My best wishes to my friend David Lindsay regarding his campaign for election to Parliament.
David has many valuable and important things to say - unlike, ahem, some Independent candidates, he even has a policy platform. He might not win; but by God, even the act of standing will get up the nose of the Establishment, making his candidature a good and wholesome thing in itself.
I am sometimes asked - OK, I was asked once, by a mate with whom I was sharing a pint- why I've never stood for office. The answer is straightforward; given the nature of the physical limitations I labour under, it would be immoral for me to do so. Even without any regard for whether or not I might be electable, there would be times when I could not discharge the responsibilities of office. Asking people to vote for me when I couldn't fulfill their trust would be dishonest.
But that doesn't mean one can't snipe from the sidelines.
We are now at the end of March in what could be an election year, and yet there has been no talk of elections. There is absolutely no reason why there should not be an election this year, apart from the desire of Gordon Brown to cling to office for as long as possible. That is not a good enough reason for an election to be postponed until next year. It is a disgrace to democracy that a Parliament's terms are not prescribed to a rigid four years. Two year terms are good enough for the Congress of the United States of America. Four year terms are good enough for American Presidents - they should be good enough for British Prime Ministers.
I look forward to seeing David on the stump later this year. He's a guy who wants to get involved, who feels he can make a difference, and who has actual ideas of his own, rather than the flatpack policies created by think-tank coneheads which seem to be favoured by the gangs we call political parties. For as long as the David Lindsays of the world are prepared to stand for office, we still have a democracy. We should get the chance to exercise it - and sooner rather than later.