Reflections on the campaign: Alastair Mellon, SDP Coventry South

“I sat down in February ‘24 to begin to discuss how we would go about things. The SDP in Coventry did not exist at that time”

Some reflections on the 2024 campaign. Like many of you, I’ve bemoaned the capabilities of many of our MP’s. The nadir for me came in 2019 when Jeremy Corbyn parachuted a young lady with several years’ experience working at Primark into the safe Labour seat of Coventry South

In 2023 I met William Clouston of the SDP and over the next 12 months we had dozens of conversations and I became convinced that standing on the side lines was no longer an option. My wife was concerned about potential reputational damage as UK politics appears like a piranha tank.  But around January 2024, I decided that I was going to take the plunge. My oldest friend and now parliamentary agent, Paul Crilly, and I sat down in February ‘24 to begin to discuss how we would go about things. The SDP in Coventry did not exist at that time.

Our politics were moderate. We both believed that if you worked 40 hours a week 46 weeks a year you want to be able to afford a modest home of your own. We felt that the government should be competent and not expand its scope beyond what it was capable of delivering successfully.  

“As we are experienced construction professionals, neither of us can wrap our heads around the ludicrous costs and time delays of major UK Infrastructure projects like HS2 and Hinckley C”

We’ve both experienced terrible healthcare with the NHS but continue to believe in the principle of a single payer, free at the point of use health service. Neither of us care if it’s a black cat or a white cat so long as it catches mice – we hold no theological views on the NHS.  As we are experienced construction professionals, neither of us can wrap our heads around the ludicrous costs and time delays of major UK Infrastructure projects like HS2 and Hinckley C. We are convinced we can do better. We see massive waste on big sites which no politician discusses.

We both believe that natural monopolies belong in the state sector as regulatory capture is unavoidable given the asymmetry of resources (I.e. accountants and lawyers) between the owners and the regulator. Begging the French to build our nuclear power stations is embarrassing.  We were on opposite sides of the Brexit referendum, but both agreed that the result should be respected.

My own view is that with the rapid acceleration of technologically driven change it is even more important that our government is flexible and responsive to voters. And that brings me back to our representatives who are, in aggregate, simply not up to the job. Would you hire our current MP for any serious job? I doubt it. We may not win this time, but we will put down the roots of a winning organisation having gone from 0 to 15 volunteers.

“Just by being on the campaign trail and being visible has changed the calculus for people who are trapped in the Labour party but who vehemently oppose many of its trendy shibboleths”

After the holidays, we’ll start to build for the next phase. We’ll build our social media presence across all four major platforms. We’ll create a Coventry wide SDP structure, contribute to the creation of national policy and locally we’ll recruit and start to train our members. 

Just by being on the campaign trail and being visible has changed the calculus for people who are trapped in the Labour party but who vehemently oppose many of its trendy shibboleths. I would be disappointed if we are not 50 people by Christmas and that is just the beginning.  The public has responded positively to our common-sense proposals. The British people are fair minded and generous, but they have limits and those are being tested. They want cheaper housing, cheaper energy, more training, better paid and higher skilled jobs.

“Many, far too many, maybe as many as 20-25% have given up on politics altogether. This is an indictment of our political class and our elites who’ve become tone deaf to the messages sent”

Having held more than 4000 one-to-one conversations my assessment is that the public want an effective state that can get things done and struck off the ‘to do’ list. They are sympathetic towards LGB rights but reject broader identity politics and don’t want to be told what to think. 

Many, far too many, maybe as many as 20-25% have given up on politics altogether. This is an indictment of our political class and our elites who’ve become tone deaf to the messages sent with increasing vigour by the population, contrast this with Denmark.

Politics which offers cheap energy through a new fleet of British designed, British built nuclear power stations regulated through an ‘underwriter certification’ system rather than the unfit for purpose ALARA principle will lay the groundwork for a renaissance of UK manufacturing.

Just last week Britain’s richest man and our leading industrialist Sir Jim Radcliffe warned of the deindustrialisation of Europe due to costly energy. We can’t run an industrial society without cheap dispatchable energy and if it’s not to be fossil fuels, then it has to be nuclear. We are proposing that a new school of Nuclear Engineering, Design and Regulation is established at Warwick University in Coventry South to lead our efforts to deliver rapidly on this urgently needed capacity. We need to treat this like the Mulberry Harbour or the Manhattan Project.

