A Lichfield man says he will offer an alternative option at the ballot box after confirming he would stand as a candidate later this year.

Christopher Wilkinson

Christopher Wilkinson will contest the Lichfield City North seat in the Staffordshire County Council vote as well as the Stowe ward in a Lichfield City Council by-election.

He said the city needed more representatives who were not tied to national allegiances.

“The major political parties have proven themselves incapable or unwilling to provide the changes so desperately needed to improve our city, whether it be on failure of Friarsgate and the inadequacy and unviability of its replacement, the Lichfield masterplan, or the distinct lack of opposition to the construction of HS2 which is at this moment tearing through acres of local ancient woodlands and buildings.

“We’re huge housing projects being approved without supporting commercial infrastructure and urban green spaces disappearing leaving communities without natural space for leisure and reducing land value.

“This really must change and with your vote, it’s the change I will fight to deliver.

“By supporting me, you are assured that there are no secrets or hidden agendas being kept from you. What you see really will be what you get.

“As party candidates inevitably serve party interests, only an independent candidate can truly serve the people’s interests.”

Christopher Wilkinson

Mr Wilkinson said he hoped other people would follow his lead and stand forward as independent candidates.

“The change I’m offering is a much-needed change for the better – politics should not be about choosing the best from a bad situation anymore, but about positive policies, constructive arguments and candidates that represent the best of ourselves.

“Above all else, we must all remember that there is more to life than politics alone.

“I encourage all those with similar beliefs to come forward and participate in the electoral process, to stand for these elections and to vote for like-minded candidates.

“As many individuals can help produce small changes, together we can help achieve big victories for Lichfield.”

Christopher Wilkinson

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36 Comments

  1. If he promises to be visible and engage with residents then he’s already way ahead of the current County Councillor for Lichfield North. She seems to have disappeared, although I’m sure we shall see more of her again now that election time is coming up.

  2. We have brilliant representation in Chadsmead from our independent councillor.

    We are missing any sight or sound of the county Councillor, what on earth does she do?

  3. Will he wear a tin foil hat? Here he is on Covid-19:
    “…Our own immune systems provide the best resistance to viruses, not half-baked and potentially dangerous drugs”

    This area needs SENSIBLE politicians.

  4. Good luck to you, but sadly whilst you might get elected you won’t stand any chance in a chamber full of Conservatives.

  5. Mr Wilkinson describes himself online as an ‘independent libertarian’, but the latter word seems to be missing from the announcement of his candidacy on his own website, and in the piece above. He states that he is in favour of small government and low taxes, and thinks that the Conservative government taxes us too much.

    Less than a week ago, an entry on his site has him dismissing the efficacy of mask-wearing, social distancing and lockdowns. He states that “We need to fully reopen the economy for the working age population… We must make alternative provisions available for those opting to self-isolate”, whatever that may mean. His candidacy announcement on his website states that “Common sense must triumph over pseudoscience. Facts must triumph over fiction.” This is not my idea of “positive policies, constructive arguments and candidates that represent the best of ourselves”, but each to their own I suppose…

    Mr Wilkinson is entitled to his views, and I would encourage people to know what they are voting for. As the gentleman himself says, it’s important that there are no hidden agendas.

    Full disclosure: I am a member of the Labour Party and I think we have some excellent local councillors in Lichfield North and a great candidate for the Lichfield North County Council seat in Kathy Coe, MBE, founder of the Pathway domestic abuse charity. The figures show that Labour also has the best chance of beating the Tories in Stowe ward (where Mr Wilkinson previously stood in 2019, splitting the non-Tory vote with a commendable 285 votes, which would have been enough to elect either the Labour or Lib Dem candidate).

  6. I would like to correct my previous post, in the interests of fairness to Mr Wilkinson. His candidacy announcement DOES state “My values are based on classical liberal and libertarian philosophy” and he then goes on to elucidate some of the concepts he believes in.

    My apologies to Mr Wilkinson for my mistake, and I’d also like to clarify that I do know how to use paragraphs, and attempted to use them above (not sure why that failed!) I stand by everything else I’ve said.

