Jan Cresswell, SDP Candidate for Blackpool North and Fleetwood

Jan Cresswell is the SDP prospective candidate for Blackpool North and Fleetwood.  We spoke with Jan about her decision to stand.

“I have a fundamental mistrust of empire building, and expect that in time the EU bureaucratic machine will overreach itself enough to see the edifice come tumbling down”

Can you briefly introduce yourself to our readers?

My name is Jan Cresswell, and until very recently I worked as a conservation officer at Blackpool Council.  I retired at Easter, so I’m looking forward to filling my time with travel and hobbies.  I’ve been married to Keith for 29 years, and have two children: Jessica and Jonathan.

What made you decide to stand for the SDP?

I joined the SDP about 4 years ago when I was feeling politically homeless.  I’d always considered myself ‘a bit of a leftie’ but found myself being shunted towards the centre ground without having particularly changed my worldview!  Brexit was a big issue for me.  I have a fundamental mistrust of empire building, and expect that in time the EU bureaucratic machine will overreach itself enough to see the edifice come tumbling down as other European countries reject its ideologies.  It’s clear how far it has enmeshed itself in our everyday lives by how difficult it has been to extricate ourselves.

“I was born in Blackpool, spent my early years in Thornton (5 miles north) and went to senior school in Fleetwood.  I’ve always worked on the Fylde Coast, so I feel sure I know the area, its struggles and its people”

As I was casting around for a new political home I discovered the SDP, and instantly felt that their policies chimed with my own beliefs.  As well as being left-leaning economically they, for instance, consider the nation-state to be the upper limit of democracy.  They also pledge to uphold the values of freedom of thought and speech which lie at the heart of British democracy.  As someone who was shocked at the rapid descent into authoritarianism since March 2020, and censorship of dissenting voices in this and other matters, this gave me hope.  I know small parties struggle to be heard above the noise of the two main parties, but I firmly believe that people should be given a real choice, and that’s why I’m standing, no matter how high a mountain there is to climb.

You’re the spokesman for Blackpool North and Fleetwood.  What’s made you decide to represent this area?

I was born in Blackpool, spent my early years in Thornton (5 miles north) and went to senior school in Fleetwood.  I’ve always worked on the Fylde Coast, so I feel sure I know the area, its struggles and its people.  I’ve seen the changes and how they have affected the health, wealth and well-being of local people, and it would be an honour to champion them.

“it sometimes feels like the town has been written off, like so many other industrial areas where the main source of employment has disappeared.  I would champion the re-industrialisation of Fleetwood, supplying training and jobs (see the SDP policy on Special Economic Zones)”

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

As the first mass working-class seaside resort, Blackpool became a victim of its own early success.  In the 1970s and 80s mass tourism declined with the availability of cheap foreign holidays.  B&B owners and other local businesses struggled to stay afloat.  In the following years, a downward spiral of cheap accommodation chasing fewer visitors, more and more given over to houses in multiple occupation, lack of investment and the steady influx of people from other areas, attracted to plentiful cheap accommodation by the sea, bringing their own problems with them, has resulted in a town having some of the worst health and social inequalities in the country.  However, I know that the local Council is trying to turn back the tide, and have been successful in attracting millions in government funding to improve the town, which will encourage private investment, improve life for residents and give holidaymakers more reasons to visit.  It will take many years to reverse the impact of that earlier decline, but I would make championing the work of the Council (which often isn’t recognised) my main concern, because I know they have the best interests of local people at heart.

Fleetwood has similarly suffered a long decline since the closure of the branch railway line and the demise of the fishing industry.  It’s unlikely even with Brexit that fishing will ever recover its former importance, but it sometimes feels like the town has been written off, like so many other industrial areas where the main source of employment has disappeared.  I would champion the re-industrialisation of Fleetwood, supplying training and jobs (see the SDP policy on Special Economic Zones).  There is also now a glimmer of hope that the branch railway line will be reinstated to link up with the tramway in Fleetwood, and I would definitely champion that given the opportunity.  People, especially young people, need to be given the chance to fulfil their potential, and good education and training and affordable transport links for business and leisure, are also very important to achieve that.

But I think it’s important to be honest with people that there are no quick fixes, that turning around decline can take decades to see tangible results.  In today’s world of instant gratification that’s probably a hard sell, but I find that honesty is ultimately the best policy!

Lastly, I’d encourage anyone who thinks that the SDP might be for them to visit the website sdp.org.uk to look at their comprehensive policies.

