Bright Green - Matthew
Matthew Torbitt, independent candidate for Cheadle

My name is Matthew. I am a 24 year old that is very tired and fed up of the political system we have currently in the United Kingdom. I feel so strongly that I am standing as an independent candidate in the general election for the constituency of Cheadle – my home. People have questioned whether I have the experience to stand being quite young. Well for a start I’ve been homeless, nearly experienced prison, grew up in poverty and know what it is like to struggle. Even during this campaign I have got home and not had enough money for bread and milk. Trying to fit the campaign round work, university and volunteering has been hard but I think these qualities put me into a position that if I was passing policies I can look at them and think “Could I cope with this?” If not why should I be passing the buck?

People have asked me along the way “why don’t you stand for the Greens?” The Green Party don’t have a candidate in Cheadle and aren’t set to have one yet. I lean towards a lot of the values they hold . The reason why I haven’t wanted to stand for any political party (having been approached by three) is because I don’t want to restrict myself. I want to be able to say what I believe in as opposed to what a certain party wants me and everyone else to believe in. If I was to vote against my own party I would be considered a rebel. Yes a REBEL for having an actual personal opinion rather than following orders! It pleases me to see other Independents up and down the country sticking it to the Man and I genuinely believe without party politics we could be better off. What I do think is that all like-minded heads should come together and support each other. The Green Party have actually shown support in my corner and have advised that I am their “preferred candidate” which is brilliant. I am always happy to talk politics with anyone no matter their political persuasion.

This brings me onto my main point: I feel education is the most important thing. I am a very black-and-white person, something that politicians a lot of the time are not. I think we all know they purposely speak in jargon and in over-elaborate language to confuse the public, because if the public knew what was really going on then there would be trouble. I may be naïve in my thinking that a government’s role is to look after a country and its population. Instead we have policy changes that are purely ideological. When will we see the day that a leader goes: “do you know what, he’s doing a cracking job, there are just a couple of things on that.” Instead we have politicians meddling in people’s lives purely due to party opinions. I say if something is working well then don’t change it so it looks like you’re doing your bit. I may win this election or I may not, but as the late great Tony Benn said it’s not always about winning it’s about how you fight. Fight we should, whether any of us win or lose. WE are the ones with the power – but making people realise that is the hardest part.

I know I won’t ever give up on people that struggle, on the vulnerable that need help. I’ve lived through it and I don’t want anyone to have to go through it either. I want a better world and I want us all to hold hands and help everyone together. As one. There is no community without unity and that’s what I want up and down this beautiful country…Common Unity.

You can follow Matthew’s progress on twitter at @MMT39.