  7. For anyone else wondering where or when Christopher Wilkinson said “Our own immune systems provide the best resistance to viruses, not half-baked and potentially dangerous drugs” it’s in one of his Facebook posts on 5th November
    https://m.facebook.com/ChristopherWilkinsonLibertarian/posts
    I would like to provide a direct link to the post but I can’t get Facebook to give me a sensible URL for it, possibly because I don’t have a Facebook account and Facebook is a dumpster fire of a company that hates the idea of content existing on the Internet outside Facebook.

    Christopher also seems to have bought in to the idea of the most recent US presidential election being affected by corruption and fraud.

    There is a lot more to this man than covered in this article.

  8. Mark, we need properly tested and effective drugs to treat COVID-19. We don’t want to do ourselves any more harm than what we’ve already had done to us by the government. Alerting people to the potential dangers of a vaccine that has been developed in less than a year is an entirely sensible thing to do when the effects of such dangers could be life-threatening. Hand picking quotations without applying context to them is not sensible at all. You mention the fantasy of tin foil hats, but I could equally mention the reality of blue face masks.

    Lichvegas, I am indeed an independent. Libertarianism is a broad political philosophy that opposes authoritarianism – it is not a party allegiance. I will be listed as an independent on the ballot paper and will remain independent throughout the term of office if elected. That’s rather more than can be said for Councillor Anketell who changed his allegiance from independent to the Labour Party without a by-election in the exact same ward of Stowe this time last year, just nine months after the 2019 local elections. Councillor Anketell has no electoral mandate to represent Stowe as a Labour councillor. I’d like to see the figures you’re referring to that suggest you’ll win the by-election when Labour lost the trust of voters in Stowe last January. If what you’re suggesting is true, why did the official Labour candidate in 2019 fail to win a seat in Stowe? Why did only one Labour candidate stand when three positions were available? That’s exactly the sort of misinformation and confirmation bias that people are fed up with from mainstream political parties and why independents can provide a genuine and honest alternative. That aside, there are other issues of importance beyond COVID-19; businesses are closing, jobs are being lost, people are suffering from worsening mental health, families are losing contact with one another to name but a few. People will vote in full view of the facts about what each party and their candidates stand for. When lockdown, social distancing and the compulsory wearing of face coverings have already been more than enough for so many people in the community, I doubt they’d be so foolish to turn to a party that can only promise they’d make things worse.

  9. I would not want Mr Wilkinson representing me if I lived in the ward. His views on COVID-19 and the vaccine are worrying and are moving towards conspiracy theory territory. I am always suspicious when somebody declares they are a libertarian and are against the establishment. All sounds very similar to UKIP and Farage and is the last thing we need right now. Of course everybody is entitled to their own opinion but I would not be lending Mr Wilkinson my support.

  10. Another independent voice would be good news in many ways. But I do hope Mr Wilkinson doesn’t fall into the tired and frankly boring trap of merely criticising the performance of the parties opposing him…oh, too late, its already started.

    That breath of fresh air is already turning a bit stale.

    Petty party politics is so 2020 and as an independent I want to know what Mr Wilkinson thinks about the issues affecting us in the LDC area, not the performance of others.

    Calling yourself a libertarian is also skating on thin ice given our MP claims something similar yet acts so differently.

    You can make a difference. If you differentiate yourself from the sorry shower of shizzle that we already have to put up with.

  11. “Full disclosure: I am a member of the Labour Party” Please put that at the start of your comments so everyone can skip past the rest

  12. “Mark, we need properly tested and effective drugs to treat COVID-19.”

    We have them.

    “You mention the fantasy of tin foil hats, but I could equally mention the reality of blue face masks”

    What?

    Other than that, the rest is just a rant about councillors changing allegiance, which in local politics is the proverbial ‘storm in a tea cup.’

  13. Sadly Mr Wilkinson, the only thing half baked here is your stance on COVID restrictions and treatment. You are clearly of the same ilk as mainstream politicians, since your immediate instinct is to try and score points off others. I would support independent candidates in principle, but not in your case I’m afraid.

