11 May 2010
When Lowestoft-based writer Louis Barfe stood as an independent 'none of the above' candidate for Waveney in last week's General Election, he did not expect a cycle ride from Beccles to Bungay to be his political road to Damascus. However, while the other candidates drove to a hustings event at the Fisher Theatre, Barfe joined Green candidate Graham Elliott in pedalling there, and realised how close the Green Party were to his own outlook.
"I was standing in the election out of anger and disillusionment with the mainstream parties," Barfe explains. "In particular, I was disillusioned with Labour, having resigned as a member 13 years ago, when university tuition fees were introduced. However, as I prepared for the hustings, I read all of my opponents' manifestos in full and found myself agreeing with a lot of what the Greens were offering. Talking to Graham as we cycled, then meeting other Waveney Green Party activists, I realised that here were policies and people that I could support. I was committed to seeing my own campaign through to the bitter end, but I joined the Party online as soon as I got home after the count. After years of being a terrible old cynic, it's a delight to believe in something again."
Graham Elliott, the Green Party parliamentary candidate for Waveney said, "We welcome Louis Barfe into the Green Party and appreciate his honesty in saying that he has found a a home in ‘One of the Above'. If more people had found the time to meet their candidates, read their manifestos and listen to them debate policies and local issues the result may have been very different!"