144 Thousand Optomists

In the run up to the general election in 2010 apathy towards party politics was running high. The optimism of New Labour had collapsed in the war on terror, alignment with American international policy and skepticism over the Prime Minister’s assertion that we could be under threat from “Weapons of Mass Destruction” controlled by Saddam Hussein within 45 minutes.

Amongst the cynicism was a growing collection of people wishing to stand independently for parliament. Of a wide spectrum of ideologies and intentions the one thing that bound them was a belief that something could be done and the commitment to put themselves and their money on the line to try. In 2008 and 2009 I would travel the country to meet these people, have a cup of tea and a chat about politics and to make a portrait.