  14. Mr Wilkinson your views which you’re entitled to, err towards tin foil hat territory.
    Libertarianism has led us,through indecision and dither, to the point we’re at now. I’m sick of it.
    The right thing to do is to ramp up the vaccine roll-out and I think the vast majority of people in Lichfield & Burntwood believe in that.
    Cllr Grange is a great example of an Independent Cllr.
    I’ll be frank with you, I loathe what the Tory party has become and they’ll never get my vote but if I had to choose between someone with your views and Cllr Pullen, he’d get my vote every time. And believe me, as Bananarama once sang, that’s really saying something.

  15. Hopefully soon Mr W will state his firm & final views on the precise matters affecting Lichfield within LDC responsibility in writing [briefly] well before election – so we can take a full view on his suitability to represent us – or not!

  16. Revs33, I don’t believe in conspiracies but it’s always necessary to question everything in order to gain a comprehensive perspective of an issue. Without questions there simply aren’t any answers. Regarding the comparison to UKIP and Nigel Farage, without me having said a single thing on policy in the statement as it’s been presented, how can you make such a comparison? As my consultations are carried out and policies are created, it shall become clear that such a view is wrong.

    The Scribbler, what has been published here is an edited version of a larger press release that appears to place much greater emphasis on the performance of other parties in the way you’ve mentioned. In the full version, I outline my commitments to being easily accessible as I know communication is central to good representation, to remain as an independent throughout the term of office, and to not claim any expenses for any reason; I’d like to see how many other candidates will commit themselves to the final promise there. I have just started to undertake consultations with business and residents about the issues that affect them which will in turn create the policies I intend to stand on for the election.

    John Allen, there are no half-baked stances I have on COVID. Like everyone else I have a right to question issues and search for answers, so I do. That’s different from advocating in favour of a question. To suggest I’m of the same ilk as mainstream politicians really did make me smile. Again, for the reasons I’ve given to The Scribbler above, this article is an edited version of a larger press release which covered issues, public mood and early pledges in greater detail.

  17. Mr Wilkinson looks to be dangerous, very dangerous, and I hope that in the lead up to any election he gets properly fact checked.

  18. Mr Wilkinson – I was referring solely to your first comment on here rather than the article or your press release.

    Your first opportunity to discuss with others you revert to rubbishing members of other parties.

  19. Given the choice between an invisible candidate, the founder of a successful local domestic violence charity and an anti-vaxxer?

    Easy choice for me when the time comes.

  20. …and just for the record, because misinformation such as this does need to be challenged, research on the development of new mRNA vaccines had already started ages before the pandemic. And whilst it is true that the COVID-19 specific vaccines themselves were developed quickly, the clinical trials (which examine safety and efficacy) were not rushed at all. The whole process for finding a specific Covid-19 vaccine was finished in a shorter overall timeframe than usual, because of the concentrated amount of effort and resources which are not normally available outside of an emergency situation.

    Mr Wilkinson is right in his assertion that we should ask questions, but the nature of a populist/conspiracy theorist is revealed when they refuse to listen to the answers.

  21. Chris, you need to get your facts right first! If I’m ‘dangerous’ to anyone, it can only be to the mainstream types who spout propaganda and toe party lines instead of working to represent and succeed in achieving the common interests of local residents. If you regard that as a danger, then surely you must regard democracy as a sin? ‘Fact-checking’ is usually biased in any case.

    The Scribbler, ‘Your first opportunity to discuss with others you revert to rubbishing members of other parties’ – who specifically have I mentioned, and from what parties? Parties generally don’t act in the interests of the people, but of the parties themselves. You may recall that I stood previously in 2019 as an independent. It’s therefore untrue to say this is a ‘first opportunity’, and I wouldn’t call disparaging comments based on falsehoods a discussion. I’m more than happy to discuss matters more seriously with anyone who wishes.

    Asellus aquaticus, I consider the claim that I’m an ‘anti-vaxxer’ libelist and I’d be very careful about what you’re saying. I know lockdown has brought a lot of emotions out in people, but there’s no need to lie just to make someone look bad. It’s your choice who you vote for. If Kathy Coe stood as an independent with no allegiance to the Labour Party, I’ll withdraw from the County election.

  22. MrWilkinson you say we need properly tested and effective drugs to treat COVID-19.
    Agreed, we now have learnt so much and now have a range of medications that are proving useful.