Stephen Balogh, SDP Candidate for Ealing Central & Acton, and the London Assembly

Stephen Balogh is the SDP prospective candidate for next General Election for Ealing Central & Acton,  He is also on their London wide list for the Greater London Authority.  We spoke with Stephen about his decision to stand.

“following a 30-year business career, I am now active in non-profit, political and public policy organisations that promote the general flourishing of society and building of community”

Can you briefly introduce yourself to our readers?

As well as being a candidate on the London List for the upcoming London Assembly elections, alongside Amy Gallagher as our mayoral candidate, I am the SDP’s prospective parliamentary candidate for the SDP in the Ealing Central and Acton constituency, in which I have been resident for 25+ years.  In terms of a brief background, following a 30-year business career, I am now active in non-profit, political and public policy organisations that promote the general flourishing of society and building of community through the thoughtful application of socially responsible, small-c conservative principles.  This includes active involvement in my local parish and other neighbourhood cohesion initiatives through to much broader based regional and national organisations promoting kinship, community and service.  As part of this, I am National Organiser for the New Culture Forum and in this capacity responsible for the “NCF Locals” initiative in which groups are established in localities around the country, giving a fresh rootedness to those who feel isolated politically.  I am married (in fact married/widowed/remarried) with two grown up adopted boys.

“Instead of being seen as a means to achieve national cohesion, all too often community is now seen as a way to demarcate and fragment society into groups jockeying for preferential treatment”

What made you decide to stand for the SDP?

There’s a clue in my previous answer.  For me, community is the bedrock of society and we have seen a fragmentation in recent decades of what it means to be community.  Instead of being seen as a means to achieve national cohesion, all too often community is now seen as a way to demarcate and fragment society into groups jockeying for preferential treatment that is sometimes (often, even) incompatible with the overall demos.  The values and policies of the SDP unashamedly seek to restore a different vision of community that transcends defined interest groups and orients citizens once more to the nation in which they live.  A lot of the SDP’s policy framework stems from this simple but foundational proposition.

“the real problems of London: crime, lack of housing especially at the affordable end and a sense of allocation priorities that do not always feel just, an overriding sense of edginess bordering on hostility in public spaces that used to be welcoming”

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

The dominant mode of politics in London is divisive and all to often described along contours of identity differences and perceptions of difference and disadvantage.  This creates a sense of “us and them” and a zero-sum game in the race to preferential treatment.  Meanwhile, the real problems of London: crime, lack of housing especially at the affordable end and a sense of allocation priorities that do not always feel just, an overriding sense of edginess bordering on hostility in public spaces that used to be welcoming, public transport that does not provide the sense of personal security and efficiency that Londoners and visitors to London rightly think they should deserve and are paying for, all against an increasingly grubby feel.  Personally, I start with my back yard, that is, the essential but effort-consuming “keepie uppie” of community building for public good, not for subsectional interests.  With restoration of a sense of civic pride and responsibility, a renewed desire to influence and participate in policies for the good of all Londoners is generate in its wake.  Where this does already exist, there is for instance ready collaboration with neighbourhood policing and a sense of cohesion to replace isolation and edginess.

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

Please follow me on X/Twitter (@BaloghStephen), also London SDP (@Londonsdp) and SDP mayoral candidate Amy Gallagher (@standuptowoke). Retweet what you agree with (and feel free to comment on what you don’t).  For the campaign policy manifesto, look at https://sdp.org.uk/amy/.  The London election campaign is of course short now, but there is a slightly longer game for the many SDP candidates for London parliamentary constituencies, such as me.  If you would like to help or even join the SDP as a member, get in touch via www.sdp.org.uk.  Our profile is growing all the time, and we welcome any help to make it grow faster, for the sake of our communities and nation.

David Bettney, SDP Candidate for Mayor of South Yorkshire

David Bettney is the SDP  candidate for Mayor of South Yorkshire.  This role is a combined authority mayor, who’s area includes Sheffield, Doncaster, Rotherham, Barnsley and their surrounding areas. We spoke with David about his decision to stand.

“I then joined the Army in 1987 (at the time as a cold-war soldier, training how to fight the Russians) and went then on to serve 23 years, visiting many countries around the world, and many combat operations in Bosnia, Iraq, and Afghanistan”

Can you briefly introduce yourself to our readers?

I was born in 1970 in Mexborough (Doncaster) and grew up a keen sportsman, playing football, rugby and boxing, and heavily influenced by my grandfather who had been a champion boxer and served in the Royal Navy in World War 2 before working the rest of his life down our local coal mine. He was a big tough man but was also very kind and a complete gentleman (the ideal role model).

