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South Shields premier political blog

Using my protest vote

with 6 comments

eu flagI will not waste my Euro vote

Politics is in the mire, MPs aided and abetted by a public spirited whistle blower, have seen to that, and the daily diet of revelatory stories about expenses continues unabated, so there is every good reason for the public to send a massive protest to our representatives in Westminster on June 4th. Whilst I can understand the likely reaction in turning against the major parties, I fear that such strong protests will do little to help reform the institutions of Europe or give us the sort of EU community that we really want, I fear too that low turnouts will give disproportional votes and seats to extremists and minority interests, I do not want the UK to be sending such people to get lost in the machine in Brussels.

Here in the North East Region amongst the smaller parties I am being encouraged to vote for Jury Team, a collective “independent” movement that apparently sees no role for politics and politicians, yet it wants to be involved in some of the largest political decisions that we are likely to face. We also have the Green Party available to collect protest votes all day long, even if those placing an X in their box may not even understand some of their laudable and sensible policies, it could be so easy to be swayed without giving the matter some pretty serious thought. There are many other minor candidates to add into the mix.

We have yet to receive much in the way of literature landing on our doormats, although I have had and read the Green Party’s leaflet, Jury Team’s has yet to arrive and I’d love to know what their solid policies on Europe are, their website is fairly scant and lacking in policy detail, but that is nothing compared to the inconsistencies demonstrated in the Shields Gazette article by their leading candidate Cllr. Ahmed Khan:

Coun Khan, 47, who represents the Beacon and Bents ward as an Independent Alliance councillor, said the Jury Team was founded with the aim of making politics more transparent.

Cllr. Khan is quite transparent and easy to see through, for instance if you expose any of his failings you are likely to be found at the end of a rather large stick, and when you offer him the right to reply he goes mute. See here.

The Westoe businessman believes the current expenses scandal has proved that “professional politicians systematically abuse the privileges we grant them”.

He added: “Millions of voters have put their trust in their politicians only to be let down by a system that puts loyalty to the party above anything and anyone. This has got to stop.

South Shields’ people gave him the privilege of representing them on South Tyneside Council and invested a lot of trust in him, after all he’d campaigned long and vigorously against the claiming of allowances and expenses. He looked like a man who wanted to clean things up. Unfortunately for his constituents his consistent stand evaporated soon after he was elected (he is now one of those “professional politicians), see here and here.

Coun Khan, a married father-of-one, intends to remain on as a councillor even if elected to the European Parliament.

He added: “I made a commitment to the people of Beacon and Bents and I intend to uphold that commitment.

“Jury Team candidates are not career politicians.

There are two things I’d question here, if one is elected as an MEP and continues as a councillor at the same time, would that not effectively make you a career politician? Secondly what of the intention to uphold commitments? We already know that his major undertakings and promises given over a period of time (NOT to claim ANY allowances OR expenses) were broken within a matter of months of being elected to the council, so why should I put my trust in him over any commitments to Europe?

I am going to protest on June 4th. but not by wasting my vote on a minor group, party, or venture, but by placing my cross against the box of the party that intends to put right what Gordon Brown got terribly wrong. Nationally politics may well be trying to climb out of the gutter, but David Cameron has impressed me with his clarity and leadership and I believe that he will clean out a number of Westminster MPs whose behaviour with expenses has been unacceptable and that he will reform much of the current political activity in Parliament as a result. However this is an election for the European Parliament, an election where I can strongly protest about Gordon Brown’s decision to break Labour’s manifesto commitment to hold a referendum on the European Constitution Lisbon Treaty, this should have been our chance to say that the EU has taken too many powers unto itself and weakened Britain’s own self governance and sovereignty, but Gordon ripped that opportunity away from us.

I used these words of David Cameron yesterday:

It’s no wonder people feel so disillusioned with politics and Parliament when they see so many big decisions that affect their lives being made somewhere else.

So a progressive reform agenda demands that we redistribute power from the EU to Britain and from judges to the people.

We will therefore hold a referendum on the Lisbon Treaty, pass a law requiring a referendum to approve any further transfers of power to the EU, negotiate the return of powers, and require far more detailed scrutiny in Parliament of EU legislation, regulation and spending.

And we will introduce a British Bill of Rights to strengthen our liberties, spell out the extent and limit of rights more clearly, and ensure proper democratic accountability over the creation of any new rights.

Because of this clear and unambiguous commitment to return power to the people of the UK, and to protect our liberties and rights, and more importantly to give us a referendum on the Lisbon Treaty (this is an EU election after all) I will be voting Conservative – it’s the best form of protest that I can think of.

Don’t waste your vote in a minor protest, make it count.

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6 Responses

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  1. Ahmed who?

    Vote Conservative!

    David Potts

    May 28, 2009 at 5:19 pm

  2. Another daft Tory, why would anyone dream about voting for any of the ‘big’three parties after all the sleaze that has come out.
    Dont waste ya vote, its got to be green.

    big billy from Jarra

    May 28, 2009 at 8:39 pm

  3. You mean voting for Martin Callanan who has worked tirelessly for the car industry to weaken emissions proposals (and got a nice discount off a new vehicle) and supports the dualling of the A1 through Northumberland?

    All very old Tory.

    Voting for business as usual is not a protest.

    Like Billy says, vote for real change, go Green.

    rossinisbird

    May 29, 2009 at 3:39 pm

  4. Bloody hell Curly, I read the bit about not wasting your Euro vote, then nearly choked on me mince and mushy pea pie when I read further and realised you are voting for Martin Callanan.

    Bryan

    May 29, 2009 at 7:43 pm

    • Yeah, well Dan Hannan is standing in the South East, which is no bloody good for me, is it?

      curly

      May 29, 2009 at 8:13 pm

  5. Martin is a great bloke! Look into what he stands for prior to making such childish judgements.

    David Potts

    May 30, 2009 at 2:22 am


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