Artificial General Intelligence (AGI) will take 20% of US electricity by 2027 and if we want to stay competitive, we’ll need to INCREASE our grid capacity and ensure its stability. We’re currently co-leading the world in AGI but if we don’t have cheap energy, we’ll become an also ran.

In the 1950s, 60s and 70’s both parties delivered 500k homes a year for a population of 50m souls. We need to get the state back into building houses and simultaneously getting a grip on mass immigration without which no amount of building will eliminate the backlog for 75 million souls. Building creates British jobs, British apprenticeships and British high-weight, low-value products that need to be produced locally. This plus cheap energy will help spur our re-industrialisation. Young people with no stake in society won’t abide by or respect our norms or rules.

They need affordable housing and energy to start families and prevent demographic collapse which in used to justify more immigration or Human Quantitative Easing (HQE) but ignores the externalities bourn overwhelmingly by working class British communities. There’s a general acceptance of controlled immigration that makes us richer but real anger at the mess we’re currently in which has delivered the population of six Birmingham’s in ten years.

I got into this because I’m not willing to accept the country we are leaving to our children. I hope and pray we are not too late.

God bless Coventry!

These reflections were originally published on X/Twitter at https://x.com/mellonsdp6741/status/1808455767013384583?s=46

Peter Hunter, Reform UK candidate for Putney

Peter Hunter is the Reform UK Prospective Parliamentary Candidate for Putney. We spoke with Peter about his decision to stand.

“Reform and I can help the government deliver best local policies for people of Putney”

Can you briefly introduce yourself to our readers?

I am an ex-army officer and ex-British diplomat at the United Nations in New York.  I live in South London and I’m passionate about politics having retired recently.  I have also run a small business in Switzerland so know about the EU and Europe.  I also speak a little French, German and Russian.

What made you decide to stand for Reform UK?

Nigel says that Labour are likely to win a majority; the conservatives have lost their way and need change.  Reform is the best forum for that change and after the election, may help the Conservatives reform themselves.

Reform and I can help the government deliver best local policies for people of Putney.

You’re the Spokesman for Putney what’s made you decide to represent this area?

I resonate with local issues and concerns, like crime, traffic, and share the Wimbledon LTA plan concerns.

I have the leaderships skills and influence to get things done and help local people solve problems.

“Champion the NHS, but it needs slimmer better management so these resources can be put into front lines services”

What do you see as the big concerns for the constituency and what issues do you hope to champion?

Champion the NHS, but it needs slimmer better management so these resources can be put into front lines services.

Cut waiting times, support the police, fight crime, and stop shoplifting.

Revise low traffic networks – get traffic moving – whilst we still safeguard pedestrians and children.

Putney housing for Putney residents – build new affordable and renovate old  housing.

Support the government over legal and stop illegal immigration.

For those eager to help, how can they get involved in the campaign?

Vote for me – PETER FOR PUTNEY   –   PETER LAFAYETTE HUNTER for Putney RESIDENTS & BUSINESSES.

You can also contact me at [email protected].

Maya Severyn, SDP Candidate for Waveney Valley

Maya Severyn is the SDP prospective candidate for Waveney Valley.  We spoke with Maya about her decision to stand.

“In this election my key points are to Bring Trust Back into Politics, and to Bring Democracy Back to the People”

Can you briefly introduce yourself to our readers?

My name is Maya Severyn, and I believe in service before self. In this election my key points are to Bring Trust Back into Politics, and to Bring Democracy Back to the People.

I am a Project Manager in IT, born and brought up in London, have lived and worked in Europe for 15 years and have come back to settle in Suffolk

What made you decide to stand for the SDP?

I joined the SDP as, like many others, I had considered myself ‘politically homeless’. Having previously voted Labour I began to realise that the Labour Parliamentary party was no longer representative or interested in the Labour Movement. Having been at one time a Shop Steward, but also running my own company, I believe in the benefits of a mixed economy; nationalisation of core infrastructure can and should sit alongside private enterprise.

“I live here, I work here and to be honest I wouldn’t want to be anywhere else! I am a local town councillor”

You’re the Spokesman for Waveney Valley what’s made you decide to represent this area?

