Sanjay SamaniCampaigner for Angus North & Mearns

Apr/10

15

Ugly Donatations and Expenses Spat continues in Angus

I was really disappointed to read two new articles on the ongoing ugly spat over donations and expenses between Mike Weir and Alberto Costa. Angus residents really do deserve better from their prospective representatives.

I highlighted how this spat has become national news in my previous post, which you can read by clicking here. The whole sordid affair reflects badly on Angus and I had hoped that the matter would end there. Unfortunately the argument has continued to rumble on.

Firstly The Daily Record highlights how Alberto Costa’s campaign received £10,000 from Swiss banker, Henry Angest, funnelled through a City company called Flowidea Ltd. You can read the article in full by clicking here.

Then Alberto Costa hit back, accusing Mike Weir of accepting a £4,000 donation from someone who he is running a campaign for taxes on holiday lets. You can read the full article in the Press and Journal by clicking here.

The merits of the accusations and counter accusations aside, there is clearly a need for our politics to be cleaned up.

In my previous blog post and in an open letter to all the other candidates, I called on them to give cross party support to full political reform, rather than nips and tucks or little tweaks here and there, asking:

Will the other candidates back proposals for a fairer political system, including the right of Angus residents to recall their MP, to cap donations to political parties, independent auditing of expenses and limits on spending by political parties? Crucially will they back a written constitution that clearly sets out the role and powers of MPs, ministers, judges, the Head of State, parliament and national assemblies?

On a separate issue, will the candidates back proposals for a fairer, proportional voting system, as used in Angus Council elections? Mike Weir was elected as MP for Angus, with just over 1 out of 5 of those eligible actually voting for him and very nearly 2/3rds of actual voters, voting against him. Surely the Angus MP needs to have a better mandate than that?

The letter has appeared in all the Angus local newspapers and I have yet to hear a response from any of the other candidates. This is hardly a surprise as Labour, SNP and Conservative MPs, including Mike Weir, have all voted in the past against proposals by the Liberal Democrats to clean up politics. It is little wonder that Nick Clegg described the last session as “the most corrupt parliament in history”.

I make my call again:

I would ask for full backing from Mike Weir MP, Kevin Hutchens and Alberto Costa. Angus residents can that way be assured, that whether it is myself or one of the other candidates that is elected at the forthcoming election, they will be voting for genuine, open, fairer political reform.

Will the other candidates back full, genuine, fair political reform to create a functioning, responsive, clean democracy in this country?

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© Sanjay Samani 2010-11.

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