Reporting on the #HartlepoolByElection has been scarce.
Press silence increases the likelihood of a Tory win.
Such is the disdain toward Labour.
The Guardian had former Hartlepool MP Peter Mandelson on their politics podcast last week.
Though there is some talk of a potential “third candidate” who might “split the vote” – no names are mentioned.
Another pundit opines the North East will vote Tory forever.
A less biased platform might have at least mentioned the independents.
Last week’s #PoliticsLive did a whole section on upcoming elections in Teeside and did not mention Hartlepool once.
But Hartlepool is actually in the Teeside Combined Authority.
On May 6th Hartlepudlians will vote for their local councillors, Teeside Mayor, Police and Crime Commissioner, as well as their local MP.
But for some reason they didn’t merit a mention – let alone a visit.
In this next report on the same day every single election in the country is mentioned – except the #HartlepoolByElection for a seat in Westminster.
Because the two major parties’ candidates are so awful and gaffe-prone that it is better to keep them off the telly?
A day at the races
The May 6th Hartlepool byelection isn’t a two horse race.
That’s just what the national media would have you believe
As Hartlepool is the only Labour seat that didn’t go Tory in the 2019 General Election the mainstream media are framing this by-election as a test of Keir Starmer’s leadership
They also say the Tories need the seat to complete the Blue Wall and take full control of Westminster and the North East.
But the Hartlepool by-election is about more than just the Labour and Conservative parties.
It is actually a vote on representative democracy.
Your local MP is traditionally supposed to be someone you can approach that has the ear of the party in Westminster.
Someone you can raise issues with that can get things done at the national level.
But now it is completely the other way around.
The party parachutes in candidates that know nothing about the area and vote in lockstep with the party leadership.
The last thing the two main parties want is for voters to elect a pro-local business anti-sleaze independent who was born and brought up in Hartlepool.
She has worked with or represented many of Hartlepool’s businesses, community groups, the council, and football club.
In Samantha Lee’s experience, nobody is speaking up for Hartlepool or working hard to attract businesses and investment to the town.
When asked to explain why she is running and why this is of any interest to anyone outside Hartlepool Samantha Lee replied:
“Personally, I think Westminster is sullied by politicians, if I’m honest.
I think if we had 650 people, representatives from the towns and cities and areas that they’re from, all sitting down together putting your case forward for why you need funding, sharing best practice, then this country and this world would run a whole lot better. But at the minute we just have political squabble. Point scoring. It seems to be that we have to nail our flag to one particular mast and that mast or that party seems to need to have all the answers to everything when they don’t, and it’s clear that they never have.
I want to be able to take all of the best things for my town, regardless of who they came from. I’m more than happy to take somebody else’s ideas on if they’re good ideas. We don’t find that in politics. If somebody else has an idea the opposition party just shouts it down and that makes no sense. If it’s good for the town it’s good for the town. It doesn’t matter who came up with the idea. All I want to see is my town, like many others in the country, just getting the best chance and the best opportunity and not being some kind of political point scoring football that gets kicked about when it’s useful and gets used for various political means.
We’re a good town. We have so much going for us. We just keep being told that we not. we just keep getting knocked down.
It’s not because we’re not good, it’s because the people shouting for us they’re not doing it very loudly. Or are being quietened by party whips.
If we all stand as independents, if everybody across the country stands as independents gets behind a strong business or community leader then we’re really going to genuinely have what’s best for each of our towns.
At the moment when you look at politics it’s an embarrassment.
When you see them screaming at each other across the chamber and all like yo-ho-ho and what have you, it’s just not the real world.
There’s 65 million of us and 650 of them making decisions for us. And none of them have lived in the real world as far as I can see.
So I just want that to change.
And I think now more and more people are just fed up of politics me included.
And so if we just all step forward and stop squabbling and just say “right this is what my town needs this is what we would be good for this is what we specialize in these these are our skill sets these are our assets” and we all go down and share best practice and make our shout for the money that’s needed then we, like I said, the time and the country would work much more efficiently, faster, and better for the people.“
Samantha Lee – Independent Candidate Hartlepool
From my conversation with Samantha I believe she will vote with the conscience of the Hartlepool community in contrast to Labour and Conservative candidates who always vote in the interest of their globalist corporate paymasters.
Hartlepool and the North East have a history of not always sticking to the script.
In 2002 when Peter Mandelson was MP Hartlepool voted in Stuart Drummond as Mayor.
He was an independent and had initially decided to run as a joke having been Hartlepool Football Club’s club mascot – H’Angus the Monkey.
To the annoyance of the local Labour party Drummond was re-elected twice as an independent and twice reached the final of World Mayor of the year.
The council eventually arranged for the position of mayor to be abolished following a November referendum with a 13% turnout.
Are Hartlepool still being punished for the crimes of H’Angus ?
John Prescott pushed a North East Regional Assembly referendum in 2004 which was met with a resounding No Vote.
Then there was Brexit in which 70% of Hartlepudlians voted to leave.
The best thing for the country would be if Samantha Lee is voted in as an independent on May 6th as she wants to bring investment, skills and jobs to Hartlepool.
Mandy, as he is affectionately known, was once also called the Prince of Darkness.
He got grief for being one of several gay members of the Blair cabinet.
Former Tory politician and newspaper columnist Matthew Parris outed Mandelson (on Newsnight I believe) in 1998.
The Sun ran with this headline in 1998.
But then they had a change of heart.