PLEASE allow me to respond to the Liberal Democrats' parliamentary spokesperson Merlene Emerson, who stated that "it must be extremely lonely and challenging to be an independent candidate, with the exception perhaps of personalities or celebrities who have name recognition and possibly personal funding." ('Political parties still have a part to play', Ealing and Acton Gazette).
Like Merlene Emerson, Independent Ealing and Acton Communities for Public Services, which is sponsoring Sam Akaki, also believes that parties will always have a part to play in the management of our public affairs.
However, many voters, young and old, black and white, totally disagree with the arrogance that a candidate must be a personality, celebrity or someone sponsored by a major political party, funded by the trade unions, big businesses and non-domicile millionaires, in order to be elected to parliament.
The issue of party funding by powerful organisations and rich individuals is turning MPs into rented agents of vested interests. After all, he who pays the piper calls the tune, goes a time-honoured adage.
Moreover, as Merlene Emerson knows very well, some party donors have questionable reputation. For example, Mr Michael Brown, who gave £2.4million to the Liberal Democrats, was convicted of fraud in 2008.
Merlene Emerson also stated that Mr Martin defeated Tory Neil Hamilton in 1997 only because the former was famous. However, Neil Hamilton's parliamentary-questions-for-cash affair now pales into insignificance, compared with the recent MPs' expenses scandals.
According to Sir Thomas Legg's Commission report, released on February 5,390 MPs (more than half the entire number in the House of Commons), including Gordon Brown, David Cameron and Nick Clegg, were found to have received millions of pounds through what the report called "deeply flawed and vague" rules.
As ordinary Britons lost their jobs and home, and struggled to make ends meet, MPs were still claiming millions in the so-called second home allowances, transport, food, duck houses and one MP made a claim for pornographic films.
To add insult to injury, three Labour MPs and a Tory MP are taking party arrogance to a new height, and claiming for parliamentary immunity from prosecution for these alleged activities. The Prime Minister has quietly agreed to repay £12,000 in expenses paid to his brother for decorating his second home!
Political parties are not only equality tainted by the expense scandal.
They are also united in spinning. Recently, Dr Tony Wright, Chairman of the House of Commons' Public Administration Select Committee (PASC), no less, said: "Government and opposition are cheating the electorate. We are going to ask them to vote without being told, on a basis of a claim that there's going to be no damage.
"You cannot take £73bn out of the economy to fill a black hole while not doing any damage to public services, can you?"
In this election, the voters will not be choosing between Labour, the Conservatives and Liberal Democrats.
The choice will be between real change, championed by and independent candidate Sam Akaki on the one hand - and more of the same representatives of vested interests, controlled by party whips on the other hand.
To make that choice even easier, reports are consistently indicating that the Liberal Democrats are waiting to prop up whoever gets higher votes - Gordon Brown or David Cameron.
In other words, a vote for the LibDems will be a vote for Labour or Conservatives.
Press and communication manager Independent Ealing and Acton Communities for Public Services Acton