    However, you clearly show your ignorance about the testing procedures that are followed in this country. These take place before ANY new drug or medical device is licensed for use. There has been a massive global effort to get a safe vaccine, if you calculate the man hours that have gone into finding an effective vaccine then you would not call this “rushed”.

    So, when you say you are “Alerting people to the potential dangers of a vaccine that has been developed in less than a year is an entirely sensible thing to do when the effects of such dangers could be life-threatening” you clearly show your ignorance and in suggesting the vaccine is a danger you are life threatening!!
    I am NOT a labour voter but looking at the track record of Kathy Coe MBE, founder of the Pathway Project she seems a far better choice and will get my vote, you won’t!

  23. Crikey – sounds like Mr Wilkinson is on ‘Economics for Dummies‘.
    Please enlighten us – why is the market 100% accurate when obviously the market drives boom and bust therefore not really the best, most enlightened, forward-thinking approach for a global economy? Could go on, can’t be bothered…
    This is very basic Economics – why base your political career on a view which is rippable-to-shreds…?
    Why did you enter politics? A niche opportunity or don’t know what else to do?
    Very immature outlook, you won’t have my vote.

  24. So Mr Wilkinson, the free market should determine everything? Are you a closet Conservative? Yes, ask questions, but listen to the answers from experts, who know more than you. I think we have had enough libertarians, thank you, what we need now is firm leaders.

  25. I’ve never met Chris but I welcome candidates from across the spectrum standing for election locally. It makes for a better democracy for us all.

  26. Mr Wilkisnon, your first comment on here included: “I will be listed as an independent on the ballot paper and will remain independent throughout the term of office if elected. That’s rather more than can be said for Councillor Anketell who changed his allegiance from independent to the Labour Party without a by-election in the exact same ward of Stowe this time last year, just nine months after the 2019 local elections. Councillor Anketell has no electoral mandate to represent Stowe as a Labour councillor. I’d like to see the figures you’re referring to that suggest you’ll win the by-election when Labour lost the trust of voters in Stowe last January. If what you’re suggesting is true, why did the official Labour candidate in 2019 fail to win a seat in Stowe? Why did only one Labour candidate stand when three positions were available? That’s exactly the sort of misinformation and confirmation bias that people are fed up with from mainstream political parties and why independents can provide a genuine and honest alternative.”

    Guess what? In our house we don’t care about any of this.
    Stop focusing on what the current crop of parties do or don’t do and just focus on what you can do for us.

    I seem to recall Cllr Joanne Grange originally stood on a Conservative ticket. She switched to Independent on a number of points of principle. I applauded her for doing so then, I voted for her subsequently and she continues to be one of the stand out elected representatives on LDC as she stubbornly and in my opinion expertly pursues the independent course for the best interests of her constituents and LDC as a whole. Cllr Grange is vocal about other parties, but on local or national issues that matter to us and her criticism generally seems fair, balance and constructive. There is no finger pointing, no juvenile “…yeah, but, they did this and they did that and they did this…”, there is instead exactly the type of elected representative we want and we deserve.

    (Please bear in mind I am only focusing on this particular point at the moment and you have already lost my vote. Add in the questionable Covid stance and you really have no hope of winning me around no matter how good your apparent intentions are to the wards you are planning to contest).

  27. Wow.

    So this potential candidate is quite prepared to spread fear and doubt about the Covid vaccination, but his first recourse to being challenged on it is to threaten to sue.

    Careful who you vote for, folks

  28. Having now read through his Facebook page and comments I don’t think my initial assessment of dangerous went far enough. Fact checking is biased, I’ll agree with that though, towards facts, I can see why he isn’t keen on it.

  29. Thomas Loughborough Rudd – I think the vast majority of us would echo your statement. However, the real beauty of democracy is the ability to question and challenge and discuss. That is particularly important as you start heading towards the far reaches of that spectrum where some viewpoints really do occupy the outer margins and do need to be challenged. If their argument is reasoned and persuasive, then so be it. But if their opinion is based on flimsy evidence and a tentative grasp on reality, then they need to be held to account. Welcoming a broad spectrum is admirable, continually questioning and scrutinising those who wish to represent others is essential.

    I know from your social media that you are a fan of John Cena quotes. This one applies: “Be brave enough to openly ask what you’d like to know and be curious enough to listen to what they say.”

