Political groups

Jury Trial

Just a quick follow up to my post on the Jury Team. It seems the British public have no more taste than I do for people who stand for everything and nothing. At a time when independents should benefit, and the Jury Team had had a fair amount of oxygen of publicity (including appearances by Sir Paul Judge on the TV and in national papers, and an Election Broadcast), the Jury Team seem to have been wiped out in the European elections last night. From what I observed, they never achieved more than around 8,000 votes in any region (which at a guess will amount to less than 1% of the vote and less than 0.3% of the electorate), when even obscure parties like the English Democrats, the Christian Party, and the various "real socialist" alternatives were polling many times that.

They have gone strangely silent since voting night. There's nothing on the website, and they haven't been tweeting. Could they have suddenly realised that people don't just vote for a person and some airy-fairy promises to "clean up" politics, but for the programme that a candidate espouses and has some hope of promoting?

You only had to watch their Election Broadcast, and look at the statements of some of their candidates on their home page, to realize that there was nothing there to vote for.

The Jury Team

Sir Paul Judge was on Andrew Marr's show this morning, promoting his new party of independents, the Jury Team. I have posted the following on their website:

If I vote for my local Jury Team/Independent candidate at the next election, what policies should I expect to be implemented by a Jury Team government?

This works for individual protests in individual constituencies, but it doesn't work for a national organization aiming to put up as many candidates as possible.

And by the way, Sir Paul Judge repeatedly refused to address a mistaken claim that he had made about costs of carbon, so the idea that an organization funded by him will be cleaner and more open is laughable. Let's see if your commitment to transparency includes leaving this in.

Just thought I'd stick it up on here, in case it goes AWOL from there. And in case there is any doubt, I have taken a snapshot of the site with the comment (not that I don't trust Sir Paul, or anything...).

The incident began in summer 2006, when Sir Paul parroted BA's claim that the carbon impact of flying could be offset for £1/hour of flying. There are many different views one could take on climate-change, from scepticism to alarmism, but what no one of any intellectual calibre has claimed is that climate change is a real problem, but it will be dirt cheap to address it. It certainly wasn't a view for which there was any credible intellectual or market support at the time, but it was a remarkably convenient myth for BA to peddle.

When my father wrote to him to challenge this claim, he repeatedly refused to respond. We chased him from the original letter in July 2006 until April 2007, when we gave up on ever getting a response. You can decide whether that is the sort of man who you would trust to be genuinely interested in honest dealing, as he claims is his only motivation in setting up this new party.

"Doing nothing is not an option"

"Doing nothing is not an option." So says the Government's spokesman, as an explanation for why they will press ahead with road pricing against strong public antipathy.

The culture of doing something because "something must be done" is what this site exists to challenge. Though it is endemic, you rarely hear this approach to government expressed so baldly.

There are arguments for and against road pricing. And there are arguments against those arguments. But "doing nothing is not an option" is no argument either in favour of any particular option, or against people who oppose that option. On that basis, you might as well stick your arm in the fire, because the flame is dieing and "something needs to be done".