Tuesday 12 March 2019

Then Here I Am

Never bet on anything these days, but it does look as if Theresa May is going to lose tonight, although she will still be able to claim some kind of victory since at least it will probably be a smaller defeat than it was last time. I have been sceptical of talk of an impending General Election, and I still am. But who knows? Therefore, we need to be ready for one at any moment.

“David Lindsay has generated a brilliant reconciliation of the conflicting strains of the Labour Tradition and is worthy of the closest attention.” Dr Maurice Glasman, Lord Glasman of Stoke Newington and Stamford Hill; Senior Lecturer in Political Theory and Director of the Faith and Citizenship Programme, London Metropolitan University; founder of Blue Labour.

Current orthodoxy – both in economic policy and right across the board – has so manifestly failed us that we desperately need some fresh thinking and a different way of looking at our problems. That is precisely what David Lindsay provides.” Professor Bryan Gould, Labour MP for Southampton Test, 1974-1979; Labour MP for Dagenham, 1983-1994; Shadow Cabinet Member, 1986-1994; Leadership Candidate, 1992

“Before Red Tory and Blue Labour there was David Lindsay. He was arguably the first to announce a postliberal politics of paradox, and to delve into the deep, unwritten British past in order to craft, theoretically, an alternative British and international future. It is high time that the singular and yet wholly pertinent writings of this County Durham Catholic Labour prophet receive a wider circulation.” Professor John Milbank, Professor in Religion, Politics and Ethics, University of Nottingham.

Those commendations were written in 2012. The next General Election will certainly result in another hung Parliament, regardless of who led any party, but simply because of what is now the shape of the three polities across which it will be held: England and Wales, Scotland, and Northern Ireland. One MP will therefore be able to make a huge amount of difference. Here in North West Durham, it has become a commonplace that the Labour Party, the Conservative Party and I are each on 30 per cent support, so that any one of us could be the First Past the Post.

I have no interest in being a paper candidate. But I will stand if I can raise the £10,000 necessary to mount a serious campaign. Anyone in a position to help, however much or little, please contact davidaslindsay@hotmail.com. I am a local, experienced and inclusive candidate whose radically practical polices are rooted in radically traditional values. Those may be read about in some detail here.

That will also comprise the first half of my next book, of which the following has already been written: “I warm to its spirit. It represents an important strand of thinking and feeling in our country which we ignore at our peril.” Those are the words of Professor Robert Skidelsky FBA, Lord Skidelsky, Emeritus Professor of Political Economy in the University of Warwick, author of Keynes: The Return of the Master, and co-author of How Much is Enough? The Love of Money and the Case for the Good Life.

I have nothing against the present MP personally, and she may or may not be the Labour candidate next time. But at the turn of 2017 she had never set eyes on North West Durham, and there was no local involvement whatever in her selection as a candidate. She has never expressed any of the opinions articulated here. Indeed, she has expressed very few political opinions altogether. Hers is a certain mood or tone, rather than any specific programme or philosophy.

She was still in school when I was first introduced as “the man who should have been our MP”. Once Labour has imposed an all-women shortlist, then it has imposed one forever, and the Conservatives will usually also insist on a woman where that is the case. But this constituency has had a woman MP since 1987, a very rare record indeed, so what injustice is supposedly being addressed here? Yet here we are. Politicised young men, of whom there are so very many, my candidacy is your only chance of ever becoming the Member of Parliament for North West Durham in due course. Anyone, my candidacy is the only chance that any son or grandson of yours might ever represent this seat.

This is probably also my only chance. I am 41. By the time of a General Election on 5th May 2022, the last possible date, I would be 44. To give some context, Tony Blair was four days short of his forty-fourth birthday when he became Prime Minister. Never say never, but if I had already been defeated once, then I would take an awful lot of persuading to give this another go when I was nearly 50. So if you like anything set out in the link above, or even if you would just like any of it to be on the agenda, then here I am. Very many thanks.

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