1. Best of a Bad Bunch exists to try and inject some fairness and decency into our current political system.
2. The party was set up largely to avoid the electoral suicide of the leader standing as an independent. At least the name of the party gives voters who have not heard of it before an idea that it is based on a deep dissatisfaction with the status quo.
3. Currently the party has no membership other than the legal requirements. This situation may well change in the future.
4. The views of the party on various issues can be found on the official web site www.bestofabadbunch.org.uk. Over time, as situations change, the party views on the web site might change slightly but the core values of honesty, decency, fairness and democracy will not be compromised.
5. Any successful candidate standing for Best of a Bad Bunch will not accept any second home allowance if they represent a constituency that is a reasonable commuting distance from parliament (as is the case with both of the current candidates). Neither will they commute to the House of Commons first class. They will comply not only with the letter but also the spirit of the law and not abuse the privileged position of Member of Parliament in any way.
The political party described in this Constitution is named ‘Best of a Bad Bunch’. It is not named ‘The best of a bad bunch party’. It seems likely however that this and other names will be associated with the party
As was stated in the preamble, currently there is no open membership. This is not an attempt to be undemocratic. In the (not unlikely) event of an electoral disaster in the next elections it is more than likely that the party will be dissolved in which case I could do without the grief of refunding subscriptions or being open to the charge of pocketing the cash and high tailing it. In the event that sufficient interest is shown in the party then an open membership policy would shortly follow.
1. The party will organise its financial affairs to comply with the Political Parties, Elections and Referendums Act 2000. The treasurer will be responsible for submitting an annual statement of accounts to the Commission by the required date.
2. Given that there will be no membership as such then it will fall to the individual candidates to finance their own campaigns. Donations would certainly be accepted but we are not out for anyone’s money, we would far rather have your support and votes. The individual candidates will also finance the minimal running costs of the party.
3. This constitution specifically prohibits the Party from borrowing money, secured or unsecured, by way of overdraft or loan or any other manner.
D. Decision Making
This is something of a constitutional dilemma. One of the core beliefs of the party is that the idea of party whips compelling MPs to vote in a certain way is inherently undemocratic. Best of a Bad Bunch will have no party whip. Candidates have, however, been approved by the party due to their acceptance of the general principles of the party, which can be gleaned from the web site and other promotional material. Whilst this might change over time we believe that the interests of the constituents would still be better served by candidates that can think for themselves.
There are currently two prospective candidates that will stand for the Esher and Walton and Spelthorne constituencies. If there are those that share the views of the party (as set out in the web site and which will be converted into a manifesto) who wish to represent the party in other constituencies then as long as they can muster the signatures necessary to be considered as a parliamentary candidate and the five hundred quid needed as a deposit then, if they are deemed suitable, the candidate selection would be on a first come, first served basis.
F. Dissolution of the party
In the (easily imaginable) event that the party is totally drubbed in the next election and the leader decides that it was not such a good idea after all then if he is able to find a successor to pass the torch onto then this would be his preferred option. Failing that and if no one else is able or willing to accept the responsibilities (including financial) that go with a political party then he will have no choice other than to dissolve the party.
This constitution is still in its embryonic form. As we learn more about the legalities, and indeed practicalities, of running a political party then amendments can be made by the party leader, in agreement with the other candidate as necessary. This will obviously also change should the party become a membership based one.