"The time has come," the Walrus said,
"To talk of many things:
Of moats and troughs and stealing tax
Of cabbages and kings
And why the sea is boiling hot
And whether pigs have wings."
Apologies to Lewis Carrol
There are some who say the expenses row is a trivial distraction from the real issues. I disagree. Would you trust a child molester to do your babysitting? Would you give a pyromaniac a box of matches? Would you ask the Artful Dodger to mind your wallet? Our MPs are utterly discredited and we need a new broom. Yes good MPs will be swept away too, (the ones who notably kept their mouths shut and put Party before propriety), but are we seriously suggesting that in a country of over 60 million souls we can't find 645 honest replacements?
We need to deep clean Parliament. Out with the MPs who have failed us. Out with the civil servants who signed off the receipts. Out with anyone connected with this whole damn sorry mess.
And we can make a start at the European Elections.
Let's be perfectly frank here. The 72 MEPs we send to Europe are going to do damn all of consequence for
So if our MEPs can't make a meaningful difference to EU Policy, let's use them as a stepping stone to making a meaningful difference in
And there's good reason not to send Party MEPs to
And that's no exaggeration. David Craig and Matthew Elliott in their book "The Great European Rip-Off" showed in excruciating detail how MEPs can skim off 230,000 Euros a year from expenses and allowances - 1,150,000 Euros over a five year term. The way the pound is going, the Party MPs will be multimillionaires by 2014.
Jury Team Candidates have one thing in common. They differ in opinions about the environment, immigration, EU policies etc etc etc, but they are all wedded to the idea of transparency. If a significant number of them get into
And when the General Election comes you'll have something to compare the Parties to. You'll be able to see if Independent MPs really can make a difference.
I believe they can. And I also believe that, by setting an example they can drag the Parties along the road to reforming themselves and creating a new politics for
A vote for a Party on June 4th is a wasted vote and a wasted opportunity for real change.