I live here, I work here and to be honest I wouldn’t want to be anywhere else! I am a local town councillor, and, from experience, I am frustrated that there is only so much which can be resolved at a local level and so my hope is to be given the opportunity and mandate to address the challenges and opportunities for the people here as a member of Parliament. 

“We are a rural constituency, with a widespread population, and there are many concerns about transport infrastructure and access to basic services”

What do you see as the big concerns for the constituency and what issues do you hope to champion?

Agriculture is at the heart of this constituency, and has my full support.  We are a rural constituency, with a widespread population, and there are many concerns about transport infrastructure and access to basic services.

Employment and training opportunities for young people plus, of course, affordable housing to enable them to start their own family homes.

The other big issue is of course the Norwich-Essex pylon scheme, which I wholeheartedly oppose, as being disruptive to our communities, damaging to our farms and environment and unnecessary; better options exist!

For those eager to help, how can they get involved in the campaign?

You can find me on X/Twitter at @MayaSDP, email me at [email protected], find us on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=61560565660579, and join us at https://sdp.nationbuilder.com/.

Ashley Dickenson, Christian Peoples Alliance candidate for Carshalton and Wallington

Ashley Dickenson is the Christian Peoples Alliance Prospective Parliamentary Candidate for Carshalton and Wallington.  We spoke with Ashley about his decision to stand.

“this nation needs a return to Judaeo-Christian values that were the yardstick for discerning between good and evil, values that everyone at one time knew and respected”

Can you briefly introduce yourself to our readers?

Ashley Dickenson who has lived in the London Borough of Sutton since 1984 and Carshalton since 1992.  I have worked in administrative support roles.  I am very committed to pro-life issues, and I advocate for Christian values in our schools.  I have recently been campaigning for pedestrian crossings for a venue near me as well as for school buses to reduce school-run traffic. 

What made you decide to stand for the CPA?

I believe that not just this constituency, but this nation needs a return to Judaeo-Christian values that were the yardstick for discerning between good and evil, values that everyone at one time knew and respected, even if not perfectly upheld.  Politicians from the other parties have tried to solve this nation’s problems through secular laws with the best of intentions but this hasn’t necessarily worked out for this nation’s best.

You’re the Spokesman for Carshalton and Wallington what’s made you decide to represent this area?

  • I’ve lived in this area since August 1992 and decided to take up:
  • the need for pedestrian lights at the crossroads of the Windsor Castle public house;
  • a pedestrian crossing to the Greyhound near Carshalton;
  • leafletting against the Relationships & Sex Education (RSE) in our primary schools.
    • I have also written to schools & libraries expressing concerns about drag queens being allowed to read to impressionable young children;
  • a while back I contacted several schools in my area to express concern about Ha’laal meat being served to their pupils owing to animal welfare issues. 

“I have submitted to two schools in my area petitions promoting school buses to offset – if not completely eliminate – ‘school-run traffic’”

What do you see as the big concerns for the constituency and what issues do you hope to champion?

  • St Helier Hospital
  • Relationships & Sex Education in our schools
  • Traffic: I have submitted to two schools in my area petitions promoting school buses to offset – if not completely eliminate – ‘school-run traffic’. Especially where this has caused ‘snarl-ups’ at best and drivers speeding at worse, at over 20mph on 20 mph roads. 

For those eager to help, how can they get involved in the campaign?

I can be contacted via:
X/Twitter: @CPA_Party
Facebook: Christian-Peoples-Alliance UK-159505527405662
Email: [email protected]

Sam Wood, Libertarian Party candidate for Ynys Môn

Sam Wood is the Libertarian Party Prospective Parliamentary Candidate for Ynys Môn (Anglesey).  We spoke with Sam about his decision to stand.

“People are competent, people are ambitious, people are brilliant, the government is only standing in the way of what greatness we can achieve”

Can you briefly introduce yourself to our readers?

My name is Sam Wood, I’ve spent most of my life on Anglesey in North Wales, despite leaving and coming back many times this has always been the place that I’ve called home. My background is finance/economics, and this has only amplified my understanding and appreciation of libertarianism and the value that it can bring to the average person.

“don’t look at where the puck is, look at where the puck is going to be, that’s where I’ll be fighting”

What made you decide to stand for the Libertarian Party?