I grew up in real “Kes Country” if you have seen the 1970 film set in the South Yorkshire Coal fields?  I applied to work down the pit when I left school, but there we no jobs, and it was the final stages of industrial decline in South Yorkshire, as the steel works had recently closed down too.

I then joined the Army in 1987 (at the time as a cold-war soldier, training and learning how to fight the Russians) and went on to serve 23 years, visiting many countries around the world. I experienced many combat operations in Bosnia, Iraq, and Afghanistan, finally finishing at the rank of Regimental Sergeant Major.

After my full military service, I went out to Iraq as a bodyguard. I then soon started my own business, along with my Iraqi (Muslim) business partner. We have since gone on to set up several construction companies out in the Middle East. Home is Yorkshire when I’m back in England.

“The Green Party can be best summed up with the words … “Every great cause begins as a movement, becomes a business, and eventually degenerates into a racket.”

What made you decide to stand for the SDP?

I was fortunate to travel the world with the Army, and since with my businesses, so I have watched the UK from the outside for most of my life. 

I saw things slowly become back to front.  The EU started off as a plausibly good idea, as a combined trading area, and ended up being an antidemocratic failed state, with the ever growing need to take more and more power.

The Conservatives are called conservative, despite selling off every asset and therefore conserving nothing of our industry and nothing of our culture.

The modern Labour Party is now extremely liberal, and in my opinion on the fringe of becoming very Anti-British, and lives on victimhood (never empowerment) with a penchant to spending everybody else’s money…Bizarrely, no Labourers actually vote Labour anymore!

The Liberal Democrats and also extremely liberal, but not at all democratic (Brexit overturn) They have become the pointless pronoun-police and are largely irrelevant.

The Green Party can be best summed up with the words … “Every great cause begins as a movement, becomes a business, and eventually degenerates into a racket.” be as the former head of Green Peace Canada says “The Green movement has become anti-human communists” He calls them water melons, as they are green on the outside but red on the inside, once you look at their policies. 

Reform UK (whilst well meaning) remind me of an Army run by Junior Officers with no Senior Officers, no Warrant Officers, no Senior non-commissioned officers, no junior none commissioned officer, but then just troopers at the bottom. They are looking for headlines rather than substance and are in need of some credible leadership.

“I have zero interest in politics but love my country and know that we all really have to put our shoulder to the wheel and push hard to stop if falling off a cliff”

Therefore, I happened upon the small but perfectly formed resurgent SDP.  It was nice to agree to disagree on some issues with people who could debate and were educated and worldly. Finally, there were some adults back in the room when it came to political ideas. Also, the leader, William Clouston is very well read, incredibly measured, and very in touch with the mood of the country. 

I have zero interest in politics but love my country and know that we all really have to put our shoulder to the wheel and push hard to stop if falling off a cliff. It’s never too late to start to change things, and that’s why I signed-up.

“promote more of the “we” and less of the “I”.  The demographics of South Yorkshire are changing, and we need to be “Yorkshire” before identifying as anything else”

What are your priorities for South Yorkshire?

De-Industrialisation. We make very little anymore, and just import from China and the East, who have zero commitments to any form of environmentalism, and in many cases their indifference to human rights is shocking.  We need to boost our region’s economy by returning South Yorkshire to a leading manufacturing hub again. We can compete with China, as all modern factories are clean and largely automated (so we can pay our robots the same as China pay theirs… “Which is NOWT”)

Now we have left the EU, we are far freer to make deals and purchase raw materials from the rest of the world, in order to build and innovate back in Yorkshire. We should aim to challenge Taiwan as the world’s leading chip maker. We would have well paid (future proof) jobs, which will create stable families and then stable communities. We would be a new research and development hub, making sure that we don’t lose Yorkshire born talent. You should not have to leave your area or region to prosper!

With the current massive influx of foreign-born people flooding into the UK, we have to find some unifying factors in South Yorkshire. I would promote British values in all schools and promote more of the “we” and less of the “I”.  The demographics of South Yorkshire are changing, and we need to be “Yorkshire” before identifying as anything else.

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

You can find out more about me at https://sdp.org.uk/david-bettney/, contact me by email at [email protected] or email [email protected].  Please also find out more at the SDP website.

Michael Roberts, SDP Candidate for North East Cambridgeshire

Michael Roberts is the SDP prospective candidate for North East Cambridgeshire.  We spoke with Michael about his decision to stand.

