Wednesday, 27 May 2009

Tories Want Scots To Vote For A Thief

The Tory Party's much-trumpeted crackdown on expenses cheats in their ranks is just a PR Exercise. Their lead candidate in Scotland, Struan Stevenson, was caught "Signing In and Sodding Off" in 2004.

He was accused on the Today programme of signing the MEPs' register that declared he was attending meetings in the Belgian capital but then, one hour later, flying back to Scotland while still pocketing the 262 euros (roughly £180) per day expenses for meals and subsistence in Brussels.

Mr Stevenson said he had been traduced and that the allowance, which also covered his accommodation costs in Brussels, was claimed by everyone.

This answer, however, only begged further questions - the obvious one being that just because everyone else claimed it, did that make it right for Mr Stevenson to do it, too? And if he was legitimately claiming for his accommodation costs, why did he not pay back that part of the allowance that related to meals in Brussels that he didn't eat?

One MSP, who was not unsympathetic to Mr Stevenson's predicament, nevertheless asked whether the MEP would be happy to pay one of his farm labourers a full day's pay if that man turned up at 8am but then cleared off an hour later. Daily Telegraph

This is the weakness of the Party List system. Mr Stevenson has been a politician all his life and excelled at climbing the greasy pole. Three terms in Westminster and now seeking a third term in Brussels, Mr Stevenson is well-versed in the black arts of politics. So little wonder that he has sufficient weight in the party to ensure he heads the Party List. But where does that leave the voter? Every vote for the Conservatives is a vote for this man, a known expenses cheat. The Party obviously doesn't care about his shady past, a fact that gives the lie to all Cameron's attempts to be the white knight cleaning up the Tory Party.

A vote for the Conservatives on June 4th is a vote for corruption.


  1. "A vote for the Conservatives on June 4th is a vote for corruption."

    You got that right Alan.

  2. How on earth do they expect people to vote for someone like this? It just adds insult to injury. Even if elected what is he going to do other than toe the party line? What a waste of money.

  3. Alan, the problem is not the party system. What we are seeing here is the result of a huge democratic deficit in the country. In the past, MPs could at least be relied on not to sell us all down the river, there were some paternalist values that just about kept the "First Past The Post" system on track.

    The acid test for a political party is do they intend to devolve power down to the people. Applying that test, the main parties are shown up as the careerists and traitors that they really are. You would make a bigger impact as a candidate for the English Democrats in my opinion.

  4. I've seen your billboard. What exactly is your stance on Scottish independence, and what relevance does your party have to Scotland? (I'm asking this because most of the stuff on the main site seems to be directed at UK wide audience.

  5. Just found out that you are standing in Scotland, so I suppose there is not much chance of you jumping ship to the English Democrats. Very Anglo-centric of me and apologies, but the gist of what I`m saying is still there. The whole party issue is a distraction

  6. The fundamental problem is the Party system imo. Look, why should a party whip exist? If the party can't convince their own members of an argument, what does that say about the strength of the argument?

    Too many people go from University to a party as a "researcher", spend ten years kissing arse and not stepping out of line and are rewarded by being parachuted into a safe seat. That means the new MP owes his allegiance to the Party not to the people who voted for him. Furthermore he got that position by being a yes man so he's not going to change his spots. In this way the parties create compliant voting fodder.

    I think the English Democrats are ok, good ideas, well thought out, but I could never in conscience bow to a party whip, any party whip.

    As an example, during the recent debate about Post Office closures, several Labour MPs wrote to their constituents and expressed their support, their sympathies and assured them they would fight tooth and nail against closures. On the day of the vote, they all filed through the voying corridor in favour of closures, under the watchful eye of the whips.

  7. My stance on Independence is if the people of Scotland vote for Independence I will do everything in my power to bring that about. If they vote for the Union, it is my job as an elected representative to support that decision to the hilt too.

    Politicians must always reflect the views of constituents. And I don't mean a mealy-mouthed, trying to please everybody reflection, I mean give constituents a real say through open democracy and referendums. Politicians should do as they're bloody well told and not try to tell us what they think we said.

  8. I won`t argue the point about the whipping system because I agree with you there but it is rather like fixed-term parliaments and MP recalls, positive ideas but not what is essentially needed.

    Having said that, as you are standing in Scotland where the only option is the SNP, I can see that you are on the side of the angels and I bestow my blessing on your candidature.

  9. The only way we can see real change and real democracy is to have people with a real connection to society acting directly and solely for constituents. Use that as a starting point (and it is only a starting point), and it makes every other reform so much easier.


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