Paul Crosland is standing as an independent candidate for Hastings and Rye. A mixture of optimist and idealist, he believes that it is possible to solve many of the problems of the 21st century by changing the way we live and think.
Although technically an independent, he likes to describe himself as the Sharing and Care4Caring Party.
The reasoning behind this is he believes that if we were a little more caring of each other and were prepared to get to know people less fortunate than ourselves, a lot of the social ills that we now see would disappear.
Asked what he meant by this, he expounded a little:
There is no such thing as a housing shortage, he believes. Certainly there are not enough homes for each of us and so the answer is to share our homes and the perceived housing crisis would solve itself.
Much the same applies to the volume of traffic on the roads. Not got a car? Or if you have, and don’t use it much, then share someone else’s.
However his main concern at the moment is the imminent introduction of 5G. He believes this is harmful and six minutes with a phone pressed to one’s ear would be sufficient to begin the process of “frying” the brain.
With a home in Canterbury and living in “digs”, as he describes it, in St Leonards, he is an advocate for restorative justice and tells me that he has been a consultant both to the police and to Number 10. He has been a supporter for many years of environmentalism and is opposed to anything involving nuclear energy – armaments as well as power stations. His politics are to the left and in his home town of Canterbury he will be voting Labour.
When asked about his policies in general, for the country and exactly how his ideas can be achieved, he tells me that he has no policies as such, these will be decided by “People’s Assemblies”.
So how will these “Assemblies” be formed, who will represent “the people”? Simple, comes the answer, by using the same system that is used for jury service. In other words, random individuals will suddenly be presented with a summons to attend an assembly and, as with jury service, will only be excused on very specific and limited grounds. Will assemblies formed on this basis go down well with the general public or ever be able to decide on anything useful? He clearly thinks the answer is “yes”.
Another idea proposed to improve life and reduce the power of supermarkets and our dependence on them is to form co-operatives of, say 50 households and each household takes a week off work once a year to travel to a local farm and collect all the fruit, vegetables and meat required, then deliver it to the 50 participants in the scheme. I am not sure how many farms the collector would have to go round or indeed whether the size of vehicle needed to transport all this has been considered, but Paul Crosland believes it is part of the way forward.
His mantra, according to his website, is “I want people: 1) to get that there is so much that they have to give; 2) to get that there’s so much crap they don’t have to take; 3) to love it all & cultivate their relationship with self, others & nature -the whole cycle of life/death/re-becoming- the launchpad for liberation from greed, aversion and delusion”.
He is hoping for around 360 votes in December’s election as a stepping stone to maybe 3,500 in the next election and he describes himself as the “Imperfect Idealist”. Imperfect is his description but certainly idealist.
Image Credits: John Minter .