Fundamentally my belief in libertarianism comes from the fact that it is a morally superior political philosophy, the concept that no one has the right to force someone else to do something that they do not consent to is a very powerful one. It is the party of principle, and a party that I think throughout it’s policies demonstrates its belief that people do not need government to succeed. People are competent, people are ambitious, people are brilliant, the government is only standing in the way of what greatness we can achieve, it is holding us back.

My political spectrum is not left or right, it is authoritarianism on one side and libertarianism on the other, with emerging technologies that have immense power to coerce us. My concern is that if we fall into authoritarianism in the future, we won’t ever have a way out, so we need to start this fight now. That old saying, don’t look at where the puck is, look at where the puck is going to be, that’s where I’ll be fighting.

You’re the Spokesman for Ynys Môn what’s made you decide to represent this area?

Ynys Mon is my home, even when I have not lived here it has always been home. All the things that I value most in my life are right here.

What do you see as the big concerns for the constituency and what issues do you hope to champion?

The big issues here are the same systemic issues that the UK faces, housing, inflation, excess immigration and the strain it places. A far stricter immigration policy coupled with lower regulation and free’er markets will set us on a trajectory to improving these issues in the most speediest of fashion. The main goal being improving the standard of living, prosperity and the quality of life for people here in the UK.

“Right now, the best way for libertarian minded folks to help is to share the libertarian message in whatever way they can, speak to people about freedom”

For those eager to help, how can they get involved in the campaign?

Right now, the best way for libertarian minded folks to help is to share the libertarian message in whatever way they can, speak to people about freedom, share articles etc on social media. Start that conversation with people, ask people why we let our government steal so much of our resources from us, call tax what it is, it is theft, and it is immoral.

The ten commandments, arguably the 10 most important rules that humans have ever had, one of them is to not steal. The government is fundamentally immoral stealing from hard working families that are trying to provide for their loved ones in the best way they can.

For those fine people out there that have a spare quid and want to help advance our cause check out the GoFundMe I recently set up at https://www.gofundme.com/f/help-out-a-libertarian-party-general-election-candidate?qid=7fab8d02a156da95f40568fb89a9247b  Also check out our website that has a link to the parties manifesto https://www.libertarianpartyuk.com. If you are interested in helping out in any other way please do contact the party.

Nick Goulding, Reform UK candidate for Chester North and Neston

Nick Goulding is the Reform UK Prospective Parliamentary Candidate for Chester North and Neston. We spoke with Nick about his decision to stand.

“I got involved in politics again was my disgust at the attempt to defy the clearly expressed will of the people and obstruct Brexit”

Can you briefly introduce yourself to our readers?

I’m a 60 three-year-old business owner, former army officer and a small business campaigner. I am married with four children, and I have lived in Cheshire for over thirty years.

What made you decide to stand for Reform UK?

I previously stood for the Brexit party in the last general election and then for Reform UK for the post of Police and Crime commissioner for Cheshire. The reason I got involved in politics again was my disgust at the attempt to defy the clearly expressed will of the people and obstruct Brexit by politicians’, civil servants and judges.

“I find as I go round the constituency the overriding issue is the betrayal of their voters by all the main existing parties and the desire for a new way forward”

You’re the Spokesman for Chester North and Neston what’s made you decide to represent this area?

Although I live outside the constituency, in mid Cheshire, I wanted to stand for Chester because it is the county town and most significant location which can send the clearest message to the country.

What do you see as the big concerns for the constituency and what issues do you hope to champion?

Although there are all local issues that need to be addressed. I find as I go round the constituency the overriding issue is the betrayal of their voters by all the main existing parties and the desire for a new way forward, which Reform UK can provide.

For those eager to help, how can they get involved in the campaign?

Anyone who wishes to help the campaign can reach me:
by email at [email protected]
on https://x.com/nickgoulding4
and on Facebook.com/nickgoulding4brexit.

Emma Guy, Reform UK candidate for Mid Cheshire

Emma Guy is the Reform UK Prospective Parliamentary Candidate for Mid Cheshire. We spoke with Emma about her decision to stand.

“The tipping point was during lockdown, when the decisions made on our behalf by the government seemed more and more detached from reality”

Can you briefly introduce yourself to our readers?

