It is very difficult to persuade people that, as a candidate, you are not actually a full time, well paid politician.
Over recent weeks, and in the eye of the storm that is the MP expenses furore, it has become increasingly difficult to get any message across to ordinary members of the public. Instead, (almost to a man, woman and child), everyone wants to vent their anger on the disgraceful action of MPs who have cheated the expenses system of taxpayers money.
As an ordinary member of the public and taxpayer - I agree!
To start the process of restoring faith in our political system I believe that all those who have made fraudulent claims on their expenses MUST be prosecuted without delay. It is simply not tenable for people who have claimed mortgage interest on expenses when they don't have any mortgage to pay interest on to claim they are within the rules and anything other than dishonest.
These people must be thoroughly investigated and, if the Daily Telegraph are right, charged with having committed fraud.
Such action is long overdue and should be just the start of action against those who felt able to make expense claims that were not "wholly, exclusively and necessarily" incurred in service of their constituents.
Simply paying back money or paying back capital gains tax is not good enough! If a member of the public is a day late in their personal tax return or pays up late they have surcharges, penalties and interest to pay HM Revenue & Customs - so why do these MPs think they should be treated any differently?
David Cameron has called for a General Election so that the public can decide the fate of those implicated in this saga and I am happy to support his "Sign For Change" initiative so that ordinary members of the public are able to register their desire to shape our democracy. Put simply, David gets it in a way that Gordon Brown is simply unable to fathom.
The rules the public have to abide by should be good enough for MPs or they are not honorable members. So let's see the guilty treated the same as everyone else for the sake of fair play and let's have a General Election so everyone can vote for change and a better UK democracy!
Monday, 25 May 2009
Friday, 1 May 2009
Would you believe it!
Just a few short days after I broke the news that Glasgow City Council were withholding £600,000 from East Renfrewshire Council, despite a legal judgement in December of last year awarding the cash to East Ren, and what do you know Glasgow pay up!
East Renfrewshire may have a Labour MP, a Labour MSP and a Labour led Council, but their combined efforts failed to persuade Labour led Glasgow City Council to return the £600,000 plus it owed East Renfrewshire for the provision of regular school placement requests.
I am not a great one for telling people what to think but if there is a moral to this story it is that "you can trust your East Renfrewshire Conservatives to look after the interests of local people while the Labour Party sit on the sidelines and do nothing!"