Go for it Esther, and strike a blow for decency

THE Great British tradition of independent candidates standing for office has all but disappeared over the years, but the public revulsion over the MPs expenses scandal may signal a comeback. Independents don t have much power, but symbolically they are e

THE Great British tradition of independent candidates standing for office has all but disappeared over the years, but the public revulsion over the MPs expenses scandal may signal a comeback. Independents don't have much power, but symbolically they are extremely important, reminding us that our political institutions don't belong to the political parties, but to the people.

Our own Martin Bell briefly revived the proud tradition a few years back, and may now return to the fray. Hampstead's all-action woman, Esther Rantzen, is also considering throwing her hat in the ring. Him Tarzan, she Jane - both searching for green and untainted shoots in the dense jungle of our discredited political system.

If she stands, Ms Rantzen will be contesting Luton South, where the sitting MP was engaged in one of the more cynical abuses of the system. Unwilling to go where she isn't wanted, she has already tested the water by meeting the locals, including Muslim leaders. Good for her - let's hope she stands, and wins.

Parliament could do with more independent voices, and more people we can rely on to uphold standards and strike a blow for good old-fashioned decency.


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