|Maidenhead Tory MP Theresa May; Independent candidate Ian Taplin|
Taking on the 1984 Surveillance State
- Unlike in the United States, the British still have free elections. Independent candidate Ian Taplin campaigns against the Tory home secretary who has used her secretive powers to strip 24 people of their British citizenship.
(RT News) - RT's Tom Mellors spoke to a former banker who’s challenging one of Britain’s most prominent Conservative ministers with a pledge to introduce ‘direct democracy’ if elected.
The Maidenhead constituency election campaign is in full swing and independent candidate Ian Taplin is out pressing flesh.
As I step out of Maidenhead’s Victorian train station, I spot the former banker turned whistleblower laughing with two shop workers near a bicycle rack.
Dressed in cycling gear, which Taplin says is part of his image, he pauses briefly to greet me, before returning to his tirade against Maidenhead’s incumbent MP, Conservative Home Secretary Theresa May.
Taplin’s canvasing has all the hallmarks of old school street corner oratory, replete with jokes and the odd curse word for comic effect. It’s a far cry from the staid and sterile politicians we find on TV, and his audience seems to be loving it.
This is what makes Taplin so fascinating. He has all the gung-ho improvisation of a UKIP candidate, but his message could not be more different.
An ex-army officer who served in Armagh, Northern Ireland, during the Troubles, Taplin worked as a banker until 2010, when he was sacked from Lloyds Bank after raising allegations of misconduct.
This whistleblower claims his dismissal was unlawful because as a regulated adviser he was legally obliged to “report customer abuses and unfair treatment to the bank and also the regulator.”
He has taken his original complaint – which he alleges Lloyds Bank failed to investigate – to the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), which is now carrying out a probe. I worked with Taplin on a documentary about his whistleblowing experience in 2013.
Battle for MaidenheadHaving taken on the fiscal establishment, Taplin is now fixing his sights on Tory Home Secretary Theresa May. Key to his arsenal is his flagship policy of direct democracy.
If elected, Taplin pledges to let Maidenhead citizens decide how he should vote in Parliament through a local voting system. The idea stems from his own dissatisfaction with party politics in the UK.
“Theresa May is the Tory representative in the constituency,” he tells a supportive taxi driver on our way to the town center. “Not the Maidenhead representative in Parliament.”
May, who also has a background in finance, has cut a controversial figure as home secretary for her defense of mass surveillance by intelligence agencies.
Taplin has chosen one of Britain’s hardest seats to contest. So who would vote for him?
“I predict that I’m going to get a very good support from the young. I reckon I can get 60 to 70 percent of the young to vote for me,” Taplin says, as we settle on a bench in Maidenhead town center.
“The direct democracy idea is a way to engage voters and young people in our political processes … the young people in this country feel completely disengaged from the process.”
|Taplin canvassing local shop owners.|
See more: Ian Taplin.co.uk
‘Tories represent the banks’Taplin’s disillusionment with British politics goes beyond his critique of the party system. The former financial adviser says powerful banks have infiltrated the Conservative Party, extending their influence into government.
He cites a report by the Bureau of Investigation Journalism published in September 2011 which found 51 percent of Conservative donations came from the financial services sector.
“It’s a Tory party which represents the City of London, because that’s where their income is coming from,” Taplin says. “There is a direct relationship between giving money to a party and receiving something back. Otherwise why would they even bother?”
“[The Party is] in the pockets of the City of London and City donors, and only strong in one area of the country, which is the South.”
“The Tory Party is now known as the party of the ‘1 percenters’… there’s a lot of truth in that.”
Read More . . . .
|General Election 2015: Maidenhead|
|Liberal Democrat||Tony Hill|
|Class War||Joe Wilcox|
Warning to American Readers
American readers please do not be frightened or confused by the ballot above with six political parties and one independent candidate. In the rest of the world this is normal and called a free election.
Meanwhile back in the United States voters are force fed a meaningless "choice" of two nearly identical big government loving parties centrally financed by special interest groups out of Washington D.C.
Maybe we should try free elections in the U.S.