My name is Emma Guy and I have lived and worked in Northwich, Cheshire for almost 35 years, during which time I have served on the local Lostock Gralam Parish Council, started, and grew my own wellbeing clinic, and represented local interests since 2001 by campaigning with CHAIN (Cheshire Anti Incinerator Network) against the building of the Incinerator on Griffiths Lane on the edge of our beautiful town.

I am a Prevent Breast Cancer ambassador and part of a local group helping to make Northwich Dementia Friendly.

Currently, I am the Chief Commercial Officer for a Runcorn based business, Aqueous Digital, and in November 2022 I won Outstanding Entrepreneur of the Year at the Crème de la Crème Cheshire Business Awards, for my ongoing work with the business.

On top of these roles, I am also Chair of the board of Trustees at Halton Haven Hospice.

In 2016 I was diagnosed with breast cancer and underwent a mastectomy and reconstruction which triggered early onset menopause, an episode I covered in my bestselling 2021 book, Wisdoms of the Menopausal Godmother.

I have been happily married to my husband Jonathan for 18 years and we have three children.

“a new seat comprising Northwich, where I live, and the two nearby local towns of Middlewich and Winsford. Collectively I refer to them as the ‘salt towns’”

What made me stand for Reform Uk?

The tipping point was during lockdown, when the decisions made on our behalf by the government seemed more and more detached from reality. 

The fear campaigns, the rule of six, mask mandates and social distancing based on no scientific evidence made me determined to do something. As Simon Wiesenthal once said, “For evil to flourish, it only requires good men to do nothing”. I couldn’t, in all good conscience, do nothing.

On New Year’s Day 2021 I contacted the party to ask it they had a candidate in this area, and would they consider me.

I was duly selected as the Spokesperson in early 2021 after undergoing the vetting process and became Prospective Parliamentary Candidate for the party in November 2023. I was formally announced as the official Parliamentary Candidate when my nomination papers were accepted in early June this year.

You’re the Spokesperson for Mid Cheshire what’s made you decide to represent this area?

Mid Cheshire is a new seat comprising Northwich, where I live, and the two nearby local towns of Middlewich and Winsford. Collectively I refer to them as the ‘salt towns’ as they all have a long history of salt production, dating back to Roman times. 

Fun fact: most people don’t realise that when the gritters go out during icy spells to grit the roads all over the U.K., the chances are that what is being spread comes from our local salt mines in Winsford.

What do you see as the big concerns for the constituency and what issues do you hope to champion?

There are several issues that affect my local constituency, but I expect that my priorities may resonate with a lot of people in a lot of other areas.

The first is that I want to bring back a sense of Civic Pride to the area. Too many local residents tell me that they are disappointed with what they see locally, and no one seems to have a sense of responsibility that was high on the agenda in Victorian times. If you can’t be proud of where you live then it’s no surprise if you don’t want to engage positively with your local town.

The second is that we desperately need an integrated transport policy in our area. Luckily, we don’t suffer (yet) from ULEZ, LTN’s or mandatory 20mph zones, but what public transport is available is fragmented, infrequent and ill-suited for local needs and motorists are still seen as a burden rather than the driver of investment in our towns.

Finally, rather than a disparate and disjointed allocation of funds to our towns, which straddle two County Authorities, we should have funds allocated based on local need, not what is decided for us by someone in an office 40 miles away. Would you believe that the one consistent point made by residents I talk to in each of the towns is that they bemoan the lack of public toilets in the town centre? It’s incredible that this should have happened in the twenty first century.

“For evil to flourish, it only requires good men to do nothing”. I couldn’t, in all good conscience, do nothing”

For those eager to help, how can they get involved in the campaign?

If anyone is able to help then they can visit my website at https://www.emmaguyreform.co.uk/ and from there they can follow my social media profiles or email me directly.

David Burgess-Joyce, Reform UK candidate for Wallasey

David Burgess-Joyce is the Reform UK Prospective Parliamentary Candidate for Wallasey. We spoke with David about his decision to stand.

“I no longer supported a party that was NOT conservative. I also looked at what Reform UK were advocating, and I struggled to disagree”

Can you briefly introduce yourself to our readers?

My name is David Burgess-Joyce and I represent the Wallasey constituency on the Wirral, which is part of Merseyside. I’ve spent all my working life in law enforcement and have worked throughout the United Kingdom and internationally. 

