General Election 2015: Paul Robinson (Something New)

Post length: 570 words, about 2 and a half minutes.


Full name: Paul James Robinson
Party: Something New


Something New describe themselves as “a new political party, offering a vision of a better democracy.” It appears that they are putting up two candidates in the 2015 General Election and two in local elections (although one of those is the same candidate). Paul Robinson is representing South West Surrey.

The leaflet opens by talking about perceived failings in the current political parties, claiming that they represent their own agenda rather than really representing the constituents they are supposed to. It briefly teases a new way of making policy.

The first half of the first inside page explains in long-form what this new form of policy making is. Ultimately it boils down to a Wiki-style contributions system. The second half of this page outlines some national policy areas: the NHS, electoral reform, energy and climate, and freedom. It all seems pretty run-of-the-mill.

The second internal page starts with local policy. Again the policy section cover much of the same ground as other candidates’ communication, although to give this leaflet its due it does seem to flesh out the ideas a little more “more crossings for pedestrians, cyclists and wheelchair users” rather than simply “safer roads.” That said, there’s nothing specific to South West Surrey in these points; you could easily transplant them to virtually any constituency in the country.

Robinson’s personal statement finishes off the second page. He introduces himself and gives a little background on his life in the area. Paul is one of half the candidates who actually live in the constituency. He goes on to explain that he’s standing for Parliament because he’s disillusioned with the existing parties and wants to offer another option on the ballot paper. It’s noted that the party is not whipped. There’s nothing new in this either, at least two other candidates have asserted that their party is not whipped. Robinson talks about his optimistic view of the future and this is laudable but I suspect, if asked, all politicians would say they are in politics to help to build a better future, whether you’d agree with their vision of it or not. After all, isn’t that ultimately what politics is about?

The back page briefly goes over Robinson’s CV and contact details.


The leaflet certainly looks a little different to the others which have dropped through the door this election, although not necessarily in a good way — it isn’t striking and could be easily overlooked and the long monologues don’t make for easy reading. I suspect most people picking it up won’t bother to churn through the long paragraphs to get to the core issues being presented. Policy is thin on the ground and where it exists it covers the same things as the other parties — the policy that is presented in this leaflet isn’t ground-breaking by any means. So what is new with Something New? The key point appears to be the contributions-based manifesto, but this is flawed and the party’s website even admits as much. Without a whip the party is saying they won’t make their MPs vote along a party line, thus defeating the point of a contributions based manifesto — any party MPs can simply vote how they want anyway! Perhaps Something New is simply the equivalent of a none of the above option on the ballot.

Posted on Sunday 3rd May, 2015 at 11:18 am in Obiter dicta.
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