“As a self-described man ‘of the Left’, I have become increasingly uneasy with the Lefts’ seeming abandonment of the working class”

Can you briefly introduce yourself to our readers?

I was born in Croydon but grew up in Huntingdon in Cambridgeshire.  I’ve been interested in politics since I was a kid and would (and still do) describe myself as ‘of the Left’.  I studied as a mature(ish) student at the University of York, where I secured a First Class BA in Politics.  I subsequently did an MA in Legal & Political Theory at UCL.  I did have a place to do a PhD at UCL, but this was cut short when I had a double pulmonary embolism.  I’ve been on a slow road to recovery since.

I have done a range of jobs in Project and Programme Management, mostly for government departments/agencies e.g. Home Office, Foreign Office, British Council.  I worked at the UK Mission to the United Nations in New York for two months, and even spent an hour, or so, at No. 10.

I’m a long-suffering West Ham fan and an amateur songwriter.  I’m moved from Hitchin in Hertfordshire to March in Cambridgeshire seven years ago, to be closer to my parents.

“Contrary to the media characterisation of an unwashed bigoted mass, the British people are some of the most tolerant, generous, and peaceable people on Earth”

What made you decide to stand for the SDP?

As a self-described man ‘of the Left’, I have become increasingly uneasy with the Lefts’ seeming abandonment of the working class and with ‘so called’ progressives’ hostility toward hard-won Enlightenment freedoms, e.g. freedom of speech.

The post-Brexit vote reaction vividly exposed the palpable contempt that the ‘main’ parties have for the concerns of the British people.  Contrary to the media characterisation of an unwashed bigoted mass, the British people are some of the most tolerant, generous, and peaceable people on Earth.

Given our (thus far unexploited) post-Brexit independence, the UK governing apparatus needs to put the British people at the centre of policy making, to include a radical (relatively speaking) social democratic agenda.  I believe that as a patriotic, traditional, and economically left-leaning party, the SDP is ideally positioned to address these concerns.  Rather than complaining from the side lines, I decided to stand for the SDP to support this endeavour.

“There is a desperate need for more social housing (and housing more generally) in the region.  The solution is mind-bendingly obvious, even if it has eluded our leaders over the past decades – a substantial house building programme”

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

I’ve lived in the area for the last seven years (and in the region for most of my life).  Most of the UK has been suffering over the last few years, but a lack of investment with an older ailing population has seen this area decimated.  I’d like to do whatever I can to reverse this trend.

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

There is a desperate need for more social housing (and housing more generally) in the region.  The solution is mind-bendingly obvious, even if it has eluded our leaders over the past decades – a substantial house building programme.

Many constituents are really struggling with energy/fuel costs and the commuter population are similarly afflicted with eye-watering train ticket prices.  The SDP proposes the nationalisation of natural monopolies, and energy/transport are perhaps the most urgent.

This part of the country is particularly affected by and concerned with the massive flows of immigration in the last few years.  The government has no excuse for this:  since leaving the byzantine clutches of the EU – this is a choice.  Most people don’t want to see a complete cessation, but they want to see the pace slow substantially.  We need to re-skill our native population – especially in healthcare roles.

I am deeply opposed to radical gender ideology and inflamed identity politics more broadly.  Many are not aware of these alarming trends, but that is changing rapidly.

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

Firstly, spread the word about the SDP; the aims in the ‘new declaration’ are closely aligned to the concerns of most.  You can also follow the party on X/Twitter at @SDPhq.

If anyone wishes to help with my campaign, please get in touch via email at [email protected] or on X/Twitter @MikeRobertsSDP, or on Facebook at Michael Roberts.

Lastly if you can contribute I have a Crowdfunding site at https://www.givesendgo.com/GC6GE.

Hilary Salt, SDP Candidate for Wythenshawe and Sale East

Hilary Salt is the SDP prospective candidate for Wythenshawe and Sale East, in Manchester.  We spoke with Hilary about her decision to stand.

“I joined forces with a small group of actuaries to establish a pensions consultancy with five offices across the country. I set up our Manchester office and we now employ 90 people in the North West”

Can you briefly introduce yourself to our readers?

I live in Sale with my dog, Friday. I’m an actuary, which means that I work with numbers. In 2004, I joined forces with a small group of actuaries to establish a pensions consultancy with five offices across the country. I set up our Manchester office and we now employ 90 people in the North West.

I raised two sons in Sale. They’re both grown up now. One is a carpenter, living and working locally. The other, an engineer, couldn’t resist the bright lights of London.