What made you decide to stand for Reform UK?

I was a Conservative all my adult life and had two terms as a councillor. However, last year I resigned my membership because I no longer supported a party that was NOT conservative. I also looked at what Reform UK were advocating, and I struggled to disagree.

“I have lived in this area all my 60 years and know it extremely well”

You’re the Spokesman for Wallasey what’s made you decide to represent this area?

I have lived in this area all my 60 years and know it extremely well. I am also of the opinion that decades of a Labour MP who lives in London has not helped its success.

“There are areas of deprivation which have not seen the council maintain or show any interest in”

What do you see as the big concerns for the constituency and what issues do you hope to champion?

Wallasey needs inward investment to raise the area from a forgotten part of Merseyside. There are areas of deprivation which have not seen the council maintain or show any interest in. Ironically, these are some of the areas the Labour council receive their votes from! Given we have a coast on three sides I am concerned the pollution caused by the water utility company and some businesses is rife, and I intend campaigning for strong sanctions. 

For those eager to help, how can they get involved in the campaign?

You can find me at:

TWITTER/X: @burgessjoyce424
FACEBOOK: www.facebook.com/david.burgessjoyce
LINKEDIN: www.linkedin.com/in/david-burgess-joyce-806b3832/

You can also find out more at the Reform UK candidate page and contact me at [email protected].

Peter Sceats, Reform UK candidate for Bethnal Green and Stepney

Peter Sceats is the Reform UK Prospective Parliamentary Candidate for Bethnal Green and Stepney. We spoke with Peter about his decision to stand.

“I would crawl over broken glass to vote leave again if I had to…”

Can you briefly introduce yourself to our readers?

I am Peter Sceats, a British businessman working mainly in the energy markets. I invented the index upon which the international coal market is based. I am chairman of our family gin company, EL-BART

What made you decide to stand for Reform UK?

I was a referendum party supporter back in the day, then UKIP, Brexit Party and now Reform. I think the EU is merely “greater Germany” and is in any event an undemocratic dictatorship. I would crawl over broken glass to vote leave again if I had to…

“My family has 230 years history in the area”

You’re the Spokesman for Bethnal Green and Stepney what’s made you decide to represent this area?

My family has 230 years history in the area. I got involved in the stairway to heaven charity which built the monument next to St Johns Church remembering the 173 who died in the Bethnal Green tube disaster. My cousin Lillian died in that event… I wrote the charity’s song actually, “Lillian’s Theme” and recorded it with my middle daughter who is now somewhat a star of musical theatre.

“I simply want to represent the people of Bethnal Green and Stepney and help them with the problems where I can”

What do you see as the big concerns for the constituency and what issues do you hope to champion?

I simply want to represent the people of Bethnal Green and Stepney and help them with the problems where I can. I will be present in the constituency week in, week out for the term. Radical, huh?! I would like for the area to regain more of its East London charm and be safer, cleaner and more visually compelling and I will work for that.

For those eager to help, how can they get involved in the campaign?

Find me on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=61560416547479, on email at [email protected] and you can read more at https://www.reformparty.uk/bethnal-green-and-stepney-constituency.

Tales from the campaign trail: Alastair Mellon, SDP candidate for Coventry South

What is it like running for Parliament? I’m a first time candidate standing for the SDP in the constituency of Coventry South I’ve taken six weeks off work and I’m entirely self funded. I sleep in a 12 m² student accommodation room and haven’t seen my wife for 2 weeks. My opponent Zarah Sultana ships in around 100 Labour Party volunteers from Manchester, London, Carlisle, Birmingham every weekend.

“The central plank of my campaign is to focus on bringing high skilled, high value added, high paying, jobs back to the city of Coventry”

FedEx lost 10,000 of my 62,000 leaflets and tonight we discovered the post office are delivering my leaflets all over Coventry North. BUT… We talked to 200 to 300 Coventry voters every day and today was our best day ever in terms of the positivity of the response.

The central plank of my campaign is to focus on bringing high skilled, high value added, high paying, jobs back to the city of Coventry because “a rising tide lifts all boats”. Our current MP, Ms Sultana, has used the platform afforded to her by the voters of Coventry South to focus on Gaza with 87 tweets about Gazza to 6 about Coventry in Q1 2024.

