Tuesday, 19 May 2009


I came into politics to do things not to be something. A good income (and these days a VERY good income) is a welcome change after years of debt and forsaken career opportunities, but it doesn't provide my motivation. I would do the job for half as much.

I don't expect to be popular, except perhaps with party members; I've been hearing people say "you politicians are all the same, out for what you can get," for 35 years now. But I do like people thinking that the position I hold should be given a grudging degree of respect. Outright scorn I really can do without, especially as my conscience is pretty clean and I know that I have declined opportunities taken by other MEPs to make shedloads of money.

Yesterday I was touring the North West by train, stopping at stations for a quick photocall with party members while displaying my "MEPs' expenses - Make them Open and Honest" petition. At each halt I was happy to tell colleagues how relieved I was that when a journalist phoned to ask about expenses I didn't need to cower in fear because they usually started with the words "we hear you are one of the reformers...."

But it's a sad day when I am embarrassed to be in the company of someone displaying party colours ("Look mum, there's a politician!). But I was. Joined by my fellow candidate Neil Corlett, who was (bravely) sporting a yellow rosette like every candidate proud of their party should have the confidence to do, I behaved like Peter disowning Jesus, manoeuvring him into positions where he was least likely to be seen, or so that I was best able to pose as being entirely independent of the "looney" on the same station platform.


Barrie Wood said...


I am withdrawing from political activity temporarily as it is not possible right now to engage with people in a positive fashion. That we are, on the whole, not as bad as the other two main options is not a rallying call to the masses is it ?

Look on LibDem Blogs aggregated and the discussion of who the next speaker might be. People in Rochdale, Torquay, Liverpool or wherever don't give a stuff about this. Activists, let alone elected personnel, are often so out of touch with what 'real people' are talking about - this is but one example.

Haribo said...

"I would do the job for half as much."Really? There are lots of charities that would like to see the proof of that pudding!