I spend my spare time with family and friends in Manchester. I love football and music. In quieter moments, I like pottering in the garden and spending weekends away with the dog in my VW campervan.

Having dedicated more than 40 years of my life to pensions work, I am now stepping away to stand in the general election.

“our biggest challenge is to revitalise productivity in Britain. The SDP’s policies on re-industrialisation, investment in infrastructure and energy, and rethinking how we train people, all address this priority”

What made you decide to stand for the SDP?

I joined the SDP three years ago, having become disillusioned with the left, which is what I still think of as my natural political home. I didn’t think I’d find a party that reflected the concerns I have about this country and the world around us. But when I came across the SPD and explored their policies, I found that they really spoke to me.

I think our biggest challenge is to revitalise productivity in Britain. The SDP’s policies on re-industrialisation, investment in infrastructure and energy, and rethinking how we train people, all address this priority.

The SDP policies are practical and grounded – we know what a woman is, we recognise the need to pause mass immigration, and we’re determined to build houses that are fit for our citizens.

I was already an active local member of the SDP North West branch when the Tories decided to bring back David Cameron. At this point, I became so frustrated that I knew I had to do something to offer local people an alternative to our broken two-party system.

You’re the spokesperson for Wythenshawe & Sale East. What’s made you decide to represent this area?

There’s an easy answer to this – it’s where I live. My son and lots of my friends also live in the constituency. So I can definitely count on local support for my campaign.

“there are some wider principles I want to champion – including free speech, defending women’s sex-based rights, and driving innovation and business productivity”

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

It’s an interesting constituency with lots of different areas and communities, so I expect to face a wide range of local issues.

Many hardworking tradespeople in Wythenshawe are still concerned about Manchester’s paused Clean Air Zone. And across the constituency, people worry whether sufficient resources are in place to support the new residents we have welcomed, including those from Hong Kong.

We’ve seen some success with the regeneration of our high streets, but in some areas this is stuttering to a halt and people want to see more renewal. And as in many areas, crime remains a central anxiety both for families and businesses.

I’m keen to support local people with all these bread and butter issues. But at the same time, there are some wider principles I want to champion – including free speech, defending women’s sex-based rights, and driving innovation and business productivity.

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

The most helpful thing people can do is to tell their friends and relatives about the SDP. Whenever we run a meeting or a street stall, lots of people tell us that they didn’t know about us and are amazed to find that we’re exactly what they were looking for. If you want to help my campaign, get in touch with me at [email protected]. Connect with me at facebook.com/hilary.salt. or follow me on X/Twitter at @RedActuary.

Amy Gallagher, SDP Candidate Mayor of London – On Croydon

South Londoner Amy Gallagher is the SDP candidate for Mayor of London. Keen to that our next mayor represents all of London not just Zones 1 and 2 we asked Amy about our town and borough, Croydon.

“When I think of Croydon I think of the tram and the lively events and vibrancy”

What’s been your involvement with Croydon over the years and what are your memories of the borough?

I’ve been working as a mental health nurse in South London. The team I was working with would cover several boroughs and Croydon was one of them. I would often work in Croydon A&E and visit patients in the community. When I think of Croydon I think of the tram and the lively events and vibrancy.

The town centre has become very run down in recent years with the loss of much nightlife and many shops. As Mayor of London how would you address these issues?

I would end business rates for small businesses in order to help local high streets. I would also create a clean environment with beautiful architecture and add more green space.

“I also want to crackdown on anti-social behaviour and crime by improving the police force… prioritizing knowledge of the law and civil liberties”

Nothing improves streetscape and the public realm more surely than mature trees. I would allocate £25m to street tree-planting. I also want to crackdown on anti-social behaviour and crime by improving the police force. I will reinforce the highest standards of duty, personal probity, and conduct at all times, on and off-duty, prioritizing knowledge of the law and civil liberties, and increase the powers of the Independent Office of Police Conduct (IOPC) to increase the trust of Londoners in our police force and hold them to account.

“I will establish a community volunteer network database where citizens can offer their skills for certain community support services (civic improvement, education, help for the aged, NHS, construction, environment, tourism guidance)”

From Crystal Palace and Norbury in the north to Coulsdon in the south, like London, Croydon’s localities differ greater. How would you see the Mayor of London’s office serving all of Croydon and indeed all of London?

I will rank London boroughs in terms of crime and publish a full and frank analysis of the kinds of crimes committed in specific boroughs and the profile of convicted criminals. Police will be fully supported in acting proactively within the law to prevent crime.