“Bit by bit, we have put together a group of volunteers who join me at weekends and evenings after work to support my campaign. I spend 10 to 12 hours a day in one-to-one conversations throughout the constituency”

Having held nearly 2,000 individual conversations, not one single person has raised this issue with me in Coventry South. The local BBC radio station is only interested in talking to me about Gaza despite me pointing out to them that BBC Question Time in Coventry on the first day of the campaign demonstrated that Gaza was not on the mind of Coventry voters.

Bit by bit, we have put together a group of volunteers who join me at weekends and evenings after work to support my campaign. I spend 10 to 12 hours a day in one-to-one conversations throughout the constituency of Coventry South and I think I have a good feel for voters want.

Some of my volunteers struggle with the level of anger and frustration expressed by voters. It can be very raw and very real and not everybody can cope with it. I am absolutely convinced that the mass of elite opinion especially in London is totally disconnected from the majority views throughout the country. Labour support is a mile wide and an inch deep.

Reform is on the lips of almost every white male over 45 years old. Nigel Farage has tapped into and reflected the anger of voters but I believe has no compelling answers. The SDP are committed to a long march across three electoral cycles to build a mass national party that can offer voters a real alternative that the positively want to vote for rather than the least hated.

“This week I’ve started to receive dozens of different manifestos from organisations and pressure groups seeking my endorsement. I have been absolutely clear that my overwhelming focus is to drive the economic well-being of Coventry”

Our 122 Candidates represent a 500% increase from 2019 and we aim to field 350 Candidates at the next election. I know that Solihull next door to Coventry will be the next centre for the SDP growth in the West Midlands as we have three volunteers coming almost daily to help us in Coventry South.

Standing for parliament is a trip! This week I’ve started to receive dozens of different manifestos from organisations and pressure groups seeking my endorsement. I have been absolutely clear that my overwhelming focus is to drive the economic well-being of Coventry.  Consequently, I am being very sparing with my responses as I do not want to dilute my message. When our family returned to Coventry in 1969 wages in Coventry were significantly above the UK average and they are now significantly below. House prices were four times average earnings now they are 13 times.

Professor Danny Dorling of Oxford University maps Coventry to the north of the north-south divide but to my mind the line goes directly through the centre of the city. Parts of the south are still doing ok but the north is in a hell of a state. If we could get 50 great new entrepreneurs to set up in Coventry, it would be enough to kickstart the economy and address the physical deterioration of the city.

If I had one wish for Coventry it would be for Tesla or BYD Company to set up the at the site of Coventry Airport where a 5 million square foot planning consent for a battery electric vehicle plant has already been granted, wisely in my view, by Coventry City Council.  So my request to X/Twitter world is to tweet this article to Elon Musk and Tesla or BYD Company to raise the profile of this great City and hope that we can rebuild our volume manufacturing business.  For full transparency, I’ve been a Tesla shareholder since 2016.

“Big parties can afford to fund lots of the expenses and you have big teams of supporters helping. There is a tiny pool of people who can do what I am doing or attempting to do outside of the two dominant parties”

I discussed with a friend today how many people could take six weeks unpaid leave? Assuming there are 35 million voters we figured that maybe 3% maximum which gives a figure of 1,050,000. We then calculated that may be 5% of these remaining people could afford the estimated £7,500 of costs which cut down the pool to 52,500 potential candidates. We then estimated what percentage of those remaining could bear the anger, resentment and contempt of the disillusioned voters and we thought it was as little as 10% leaving approximately 5250. We then asked how many people in our Venn diagram would map and fit our three criteria and it left us with 525 people (10%). This is the problem the small parties face. Big parties can afford to fund lots of the expenses and you have big teams of supporters helping. There is a tiny pool of people who can do what I am doing or attempting to do outside of the two dominant parties. Not many people realise that the vast majority of reform candidates are paper candidates, who will never go to the constituency and are candidates in name only.

This article is based on an original tweet tread at https://x.com/MellonSdp6741/status/1802851404417036587.

You can find more about Alastair at https://croydonconstitutionalists.uk/alastair-mellon-sdp/ and contact / find him at [email protected] on X/Twitter at @MellonSdp6741 and on YouTube at Alastair Mellon SDP Coventry South.