Introduction | FAQ | National Policy Committee | Scottish Policy Committee
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: Will you not be splitting the vote for one of the major parties?
A: No party owns the electorate. By offering competition with alternative ideas we are simply giving voters a choice. If the voters do not support us then we will not be significant enough to 'split the vote'. If, on the other hand, we do attract significant support, it will be clear that voters are not happy with the performance of the major parties and will be exercising their right to go elsewhere. We cannot continually accept whatever the major parties happen to offer for fear of splitting the vote, especially as the major parties now seem to be offering remarkably similar (and in or view profoundly misguided) policies.
Q: Why don't you enter into an alliance with one or more of the other small parties?
A: If we thought that there were other viable parties in existence that represented our philosophy and policies then we would have no need to organise separately. However, we believe that our platform is currently entirely distinctive in British politics today. Nor are we concerned with the supposed problem of 'vote-splitting' in the event that we do share any common ground with other parties, since competition is a means to weed out 'no-hopers' and make potentially successful parties stronger. 'Vote-splitting' is in any case a presumptuous idea that parties own voters and can deliver votes to whomsoever they choose, an idea that is very far from reality.
Q: When did a party such as this ever get into power?
A: There have been a good number of examples of minority parties sweeping to power in other countries although it has yet to happen in Britain. However, it is clear that the majority of the electorate are now critical of our current politicians and would seriously consider a change. The Labour party is in power today with fewer votes than John Major polled in 1997. The feedback we are getting indicates that the country is more than ready to consider voting for a new political style.
Q: Will you be standing candidates in forthcoming elections?
A: At this stage we are more concerned with developing a viable alternative platform to the existing parties. However, we have so far had a small number of candidates in local authority elections with encouraging results. We intend to build on this in future elections and gradually increase the number of candidates,
Q: Is there room for another party?
A: Most fringe parties will never break through but we are building up the New Party steadily to become a viable force in British politics. There is room for us because our ideas challenge the opportunism of the main parties and concentrate on the real long-term issues that face us.
Q: Who is involved in the New Party?
A: All types of people are involved, which is the way it should be.
Q: Do you have the backing of any recognised politicians?
A: There are no well-known politicians involved with our party. The New Party is determined to provide a new style of politics and it is most unlikely that it will ever contain more than a small percentage of our present day MPs. We intend to change the political landscape and although we recognise that there are a number of sincere, intelligent and principled politicians at Westminster, we intend to get as many of our candidates as possible from outside politics, people with proven management skills and wide experience of real life situations.
Q: Are there any big names from the business world?
A: There are a good number of business people showing interest and we have had supportive comments from figures such as Sir John Harvey-Jones. However we would appear to be attracting more attention from the SME sector (small to medium size enterprises). A lot of the bigger players have the means to shield themselves from the breakdown in our society and thus it does not appear to concern them as much.
Q: How many members do you have?
A: The short answer is "not enough" but it is growing steadily and the growth rate is increasing as more and more people get to hear of us. We are actually more concerned that the people who do buy into the New Party do it because they fully agree with our underlying philosophy and principles rather than just because they are fed up with the other parties and want to give it a whirl.
Q: What is your core philosophy?
A: In terms of political philosophy, we are closest to old-style liberalism. We believe that maximising individual responsibility is the best way to ensure personal freedom and initiative. We also believe in small government which does not get involved either in commercial activity or in dictating how people should organise their personal lives. We believe that the family unit should be the starting point for deciding policy, not an afterthought. Overall, we describe ourselves as a party of economic liberalism, political reform and internationalism.
Q: Are you on the left or the right of the political spectrum?
A: Most people would probably call us a 'centre-right' party, but we believe that our distinctive platform does not fit easily into the traditional left-right spectrum. Our liberal philosophy differs from extreme individualism on the one hand and extreme collectivism on the other. Liberalism, properly understood, embodies a strong idea of social progress and the ability in society to make moral distinctions, thus should not be confused with what is sometimes called libertarianism (or libertinism).
Q: Why do you reject nationalism?
A: We believe that liberal values can and should be applicable for everyone, regardless of nationality. Besides, in a globalised economy we need to be able to engage with the wider world and not lock ourselves into a narrow isolationist or protectionist stance. For these reasons, we reject any calls for co-operation with other parties on any sort of 'nationalist' platform, as we explain here.
Q: What is the New Party setting out to achieve?
A: We are committed to do a number of things.
- We wish to give the electorate a serious choice that is not confined to the narrow agendas of Left and Right. We will take the worthwhile ideas of the left such as assisting those in poverty, affordable housing, better healthcare and education etc and combine it with the resource management skills of the right to produce policies which will actually work for a change.
- We are not in the business of criticising existing politicians; we hope to provide a locus where the best minds from all sides of the political debate can work together
- We intend to concentrate on the root causes and not simply symptoms. For example we believe that the best long term cure for crime is not simply more policemen on the beat but to make sure that as many people as possible leave school with a decent education and / or employable skills.
Q: Why can’t the existing parties carry out your policies?
A: The existing mainstream parties all offer short-term fixes, not long-term solutions. We have a platform that is radical, distinctive and innovative, based upon a coherent philosophy and a hard-headed realism about the sorts of issues that confront us and the policies that can tackle them. The major parties are all clustered around a social democratic consensus and will refuse to change until it is too late - possibly until some crisis erupts to threaten their time in office. The minor parties are often single issue campaigns or otherwise adopt extremist and impractical positions. A few try to be all things to all people, not even identifying the real issues let alone tackling them. By contrast, we offer a clear diagnosis and long-term policy solutions without recourse to extremism or spin.
Q: Are you going to pay for your reforms by bleeding funds from the welfare system?
A: We must first of all accept that current levels of spending in the welfare sector simply cannot continue. We spend £2,200 million pounds every week on the various forms of welfare which is the same as we spend on the NHS and education combined. This is a frightening statistic. What many people do not seem to realise that by milking the welfare system they are acting very selfishly and they are depriving others of scarce resources. Our policies are most certainly geared towards bringing the welfare system under control as we simply must face up to reality on this issue before it ruins our economy. Anyone in genuine need will still be properly looked after but it is quite obvious that no party can hope to improve our economy without tackling a welfare state which is haemorrhaging cash as fast as we pour it in.
Q: Are you a breakaway splinter from any other political party?
A: Not at all. We have no connection with any of the existing parties and our members come from across the political spectrum.
Q: Your backers are obviously wealthy business people - are they not likely to promote policies to line their own pockets?
A: This is not the case at all. We are currently receiving much more encouragement from small family type business who simply want to be able to run their businesses successfully for the benefit of their families and employees, often one and the same. Don’t forget that small privately owned companies employ 90% of the workforce outside the public sector.
Q: What about proportional representation?
A: Although as a small party we might be expected to support proportional representation, since it would offer us more opportunity to get elected, we actually oppose it for several reasons. There are many examples across Europe where proportional representation has effectively created a permanent coalition of the political elite that has no reference back to voters. Elections then become no longer about standing on a manifesto and being accountable, since the first act after an election is to trade away elements of the manifesto in order to form a coalition. A more proportional system of representation in parliament provides less, rather than more, accountability. Proportional representation almost guarantees that any leverage the electors have will be dissipated. It is politics for those who prefer abstract principles to hard reality.