I plan to mobilise the vast energies and each boroughs’ citizens in the service of the community. I will establish a community volunteer network database where citizens can offer their skills for certain community support services (civic improvement, education, help for the aged, NHS, construction, environment, tourism guidance), and the GLA will fund a team of five to manage the program in each of the London boroughs (Budget cost: £22m)

“Box Park! There is such a great atmosphere there and great food!”

Off politics… Captain Sensible, Kirsty MacColl, Gabrielle, Des’ree, Stormzy, and now 6 Brit winner Raye just some of the talented singers from the Borough. Who’s your favourite Croydon lyricists?

Des’ree! I didn’t know she was from Croydon. I used to sing her songs when I was little. She was great!

Are you more likely to be found wandering Farthing Down or in Box Park?

Box Park! There is such a great atmosphere there and great food!

How can people find out more or get involved?

Check out the SDP (Social Democratic Party website), Join us at SDP London and vote for us!

https://sdp.org.uk/2023/12/18/amy-gallagher-announced-as-sdp-candidate-for-london-mayor/

Our manifesto for London will be published soon!

You can also find me on X/Twitter at @StandUptoWoke.

Martin Evison, SDP Candidate for Newcastle upon Tyne East & Wallsend

Martin Evison is the SDP prospective candidate for Newcastle upon Tyne East & Wallsend.  We spoke with Martin about his decision to stand.

“I am still active in writing and research, and volunteer as an English teacher for a charity working in Guinea-Bissau in West Africa, which helps build schools and promote education”

Can you briefly introduce yourself to our readers?

I’m retired – more-or-less – after a 40-year career in science and technology. A Shropshire lad, I first came to Newcastle in 1979, moving back for a second time in 2010—having studied and worked in New Zealand, Australia, and Canada in the intervening years. My career gave me experience of both the public and private sectors, and a return to the academic world led to work in the life sciences and forensics. I am still active in writing and research, and volunteer as an English teacher for a charity working in Guinea-Bissau in West Africa, which helps build schools and promote education.

“My motivation for involvement in politics is the chronic failure of the political system to respond to the reasonable expectations of the public”

What made you decide to stand for the SDP?

My motivation for involvement in politics is the chronic failure of the political system to respond to the reasonable expectations of the public, and the pressing need to pass on to future generations those core values of British culture and community for which preceding generations sacrificed so much. The SDP is the only political party that genuinely represents these values.

You’re the Spokesman for Newcastle upon Tyne East & Wallsend what’s made you decide to represent this area?

I have lived in the Newcastle East since about 2010 and I am hoping to contest the redrawn Newcastle East in the next general election. I stood in the South Jesmond Ward of the existing Newcastle East in the local government elections in 2021 and 2023.

“People are not interested in futile NetZero and Diversity schemes. They want resources devoted to a better health service and care system”

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

The big concerns are much the same as they are in many constituencies. The cost of living is too high and there is a lack of affordable quality accommodation for the less well off. State-sector housing is particularly neglected. People are not interested in futile NetZero and Diversity schemes. They want resources devoted to a better health service and care system and want to see an end to open borders immigration and people trafficking.

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

Please email [email protected] and follow @SDPNorthEast on X.

Sebastian Moore, SDP Candidate for Manchester Central

Sebastian Moore is the SDP prospective candidate for Manchester Central.  We spoke with Sebastian about his decision to stand.

“A party that is serious about fixing the broken political system. A party that recognises that a nation is built on family and community and that the upper limit of democracy is the nation state”

Can you briefly introduce yourself to our readers?

I grew up in Dorset as the youngest of five children. I’m grateful to my parents that we always ate dinner around the kitchen table and they encouraged talk of politics, religion, and anything else. When I left school, I became an English teacher and lived in Italy, Spain, Portugal, and the Maldives. After a friend and I spent some time making YouTube videos around Eastern Europe and the Caucasus, we finally accepted that we should start living an adult life and moved to Manchester. I have lived here a few years now and I work as a maths tutor as well as getting involved in various things in the local community.

What made you decide to stand for the SDP?

Our current era is one of polarisation. If you support the renationalisation of the railways, people think you must be a Corbynite. If you’re proud of the country, you’re deemed conservative. When I came across the reemergent Social Democratic Party, I was amazed. Here’s a party that is both pro-market and pro-public sector. A party that is serious about fixing the broken political system. A party that recognises that a nation is built on family and community and that the upper limit of democracy is the nation state. I realised that for the first time in my life, I wanted to become a member of a political party. They didn’t yet have a candidate for Manchester Central, so I put my name forward and I was delighted that they accepted me. I’m going to tell myself that I fought off stiff competition for the nomination.

