Martin Bell OBE is a former independent MP for Tatton and a BBC war correspondent. He is currently a supporter of the Independent Network.
An open letter to independent candidates and independent-minded voters.
I am writing on behalf of the Independent Network, the organisation that helps Independents help each other.
Independents have an unprecedented opportunity to change the face of politics for good. The MPs' expenses scandal has discredited many individual politicians, the parties that allowed it to happen and the House of Commons itself. Many MPs with questionable expenses records have not been de-selected by their parties. It is up to the voters to complete the process.
This is a time for independents to challenge the politics of the status quo; it is a time for independent Councillors either to stand together in Independent Groups or to help in the campaigns of others; it is a time to support the Independent Network by sending contributions to http://www.independentnetwork.org.uk/get-involved/donate
It is a time for the election of independents, without party baggage but with real world experience, to be a force for honest politics in local government. They will be answerable not to a political party but only to their constituents and their consciences. It won't be easy, but I believe that it is do-able.
If not us - who? And if not now - when?