Thursday, 18 March 2010

Lesbian sets up new political party

The Commons party is about connecting with those people who don’t vote says Tamsin Omond, PPC for Hampstead and Kilburn

The King William is the only gay pub in Hampstead. I’ve been hanging out there since I was 14. I used to be coy, quiet and underage. More recently I’m pretty loud. I come in off the streets with my sandwich board and brass megaphone as leader of the The Commons - a new political party shaking things up in Hampstead and Kilburn.

The team and I grab a couple of tables and start talking to the locals. People are never quite sure how to react. Why are this merry band asking for their opinions on crime, health and transport? I guess the questions we’re asking seem a little out of place from the image we present. After all politics isn’t supposed to be engaging is it? Surely it’s about projecting and telling, not asking and listening.

Not with us. The Commons is a completely new kind of political party. We’re going to make democracy relevant to all of our lives.

It’s strange but since becoming a politician it’s difficult to sound genuine. And that’s because most (not all) politicians just aren’t. We want to take the focus off of suits in Whitehall and turn it onto our communities, the real people out in the streets. Only then do you have democracy. If nearly 50% of people aren’t motivated to go out and vote, then whoever it is, Cameron or Brown, they won’t represent the people.

The Commons is about connecting with those people who don’t vote. We’re not interested in telling people what we think they want to hear. I’m going to be out on the streets, looking at community issues, finding out what would make people the people of Hampstead and Kilburn tick come Election Day.

Gay people know how it feels to be misrepresented. We know how it feels to have power taken from us all in the name of policy. I grew up under Section 28. I remember. If we’re going to sort out society then we’re going to have to start a conversation that involves everyone. If I’m elected I will be the youngest woman and first lesbian inside Parliament and that’s long overdue.

Politics isn’t working. We’re all left out of decisions that affect our lives. Gay people know how to make their voices heard. I’m inviting all of society to have the pride to do the same. Get in touch and join the conversation.

Check us out at or follow us on Twitter @tamsinomond @tothecommons. Look forward to hearing from you...