“Manchester has become my home. As a city, it is special. Where the industrial revolution took off. The first canal, the first railway. It is international but also local”


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

When I moved back to the UK, I came to Manchester with all my belongings and no house or job. The first few months were cold and dark, both metaphorically and literally. It turns out that finding either a house or job is no easy task nowadays. I was fortunate that it worked out in the end and in the years since, Manchester has become my home. As a city, it is special. Where the industrial revolution took off. The first canal, the first railway. It is international but also local. I find it hard to walk through town without bumping into someone I know. Our voting system means that the city is often neglected by politics. The Labour party is adamant that it will win the constituency. And so are the other parties. This means that the voters are taken for granted. I want to offer them a real choice. I am standing in Manchester Central because it is my home and I am ready to fight for it.

“For too long, the main parties have been allowed to control the agenda and maintain the status quo while the nation slowly decays”


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

We face many of the same issues as the rest of the country. Some, like the housing crisis, are felt even more strongly in this area than elsewhere. During the last academic year, Manchester universities paid students to live in other parts of the country because there was not enough accommodation here. Our system currently operates on policies that are in opposition to each other. This is because the establishment parties have no vision. As I cycle around the city bouncing in and out of potholes, I am reminded of the state of things. While the poor condition of the roads is a problem in itself, it is a symptom of deeper fractures. For too long, the main parties have been allowed to control the agenda and maintain the status quo while the nation slowly decays. As the representative of Manchester Central, I will go to Westminster and make the people’s voice heard. It’s time for our politics to be shaken up.


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

There is a role for anyone willing to help with the campaign. From delivering leaflets, to canvassing, or even strategizing.  If you want to help create a society which cares for its citizens, where you know your neighbours, and whose communities thrive, come and join us. This is your call up. It’s time to get on the pitch.

My email address is [email protected]. I live in Castlefield. Drop me a message and I’ll put the kettle on.

You can find out more about the SDP at https://sdp.org.uk/.

Shaun Long, SDP Candidate for Penrith and Solway

Shaun Long is the SDP prospective candidate for Penrith and Solway.  We spoke with Shaun about his decision to stand.

“As for higher education, well, I’m glad to be out of it; it’s become too politicised, as has the whole of the public sector”

Can you briefly introduce yourself to our readers?

I live in the Eden Valley where I work as an English tutor. I’ve had a wide variety of jobs over the years, from window cleaning to factory work and higher education, and have never taken anything for granted as you never know what life might throw at you. As for higher education, well, I’m glad to be out of it; it’s become too politicised, as has the whole of the public sector. Outside of work, I enjoy wandering the fells with my wife, and dabbling with creative writing. I’m also a local parish councillor.

“Without the nation-state there can be no democracy, and the SDP believes wholeheartedly in both, unlike the establishment parties”

What made you decide to stand for the SDP?

Like most people, I assumed until a couple of years ago that the SDP was dead and buried until I stumbled upon its website and read its ‘New Declaration’. I was blown away, for here was a document, and a party, articulating my views on what should be our economic and social priorities. It chimes perfectly with my positions on all of the major political issues: an interventionist approach to the economy; an end to mass immigration; the assertion of national sovereignty in defiance of globalism; a robust defence of free speech; and a rational social conservatism. Without the nation-state there can be no democracy, and the SDP believes wholeheartedly in both, unlike the establishment parties which believe in open borders.

Politicians these days act as if the people are accountable to them, rather than them to the people. I’m determined to put the everyday concerns of the majority ahead of those of either elite interests or shrill pressure groups.

You’re the spokesman for Penrith and Solway. What’s made you decide to represent this area?

I have my home here, and I love it. I want to see this constituency and its people thrive, rather than merely survive. So far as I can see, none of the establishment political parties possess any real concern for the area.

“Both central government and the two local councils are determined to drive through Net Zero policies without taking into account the realities of heating older rural homes”

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

Many of them are the same as for people elsewhere – the cost of living, housing and immigration – but some are more specific to Penrith and Solway. Much of the constituency is rural, and thus many homes are off-grid. Both central government and the two local councils are determined to drive through Net Zero policies without taking into account the realities of heating older rural homes which are not suitable for heat pumps. Boilers fuelled by oil or LPG, or sometimes solid-fuel stoves, are essential for domestic heating. Even so, these authorities are determined to phase them out, whereas I am determined to fight for their continued and affordable usage. Excess cold, not heat, causes early deaths and illness in Cumbria.

