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Finger on the pulse

I'd be the first to defend the right of the older generation to stand for public office, although my local UKIP parliamentary candidate in south-west London seems to be fighting the 1959 general election rather than the one scheduled for 6th May 2010.

Brian Gilbert, 78, tells us that he 'hopped from job to job' until 1956, having trained as an air radio fitter in the RAF after the war. The former serviceman reveals that he then 'commenced a career in punched cards and computers' with IBM. What he's been up to in the intervening half century doesn't appear to be deemed that relevant to his political ambitions.

The lively septuagenerian gets letters published in The Daily Telegraph with extraordinary regularity, if the 42 he posts on his website are anything to go by. Some poor civil servant at the Ministry of Justice has also been forced to reply to correspondence that he sent to the Queen about constitutional matters and a troubling legal case called Thoburn v City of Sunderland.

On an election leaflet I received through the post, Brian lists his top 'local' issue as leaving the EU. And checking his website, he seems very focused on the erosion of our traditional British rights. His reference points for a lot of what's happening in 2010 appear to be the Magna Carta of 1215 and the 1689 Bill of Rights. Things have got so bad that 'if you appeal against a parking fine by the Council you have to travel to Central London where your appeal is listened to by a Solicitor employed by the London Councils'. It's certainly a slippery slope. The road to hell is paved with fixed-penalty notices and signposted Central London.

So many 'bad laws' have been passed in recent years that Brian suggests a blanket Repeal Bill to get rid of them all. This would cover everything from quantitative easing to 'oppressive' regulations on recycling and Home Information Packs. Friendly UKIP members are taken with Brian's suggestion for a catch-all piece of legislation that would rip up everything Labour's introduced. They've kindly suggested that, while we're at it, we could scrap the Human Rights Act, Race Relations Act and the law that abolished the death penalty for treason.

Why do I have hunch that the local incumbent, Dr Vince Cable MP, isn't unduly worried by Brian's campaign? The UKIP man is, however, making me wonder whether I should poke my head round the door of a public meeting. There could be some fun and games.


  1. P.S. As to my career. are you really interested in the resume of a man who bangs on your door to tell you your house is on fire and has photos and a video to prove it?
    I did many senior jobs in computing such as Chief Programmer at Tate and Lyle and DP manager at Shandon Scientific. I was self employed and ran my own business twice. Government credit squeezes forced me back into permanent employment twice.

  2. ..and another thing. My retirement has been spent on some useful things such as putting Mona McNee's book C-A-T which teaches people to read, on the internet. With children leaving school unable to read there is some call for it.
    I also in the past year helped Wolfram Alpha in its early stages as a 'Volounteer curator'. See my posts to its forum on
    and its home page:-

  3. Brian, if you're still following this thread, I am concerned about your campaigning style. Targeting voters when their houses are on fire, then trying to give them your CV (and a video?) doesn't sound like a strategy for success. Which I suppose it wasn't, given that Vince Cable is now in the government.


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