My book review and recommendation for the month/xmas run - Gareth Allen's 'Politically Correct' - with cover illustration by my good friend, Tom Pritchard...
Book Review: Politically Correct
Having spent the last couple of weeks prepping our ‘Circus of the Invisible’ lobby action stunt, yesterday (October 20) was a barrel of laughs for our Ctrl.Alt.Shift foot soldiers, who had a barrel of tax and climate justice queries (and demands) for our busy buddy MPs…
It was a heavy day all around - as ever, we wonder still what the next steps are for those beyond Parliament’s doors.
Rightly so then, this week we recommend ‘Politically Correct’; a book that illustrates the life and fast times of an aspiring MP; from the campaign brainwaves, to visiting voter doorsteps to election day.
Ever wondered what it takes to become an MP, the journey, pitfalls and real intentions to be in a position of power - and if really, anyone can do it? Gareth Allen’s story tells us that sometimes fighting for your own vision in the system is a trying battle, but one worth having a shot at…
“Running as an independent candidate was always going to be an uphill struggle… but it was the best way to learn about our democracy, and to find out what really makes people tick”
In the general election of 2010, Gareth (35, of Normanton) ran for parliament as an independent candidate, taking on the might of the Westminster establishment - and specifically his local MP Yvette Cooper.
In around 220 pages, Gareth lays out his adventure in politics to all, as he strikes up a formidable campaign with a “shoestring budget”, without a supporting party, no Eton College on his CV or existing MP ‘buddies’. It was his friends and the local people who helped Gareth mould a credible candidate out of himself, as he got out in the community and drew up his manifesto.
Running up to the election, Gareth plunged into full time campaigning - an exhausting trial as he knocked on doors, meeting hundreds of voters, debating the other candidates in set piece Hustings meetings.
But Gareth knew it was always going to far from easy: “Running as an independent candidate was always going to be an uphill struggle… but it was the best way to learn about our democracy, and to find out what really makes people tick.”
For the rest of the review, click here.