Similarly, I wish to champion Cumbrian farming, particularly livestock farming, which is also coming under attack from our political class at the national and local levels, obsessed as it is with its pursuit of Net Zero at all costs to the detriment of food production. It’s dangerous and wrongheaded, and undermines rural livelihoods and communities. Cumbrian beef and lamb are second to none. Our farmers need our active help and support.

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

You can find out more about the SDP at https://sdp.org.uk/.

If you would like to get involved with the SDP campaign in Penrith and Solway, or have any issues that you’d like to discuss, then please do contact me at: [email protected].

You can also follow me on X – @sdpShaun.

Rachel Hayton, SDP candidate for Carlisle

Rachel Hayton is the SDP prospective candidate for Carlisle.  We spoke with Rachel about her decision to stand.

“I have been involved in civil society locally, serving as a magistrate for 19 years and leading a small community choir in Talkin”

Can you briefly introduce yourself to our readers?

My name is Rachel Hayton, I am the wife of Paul, mother of Tim and Charlie and step mum to Jennie and Will. I live in Faugh and have been in and around the Brampton area since 2001. I came to Carlisle as a single woman in 1995 to join the Careers Service. I am originally from Staffordshire and it is possible to catch the occasional Midlands twang in my accent. I retrained in the early 2000s through the Open University and Newcastle University and have worked full time as an Educational Psychologist since 2009.

I have been involved in civil society locally, serving as a magistrate for 19 years and leading a small community choir in Talkin.    

What made you decide to stand for the SDP?

I found myself politically homeless after the referendum in 2016.  I like the SDP policies. I support the focus on security, food security, energy security, national security and secure borders. I like the hopefulness that the SDP has for ordinary people; that if given a level playing field with nationally owned infrastructure, we can build opportunities in our communities that will benefit everyone.

I hate the cronyism and corruption that seems to be endemic in our politics at the moment, I don’t trust those governing for the vocal minorities and vested interests, lobby groups and global corporations.

“I am proud to be British, I love our history, our belief in freedom of expression, fairness and tolerance”

I believe that a whole swathe, possibly a majority, of British people has no one prepared to speak up for Britian’s accomplishments in the world. I am proud to be British, I love our history, our belief in freedom of expression, fairness and tolerance and our quirkiness.

I agree with the SDPs policies and feel that they offer hope for the future for our young people, for families and for people who still believe that they will be treated fairly by their elected representatives. The SDP prioritises the views of the electorate and not lobby groups, trades unions or unelected supranational bodies. I believe that this is democracy.  

“I met my husband in Carlisle queuing for lunch at Cecil’s Treat in Cecil Street, my children went to schools in the constituency; Castle Carrock and William Howard”

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

I have lived in this area longer than I have lived anywhere else, (almost 30 years), and I love it here. I met my husband in Carlisle queuing for lunch at Cecil’s Treat in Cecil Street, my children went to schools in the constituency; Castle Carrock and William Howard; one completed an apprenticeship through Carlisle College and the other is still at university. I have a grandchild in Longtown. I may be an ‘off-comer’ but I am embedded within the constituency. Social Democrats are committed to supporting the family, community and nation, I want to offer the people of Carlisle the opportunity to choose to vote for someone who is not part of the LibLabConGreen uniparty, who will listen to them and represent their views openly and honestly.

“We need young people to stay and grow our community with entrepreneurial ideas and contributing to society”

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

I see the decline of the city centre in Carlisle- shops have closed down and businesses moved out leaving empty unsightly buildings. At the moment there is a lot of cosmetic redevelopment going on around the station and the city centre but what is being done to attract people into the city? I would want to support and challenge the city council and county council to bring the city back to life. We also need to work to provide homes, jobs and training opportunities for young people and families who want to make Carlisle their home. Often these are people who grew up here but cannot find appropriate work or housing and have to look further afield. We need young people to stay and grow our community with entrepreneurial ideas and contributing to society. 

Although the constituency is ‘Carlisle’ there are also other towns; Brampton and Longtown with their own identities and their own concerns. I would like to hear from residents about the issues they face. Similarly for our villages and rural areas, Carlisle is a mixed constituency and the MP needs to work for everybody.

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

The SDP does not have big corporate donors, we rely on people joining our party and, if you can, making small donations. If you would like to find out more about us visit www.sdp.org.uk to see our policies and read our New Declaration. Please do get in touch with me [email protected] if there’s anything you think I should be focusing on or if you would like to offer help in the forthcoming general election campaign.