    I would add: “But be courageous and honest enough to challenge when that is required.”

  30. I’d be interested to hear how Christopher Wilkinson thinks he might pursue a case against Asellus aquaticus for libel based on comments posted here. I’m assuming that Asellus aquaticus is not someone’s real name and that identifying who wrote the comments would involve getting Lichfield Live and an Internet Service Provider to provide information from relevant logs, assuming they have them. Even with such information it may not be possible to prove who wrote the comments. Then consider the time, the expense, the likelihood of winning.

    “I’d be very careful about what you’re saying” appears an empty ridiculous threat.

  31. It’s quite the eye-opener viewing the Facebook link in the post from Asellus aquaticus (5th Jan @ 1.54 pm) . Vote for Chris Wilkinson if you want to be told that “Noise pollution is a fact of life” and that the council shouldn’t be involved in planning decisions about where businesses can open!

    Mr Wilkinson also asserts that that you can support a family by working in a takeaway. Well, sort of. These jobs are usually minimum wage and part-time, therefore employees and even the business owners themselves are frequently reliant upon Universal Credit to top up their incomes: more ‘big government’ and more taxation to fund it, neither of which Mr Wilkinson is keen on, as I understand it).

    Thanks to Asellus aquaticus, I see that Mr Wilkinson describes Wheel Lane/Swallow Croft as a commercial area – it isn’t, it’s a residential area with a small parade of shops. There is a similar parade of shops in Stowe ward, where the launderette and barber shop may be found – if someone wanted to open a new business there, would Mr Wilkinson as their councillor dismiss any residents’ concerns in a similarly high-handed and ideologically-driven manner? I would hope not. All party allegiances aside, I want a local councillor who will use the limited powers they have, not tell me that it’s none of their business!

  32. I am all in favour of expanding the pool of elected officials to embrace younger elected councillors. I think the past 12 months have shown the importance of encouraging younger voices to be heard rather than the same old names saying the same old things.

    As a lifelong Conservative voter I am heartened that we have a comparatively young leader of LDC. I know there are younger Conservative councillors in Lichfield and Burntwood too, albeit with varying degrees of success.

    But permit this “old head” a moment to pass on some advice. Mr Wilkinson’s views as regards the pandemic and Covid are unwelcome and dangerous – that would be my view were he a member of the party I support too rather than an “Independent”. They also point towards a worrying trend within that younger generation to ignore sound, expert scientific and medical advice and opinion in favour of their own misguided beliefs which have little basis in fact and are not borne from the years of experience often required in these circumstances.

    Huge mistakes have been made by supposedly wise older heads in Westminster and here in Lichfield. That cannot be denied. But arguing against what is patently clear in front of you is dangerous ground for Mr Wilkinson and his ilk.

    Indeed it might go some way to explain the remorseless spread of Covid when so many of Mr Wilkinson’s generation willfully ignore the guidelines and expert advice. Whether it is going without a mask, insisting on their right to mix with others in a far from Covid-safe setting, chopping and changing their living arrangements at will to satisfy their more base needs, the 20-30 age group is causing more problems for us all in their attitudes and behaviour.

    I cannot help but believe that Mr Wilkinson and some of our younger existing councillor have a good deal of growing up to do still.

  33. To be fair George, given what he has said about the Covid vaccine, I would be quite happy to face this alleged libertarian in court if that is his response to
    free speech.

    However, I am prepared to concede that his dangerous anti-vaccination rhetoric does appear to be specifically aimed at the Covid vaccine(s) which incidentally on 26th September he claimed were “…scientifically impossible to achieve”

    It’s ironic that he’s so antagonistic to the Covid vaccine really, given that he is also against pretty much all other measures to tackle the spread of the disease. Indeed he believes if you wear a mask and try to keep two metres apart from each other, you are “part of the problem”. Try to sue me for that too, if you wish Mr Wilkinson. 2nd November. I’ve taken a screenshot.

  34. The Scribbler makes some good points here. Democracy at it’s best is challenging, honest and representative. This is something we should all aspire to. Accountability is important including on views that we don’t agree with. On that note I also hope Mr Wilkinson reflects on his attitude towards covid 19. It is critical that eveyone in the public eye supports the national vaccination role out.

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