Politicians not role models

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Expulsion without return

I realize from my previous interests which I have written about in this paper, that some readers do not like Rye News to report on anything that has a wider aspect than Rye and surrounding areas.

However, I do feel that this Tory cronyism needs to be aired as it affects all of us in some form or another, and we should be interested in this, as the individuals in the Tory lobbying scandal are voted in by the people (though not by everyone, I would like to add) who expect their MP to be a role model for society.

No doubt, somebody will come back with ‘well, Labour is not innocent either’. No doubt they are right, but we are talking about the last 11 years of Conservative government and especially the recent lobbying disaster involving former prime minister David Cameron and Tory cronyism, and the whole system needs to be investigated by an independent group who have no connections to the government. It is not enough to have an internal enquiry.

The pandemic has hidden many unsavoury decisions by some MPs, including the money Boris Johnson used to upgrade his home with our taxes. MP Matt Hancock also allegedly gave a certain million pound contract to a former pub landlord he knew. Many contracts were given to people or companies who were closely connected to government sources – and we must not let this cronyism continue or be swept under the carpet because the vaccine roll out has been such a success.

We need more integrity

Yes, Johnson had the foresight to order the vaccine, but the organizing success came about through the NHS, the GPs, chemists and all the willing volunteers who helped in the centres. Also, let’s not forget the “Test and Trace” disaster costing millions and which is still not ‘world beating’.

Now Cameron, a previous Prime Minister, has been allegedly found lacking transparency and flouting the rules by having secret meetings with influential MPs to get financial support for a company he is involved in and, if successful, would give him personal financial gain.

As a society that votes, this is the time for us to lobby for more integrity, openness as to where money is being spent (or rather squandered), and to stop any nepotism by individuals whether they are out or in government, and that goes for all parties, especially when so many people and businesses are struggling at the moment, who do not have the option of putting a word into the ear of the present Chancellor.

Image Credits: Hastings & Rye Palestine Solidarity Campaign .

14 COMMENTS

  1. Personally I think it is sad that some readers of Rye news have a problem with the occasional wider perspective even when it affects everyone.
    I will refrain from annoying you in future.

  2. I think it’s a good article Heidi and I think it’s topical. If there is cronyism and certain parties/individuals in positions of power are not acting with integrity then any financial resources that communities need will be diverted for the wrong purpose. It would be good to tie in this article with the upcoming elections and ask the candidates about the recent issues.

  3. Please don’t stop Heidi some of us are open to wider discussion and like you say opinion can irritate and be something we don’t agree with and is different from the news section. Main thing for Rye news to do is to air a wide range of opinions and not be lopsided. Though of course realise Rye news depends on readers and volunteers on your team contributing.

  4. Thank you Maura and Jane for support re Rye News.
    That’s the good thing about opinions, it should start debate in a diverse community

  5. Agree. When has less information or less discussion ever been better than more? Local media that represents a spectrum of local, informed opinion is not only engaging and educative, and entertaining, it serves a really important purpose in a plural society. We don’t all agree, but we don’t have to fall out over our different perspectives either.
    Like Heidi, I find the current revelations about cronyism and susceptibility to lobbying pretty dispiriting. It does little but bring democracy into dull disrepute at a time when its lustre could really do with a vigorous polish. But, one would have to have a short memory to believe sleaze, corruption and scandal were merely the preserve of the Tories. No, occasionally they give others a chance… Asquith, Lloyd George, Wilson and Callaghan, to name a few, were all tarnished by scandal. The old adage about the corrupting influence of power is true across the board.
    For my money, however, the biggest problem with our contemporary politics is its reductive, tribal, adversarial nature. It’s all grounded in the party system which serves parties, not people. It’s a colossal turn-off. Social media and the mainstream media help fuel this distracting, counter-productive antagonism, and when folks on Rye News complain about a political posting, I think what they’re really saying is, ‘I don’t agree with the politics’. That’s fine. But… It’s really easy to end up in ideological silos where we only hear voices we agree with and never have our opinions challenged or evolved. This suits the political parties down to the ground, bcs the latter need biddable ballot waving cattle to coral through the booths. They know nobody reads manifestos and if people are more focussed on tribal politics and personalities, all the better for politicians, who can preach to the converted, eschew any serious moral discussion and avoid ever really having to address citizens as grown ups. Oh, and tribalised politics also insulates them from censure when they’re caught out… Our lives and our futures are reduced to polling data in the stock market of party political speculation. That’s not democracy, surely?
    So more power to Rye News. Let’s hear some diverse voices, let’s hear some challenging opinions and let’s try to start thinking outside of our polarised political boxes, bcs the big issues that face us and our kids (the climate emergency, nuclear proliferation, pandemics, poverty, the safe-guarding of human rights etc), they all require dialogue and consensus and cooperation, not tribal division. I have to say, I am not in the least bit interested in the colour of somebody’s rosette anymore.

  6. GH thank you , you expressed it better than I could, the overall disparity/dispairing of British/English politics and that it is easier for some to read what is palatable to their own ideology.
    I had to laugh at your: fed up with any more rosette colours

  7. Good article Heidi! This government has continually flouted ministerial rules particularly during the pandemic in awarding of PPE contracts to mates of the PM. Having worked in industry and involved in placing contracts, there was a process for awarding emergency single tender contract to an approved contractor.
    The government clearly have a list of approved contracts who could meet the specification for PPE but they chose to use their cronies instead who failed and cost the taxpayer millions.

    The refurbishment of Downing Street is another example of sleaze, Tory donors paying for the work and not declaring it. It’s in other words, a back handler and what I find abhorrent is that Johnson finds it acceptable. Integrity? Pah!

  8. Thank you for support for my expressing the need that we should all be aware and mind the corruption of this government and any politician really.
    But the lack of integrity, honesty and upholding of ethical contract offers is astounding.

  9. I’m all for debate, but can it be open please with anyone making a comment stating their real and full name? Above we have ‘Maura’, ‘Jane’, ‘Nearly a Ryer’ and ‘GH’ engaging with Heidi Foster. Who are these mysteriously shy scribes? In national papers, such as the Daily Telegraph, Express and Guardian, no comments are published without full names, and abbreviated monikers as listed above are left to ‘turf’ tipsters, who wish to hide from their mainly dud advice, and Brazilian footballers.

    • I don’t know the registration processes for the three papers he mentions, but looking at the latest comments on those sites the published names they feature include:
      Guardian: “Dbn4000”, “Futilitarian”, “Boredofpolitics”
      Telegraph: “Random name”, “Great Britain”, “Very Angry”
      Express: “madpano1”, “HistoryBuff”, “galaxy milk chocolate”

      Probably not the contributors’ real names.

  10. Try getting a comment published in their printed papers rather than the frivolous online world! They will not publish without your real, full name.

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