Tim O’Rourke is the SDP prospective candidate for Hazel Grove, Greater Manchester. We spoke with Tim about his decision to stand.
Can you briefly introduce yourself to our readers?
I am a former Electrical Engineer and Project Manager and spent half of my career in the private sector (Power and Rail projects) and the other half in (effectively) the public sector (Nuclear). I have studied Martial Arts for over 50 years and hold the rank of 5th Dan. I am also a keen musician and have played guitar in a band for over 30 years. I retired about 5 years ago and started becoming interested in politics and the way it seemed to be becoming more distant from the views and needs of ordinary members of our society. I had always voted Labour, but I increasingly felt they were losing sight of what was really important to people and were becoming increasingly ideologically captured.
What made you decide to stand for the SDP?
Back in 1981 my dad had also become disillusioned with the Labour Party and joined the original SDP and became involved in Shirley Williams’s Crosby campaign.
Like most people I did not know that the SDP had survived the 80s until I saw something from Ben Cobley referring to them. I followed it up and was immediately hooked by the SDP’s New Declaration. It was for me the ideal mix of left wing economics combined with a great respect for pride in our country and the need for a strong sovereign state and control of our borders and where the laws that govern us are made by people we can ultimately remove at the ballot box should we need to. I had also directly seen the effects of deindustrialisation which is what happens when you don’t care where you source goods from as long as you get the cheapest price.
I took over as Chair of the North West Branch of the SDP at the beginning of 2023
You’re the Spokesman for Hazel Grove what’s made you decide to represent this area?
Hazel Grove is close to where I live, and I have many friends there and have spent a lot of time in the constituency.
As Chair of the North West Region we are trying to cover as many constituencies as we can as our main problem is exposure. We find that once people know about us and our policies, they are usually enthusiastic The North West region runs from Carlisle down to Chester and from the Wirral to Glossop so it’s a big area. Although I live in the Macclesfield constituency we had another excellent candidate in that area and, knowing Hazel Grove well I elected to stand there.
What do you see as the big concerns for the constituency and what issues do you hope to champion?
I think the main issues for the constituency are similar to those nationally. We see increasingly that police resources are diverted into into activities which don’t reduce crime and with more sympathy being given for those that carry out crime than are victims of it. We seem to be becoming more tolerant of Anti social behaviour and the real reasons for the breakdown of social cohesion appear not to fit with the current “liberal” mindset and are therefore ignored.
I believe when Hazel Grove constituents look at the SDPs policies they will resonate with them and realise that something must be done to break the endless cycle of Labour/Conservative neither of which achieve any real change for them.
For those eager to help, how can they get involved in the campaign?
You can find out more about the SDP at https://sdp.org.uk/. You can contact me by email at [email protected] and follow me on Twitter @Iskimore199546.
You can also read about Tim in the Stockport Nub News at https://stockport.nub.news/news/local-news/social-democratic-party-announces-parliamentary-candidate-for-hazel-grove-220863