The English Democrats’ candidate in the London Mayoral election, Matt O’Connor, has dropped out of the race.
O’Conner was the founder of Fathers 4 Justice and my brief encounter with him a while ago when I tried to talk to him about the dangers of forcing knee-jerk reactions around fathers rights without adding any protection for children left me less than impressed wih his attitude. He had his agenda and whether that put children at risk (and from first hand experience, I know it did) was of no concern to him.
To be honest, the EDP are better off without him. He was to EDP as Robert Kiljoy-Stink was to UKIP – an opportunist with an ego who saw an opportunity for self-promotion. His dedication to the cause of equal rights for England is such that because he didn’t get enough publicity from the media over St Georges Day he’s thrown his teddy out of the pram and abandoned the people he claims to want to represent.
The EDP is a small party and they need to raise their profile. Rather than relying on celebrity candidates to bring them the publicity they need, they need to promote the leaders of their party. I’ve always found Robin Tilbrook to be a nice chap, even when he found out I’d joined UKIP. But hardly anybody has heard of him. Whatever your feelings about UKIP or Nigel Farage, there is no doubt that if you put Farage and No Mandate Brown on a stage together, Farage would dominate the stage and tear Gordo to shreds. He has a big personality, he doesn’t need a script and a team of spin doctors telling him what to say and he’s both abrupt and funny. I heard him give a speech last year to a room full of UKIP supporters, Tories and random guests in which he said “It’s often said that I dislike Europe … this is wrong, I love Europe, I just can’t stand the EU … I don’t particularly like the French though”. What other politician would come out with something like that?
But this isn’t a post about why Farage makes a good leader … well it is a bit but for the benefit of the EDP. The EDP are targetting UKIP voters and on a lot of policy areas they are identical but the difference is that UKIP have the media personality that EDP lack and celebrities aren’t the answer. Rustie Lee and Earl Bradford – both household names – are UKIP supporters but they don’t use them for publicity because, at the end of the day, they’re not the ones that are going to be running the country are they?
EDP are better off without O’Conner, they just need to promote the good people they’ve got rather than looking for a quick fix. If it seems too good to be true, it probably is.