Rosie Mitchell didn’t have a party machine to call on when she decided to stand as an Independent Socialist in the Somerton and Frome by-election. Her campaign is being funded, carried out, and publicised by the people she wants to represent as an MP; the residents of Somerton and Frome.
But you could be forgiven for not knowing about Rosie’s campaign – thus far she has had barely a mention in the media, both mainstream and local. She wasn’t even invited to the BBC’s recent ‘live debate’ of candidates, although the presenter was good enough to mention that there were ‘four other candidates’ standing, before returning to what the BBC clearly thinks are the only ones worth talking about; the Tories, Labour, LibDems and Greens.
(God Forbid another one of those bloody socialists should go getting above themselves again!)
But instead of being promoted by the BBC, Rosie has been getting her message out to her potential constituents - and neighbours - by the very un-mainstream method of 'going out into their communities and actually talking to them'
Rosie explains: “Unlike the major parties we were not on standby with a budget, resources, and a manifesto ready to plough into campaign materials, nor a legion of canvassers to knock on doors with our message. All we had, really, was the courage and conviction that things needed to be done differently and a group of people ready and willing to make it happen however we could”
“On 18th June, the day after the by-election was called, we set up a crowd funder to try and get the deposit together and the £500 required was donated in just a few hours. Since then, the total raised stands at £2,525, which we are so grateful for as it has enabled us to print election materials to share our message and what I stand for. The support I have received has been overwhelming and this campaign has grown to be something that I think is worth celebrating whatever the outcome on July 20th”
“We had the honour of having the wonderful Ken Loach come down to the launch to speak to us about why he thinks it is vital we get independent representation at Westminster. He gave sound advice, shared his wisdom and has given us his invaluable endorsement of this campaign”
Ken Loach has given Rosie his wholehearted backing, and said after the campaign launch:
“The current crisis needs radical changes. I support Rosie Mitchell”
“She stands for: Returning the collapsing NHS to its first principles and removing the profiteers from health care.
Taking back our public utilities, like water, into public ownership.
An integrated transport system, owned by the people – as a railway worker, Rosie knows what she is talking about.
An end to fossil fuels, action not words on climate change.
Peace and human rights, not slavishly following the USA’s lead.
Rosie stands with the people she would represent and would fight on their behalf”
Rosie has released her ‘Micro Manifesto’ on YouTube; her personal statement to voters follows below this video.
Rosie's Personal Statement
“I’m Rosie, your independent candidate for Somerton and Frome, a conductor on the railway and RMT member. I live in Frome and grew up just a few miles down the road.
I fought, like so many others against David Warburton in both 2017 and 2019, standing for council in 2019 with an amazing team. Today’s party politics has left so many of us feeling disenfranchised, politically homeless and without that hope and excitement we had in the past. That feeling seems to be across the board when I speak to people day to day about our government and politicians in general. Somerton and Frome is geographically a large constituency, predominantly rural with a few larger communities. Frome itself has shown an appetite for doing things a little differently within politics and has embraced a move away from traditional and limiting “party politics”. As an independent candidate I’m not hiding where my personal values lie, but I want to be very clear that I won’t be constrained to toe any party line. Leaving me free to listen to your concerns, opinions and needs as my prospective constituents.
Policy-wise we are focussing on the biggest issues of the day; the cost of living crisis and the undermining of public services. I will be working towards reform and reinvestment in our struggling NHS, fairer housing so people can live here comfortably, better transport links for our communities so people can access employment and essential services and the environment, cleaning up our rivers as a priority. I am committed to promoting equality at every level and a fairer, less profit-driven system that works for society and for the planet. We do not need to understand every nuance of each other’s identities to have respect, compassion, and kindness towards one another. Likewise, our respect for the environment, our countryside and the liveable future of this planet need to be paramount in all decisions we make going forward”
The Somerton & Frome by-election will take place on Thursday 20th July.