with huge satisfaction ever since I heard that Dr Richard Taylor MP had won his seat in the 2001 General Election. He was, before then, a Consultant at the ill-fated Kidderminster Hospital, and seeing the importance of the hospital to the local community, stood for Parliament under his improbable IKHH banner. His party has moved to a broader message, and he can certainly take pride with his anti-war vote.
Never say that a bunch of determined citizens who start with a single issue in mind won’t go the distance and mature into an all-round success. If you have a very popular local campaign which touches a real nerve, then maybe you too should be thinking towards standing candidates under the banner of your campaign. If you start at the grass-roots and work up, you build something much more representative than the imposition of power from on high. Looks like the IKHH MP, the only local-independent-type voice in Parliament, can hope to stay put for a third term!
In other news, the Independents have held the former Labour-heartland that they gained because of Westminster arrogance (is this a running theme of the night?). In Blaenau Gwent, once again the local voting public have over-ruled the Westminster Labour party in the seat in which Nye Bevan once stood. Again, the message clear: Westminster, stop telling us in the regions and nations what to do!