The Union Inn in Moretonhampstead hosted this event last Thursday – it’s a great pub with some lovely ales – and it also has a ‘backroom’, the kind in which many an uprising have been plotted, maybe tonight would do the same?
As it happens, the event went really well for me, I was picked as the first candidate to speak and I waded straight in with my opening three minute speech. As you already know, I had been banned from filming myself after the organisers came under pressure from the Tory Mel Stride who had threatened to withdraw from the event if I was allowed to bring a camera, so I incorporated this story into my opening presentation. I did manage to record the audio of it though, which I will include in a short video I’m currently editing, but in the meantime here’s the text of my opening speech:
(BTW – the opening joke about Marmite fell complete flat…shame really, I think it’s hilarious!)
“Good evening, I’m Arthur Price – I am your independent candidate…and I am indifferent to Marmite.
That’s how independent I am. I can tell you my sense of rebellion does not stop there.
I come from Lustleigh, that well known hotbed of left wing activism just 3 miles down the valley from here.
So why am I standing for Parliament, and what will I do for you when I get elected?
Well, when David Cameron left Downing Street for the last time a few weeks ago he said “The next Prime Minister who walks through that door will either be myself or Ed Milliband”, and I thought to myself ‘how completely depressing is that?’
To me, choosing between the two men is like asking a diabetic to choose between Coca Cola and Pepsi.
We don’t need another ride on this merry-go-round of corporate politicians who pander to big business and the super rich while simultaneously hammering the poor. The gap between rich and poor in this country is wider than it’s ever been, and our politicians need to be held account for their part creating this.
So what would I do about it if I get elected?
Well, let’s be honest, my chances of winning this seat are, unlike me, very slim. I think the outcome of the vote in this constituency is a foregone conclusion, so to that end my campaign isn’t about getting votes, it’s about getting my message out there.
This isn’t an easy thing to do as I have no funds, no backing, no team, nothing…which means I don’t have any posters, and leaflets, and I won’t be campaigning door to door, and there will be minimal media attention…so I have to look for evermore inventive and creative ways of getting myself noticed by the electorate.
For example, next week I’m releasing my campaign song. You’ll love it. It’s brilliant.
I also try to reach the electorate through the films I make – in Bovey Tracey I had my opening speech filmed and uploaded to YouTube and I’m very happy to say it’s being watched throughout Central Devon and indeed the rest of the country hundred of times and I’m getting some great feedback.
Unfortunately that isn’t going to happen tonight because I have been banned from filming myself by the organisers, after they came under pressure from one of the other candidates who threatened to withdraw from this hustings if I was permitted to film it. And being the heavyweight candidate that he is, the organisers capitulated.
You have to ask yourself don’t you, what is it he’s afraid of? Why would a heavyweight candidate who is guaranteed to win this seat, seek to limit the exposure of the independent candidate who is sure to lose?
This make a mockery of the entire democratic process and tells you all you need to know about the Tories attitude towards fee speech and their contempt for the opinions of the people who I represent.
So, in the absence of any way of spreading my message myself, I sincerely hope that all of you here will take what I have to say and spread it far and wide.
Thank you very much“.