12 Oct 2009

Political Memories May The Short But...

With the return of Parliament from the summer recess today, numerous stories have hit the news to give a synopsis of the disasters that have affected parliament in the last year.

In addition to this campaigners had a variety of innovative ways to remind MPs that while their memories may be short, the public's aren't.

It was rather pleasing to listen to the furore over MPs expenses taking off once again with members of the public, journalists and MPs alike across the broad range of radio stations we now have.

However, it was the desperate news article to amend Damian Green MP's debacle that caught my attention.

This is 'desperate' in the way that it attempts to conjure the image that Damian Green has done nothing wrong by leaking information because it is considered by the Enquiry that the leak was not a risk to public security. That does not prevent it from being an immoral act nor from it being wrong.

While this will not takes centre stage in the public consciousness, I personally consider it diabolical that an MP should breach confidentiality of the House of Commons and that this says a lot about the integrity of the MPs we currently have in parliament.

It is a risk to security if police funding is allocated to reading MPs offices as this is a matter of funding that could be targeted elsewhere to more necessary services. With the current Labour government reducing the budgeting for policing across the country on a regular basis, it is rather distressing to think that one entire group was allocated to raiding Damian Green's office instead of protecting the public and "fighting crime".

One of the issues we face in Ashford Borough with local reporting is that the newspapers are predominantly Conservative and therefore generally won't allow any criticism or review of Conservative MPs, County Councillors or Borough Councillors (for example). Personally, I consider that £140,000 is quite a substantial amount for a gravy train for an MP, especially one that is rarely seen within the constituency other than at large corporate dinners that he hosts or when giving talks to elitist groups.

But I would like people to keep in mind that our current MP, Shadow Immigration Secretary for the Conservative Party, is someone who is willing to leak information through civil servants, and this demonstrates an utter lack of integrity.

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