A general record of my ongoing battle with all forms of nonsense.

Monday 29 March 2010

Scientist to take on Tredinnick MP in next election

Dr Michael Brooks, an author, journalist, broadcaster and consultant to New Scientist with a PhD in quantum physics will be taking on David Tredinnick MP in the next election. For anyone who knows anything about Tredinnick’s hopeless understanding of science and almost fanatical commitment to mumbo jumbo, the reasons will be clear.

Michael’s announcement, in his own words, are below.

But most importantly, we urgently need the signatures of 10 people who are registered to vote in the Bosworth constituency. Without this, we cannot register Michael as a candidate. If you do not live in this constituency, do you know anyone who does?

Bosworth constituency covers the towns of Ambien, Barlestone, Nailstone and Osbaston, Barwell, Burbage St Catherines, Lash Hill, Burbage Sketchley, Stretton, Cadeby, Carlton, Market Bosworth with Shackerstone, Earl Shilton, Hinckley Castle, Hinckley Clarendon, Hinckley De Montfort, Hinckley Trinity, Markfield, Stanton, Fieldhead, Newbold Verdon, Desford, Peckleton, Ratby, Bagworth, Thornton, Twycross, Witherley and Sheepy.

Please email Michael on mb@michaelbrooks.org if you are in the constituency and able to offer support.

Michael's announcement follows:

Dear All,

I’m a science writer and a consultant to New Scientist magazine. I’m looking for 10 people who would be willing to sign my nomination form to stand in the general election in the Bosworth-Hinckley constituency.

The point of standing is to highlight the fact that science is not just an indulgence for the curious, but is vital to British life, culture and economic well-being.

Science contributes more to Britain's GDP than the financial services sector. It also seeds future economic benefit. Science-based healthcare has made all of our lives immeasurably better.

And yet science does not really figure on political agendas; it is an add-on, at best. The Conservative shadow science minister has already said science funding will almost certainly be cut under a Tory government. Labour is promising more, but funding for science has actually flatlined under Labour, and is lower than it was in 1986, when Margaret Thatcher was Prime Minister.

It's not just about science and scientists. Science feeds into most aspects of modern life -- this is about what kinds of qualification we want our MPs to have. Do we want politics and economics graduates making the decisions? Or do we want MPs who are qualified to deal with scientific and technological questions, and able to analyse a problem using a skillset that has proved the most powerful tool we have: rational, scientifically-based thinking?

I will stand for Parliament in order to get people across the country talking about what they want from their MP. Hopefully that will cause them to ask difficult questions of all their candidates, such as whether their children will be able to work in science in Britain, or whether they will have to go abroad to the countries who are currently increasing their science funding: France, Germany, China and the US, for example.

Why Bosworth-Hinckley?

The sitting MP, David Tredinnick is symptomatic of the problem facing the future of Britain. Not just because he was involved in cash-for-questions and in the expenses scandal, but because he is exactly the kind of MP who undermines science. Tredinnick’s expenses included a claim for astrology software. Do we want MPs to be making decisions about the future of our country based on where Saturn happens to be in the sky on the night before a vote in the House of Commons? Tredinnick has also tabled an “Early Day Motion” suggesting that the House of Commons Select Committtee’s report into homeopathy, which recommended that the NHS no longer fund homeopathic treatments, was poorly researched and should not be taken seriously. He is a champion of pseudo-science and a hindrance to rational governance.

If we are to secure the future of science and engineering research, and thus secure the future of Britain’s economy, we need to make sure that our MPs will not ignore and undermine the scientific traditions on which this country is built.

Getting Tredinnick out of office will be a good start. Hopefully we can populate the House of Commons with people who understand what really makes the world go round – literally and metaphorically. We need a scientific government for this scientific age.

I write regularly for New Scientist and the New Statesman, and hope to highlight all these issues in various blogs, magazines and newspapers during the campaign.

But in order to get this off the ground, I need ten people who are registered to vote in the constituency. You don’t have to vote for me, but I’d be grateful for the chance to get on the ballot paper!

If you would be willing to do this, please let me know by email (mb@michaelbrooks.org) or Twitter (@DrMichaelBrooks). If you want to know more about me, please visit www.michaelbrooks.org

Thanks very much for your time, and I look forward to hearing from you.

With best wishes,

Michael Brooks


Anonymous said...

It would almost be worth moving to the constituency and registering to vote there just to get you a signature for Michael.

Good luck in de-quacking the House Of Commons :)

Neill said...

I going to vote for Brooks, Hinckley deserves better than Treddinick.