I was asked to provide some personal insight into my political motivation for a website and it seems appropriate to reproduce my answers here. I understand that the thoughts of candidates from around the country will be posted on Yahoo shortly and these were my responses.
1. What was your first political experience?
I joined the Liberal Party in 1987 to help with the General Election that year.
2. Why did you join your party?
I had always had a ‘liberal’ outlook in my politics, although this was quite well hidden beneath the Conservatism I inherited from my parents.
3. What did you do before becoming a PPC?
I have worked for a political group on a local authority as well as for an MP so I have gained a good understanding of local political processes. Prior to that my experience has largely been in local government.
4. What are your biggest interests outside politics?
Village life in Oxfordshire and radio & TV comedy.
5. What's your favourite political song?
The LDs don’t have any good political songs – the Devil has all the best tunes! If asked to choose, the old Labour anthem, The People’s Flag, is stirring, if ridiculous.
6. What's your favourite political movie?
Passport to Pimlico
7. What makes you suited to representing your constituency?
I come from London so I have seen how the ‘Westminster bubble’ stifles debate about everywhere else around Britain. I have lived in Oxfordshire for seven years, during which time I have been a parish councillor, helped set up a community shop and been active in numerous areas of village life.
8. Why do you think you would be a good MP?
Because I believe in all that stuff about helping people and improving our society. I am a busybody who wants to make things better.
9. What are your main policy interests?
Housing, mental health, local government, devolution – power should reside with the people, not in London.
10. If you had the chance to pass one law, what would it be?
Abolish the House of Lords and introduce a regionally-based second chamber made up of elected councillors from around the country, so no need for a second election.
11. Who is your favourite political figure and why?
Current: Vince Cable, for his sparkling three months as LD party leader and for his obvious understanding of what is wrong and what needs to be done to fix it. Chancellor Cable would inspire confidence across the world.
Past: Jean Monnet, because he imagined and achieved a Europe without war
12. Summarise your beliefs in one sentence.
I believe in freedom, fairness and equality of opportunity for everyone and I believe these aims are achievable within a generation.