What is the biggest national issue facing the country and what would you do about it?

My campaign – the first of its type in the UK – aims to reconfigure the role of the MP to that of a true representative. We’re all sick and tired of MPs – of all colours – who just do what they are told. I am therefore crowdsourcing the views from this diverse and wonderful constituency, to see what people want.

From the thousands of votes that I have received, the overwhelming consensus is that the country is in freefall. The situation is fixable – and I’m optimistic that the most innovative country of all time – will innovate our way out of the mire.

Here, it is our constitution – rather than Truss, Johnson or Starmer – which is our undoing.

Starting with the broken Bank of England: Parliament needs to seize back control, to stop this morally and intellectually bankrupt, rise in interest rates.

Vote for me, and – nationally – I shall lead the charge. As an unknown independent, I’ve already had tonnes of national media interest. Just imagine what I could do as your MP?

What is the biggest local issue facing Selby & Ainsty and what would you do about it?

The cost of living.

Accept that we are stuck with high inflation. Therefore, let’s reconfigure/smash the failed Bank of England. High interest rates are, frankly, madness, making matters worse. Public and private sector pay rises should match inflation. Inflation is less of a problem if wages and benefits rise.

As the results of my online conversations reveal, the overwhelming consensus want teachers to be properly paid. Teachers want to teach, and – our kids – my kids! – must be educated. Strikes are now the norm.

What caused the cost of living crisis? How would you aim to solve it?

As an economics boffin, there is only one golden rule: printing money causes inflation. Although we have higher inflation than others, the international order is one of high inflation. So, we must adapt, with appropriate public and private sector pay rises. High interest rates are nasty and counterproductive, hitting those on variable rates and renters. If you’ve paid off your mortgage, lucky you.

Belt-tightening and higher taxes for some, are needed. Harmonise Capital Gains Tax with Income Tax. Let’s increase our productivity and size of the pie.

Naturally, I will always seek the wisdom from the people of this awesome constituency: there’s so much sense here.

Net Zero/ Green Energy? Energy security?

All three, but we must ensure energy security above all else. Via my anonymous online conversations, the overwhelming majority of constituents want to see more onshore wind. History will not be kind on the current crop of politicians. Onshore wind is patently the right thing to do.

It might make dozy politicians feel better that we hit targets by exporting our carbon emissions, but we should put our own house in order first. For decades, the three parties haven’t given us energy security. For too long we have relied upon unsavoury regimes. Nuclear power is safe and clean: it is a national embarrassment that no nuclear plants have been built in eons.

What would you tell the Covid Inquiry?

That we botched most of our response – and that is what the overwhelming consensus of the constituents think.

  • 1 out of 10 for preparation: pandemics always strike; austerity made us weak.
  • 1 out of 10 for initial response: Boris was shaking hands with Covid patients, as morgues overflowed in Italy. Borders remained open.
  • 8 out of 10 for Sunak’s economic packages.
  • 10 out of 10 for NHS, volunteers, supermarket workers, key workers and others.
  • 10 out of 10 for the British people who stuck to the rules, even when we didn’t agree with them all.
  • 2 out of 10 for the former Education secretary: outrageously, private schools vastly out-performed state schools.

I would berate leading scientists for not recommending that we use supplements such as vitamin D to boost our immune system, when they take these themselves.

Today, we must consider the – still – high death rates and the alarming number of chronically ill people.

NHS: Something to celebrate at 75?

The overwhelming consensus of the great people in this constituency know that the NHS, though deliberately beggared, needs a radical overhaul. The main parties have no solutions.

The Housing crisis.

As their MP, I take instructions from the people. Instinctively, I am pro-building houses, pro-home ownership, pro-new towns.

Immigration

The consensus, here, is that people are more relaxed about immigration than some media suggests. Because we live in an un-racist country, people want to come here. I get the Rwandan plan, but we must adhere to international refugee laws, or leave those conventions.

What is your final appeal or rallying call.

The role of the MP is to listen and then represent. We all know that this is right. Rearrange the deckchairs on the Titanic, or vote for more democracy, new solutions, a breath of fresh air?

 

Promoted by Andrew Gray of 24 St Winifred’s Road, Harrogate.

Andrew Gray

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  • York Press calling; Questions for by-election candidates

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