Wednesday, 22 March 2023

Is an independent candidate the right way to go?

Though the media have not commented further on MP expenses, it seems the anger has not abated.  In fact, some very public figures are involved in the fray.  Esther Rantzen has already declared her intentions and is happy with the warm reception from Luton South.  Martin Bell, well-known for having been a successful MP when he stepped in as an independent candidate against a sleaze Tory MP, is now possibly considering standing again.  Terry Waite is using his high profile to recruit other possible independent candidates.

But, the question is, will it really make a difference?  Yes, there’s public anger, but some more reasonably minded people still support their MPs. Not all of them, of course.  Even though many MPs were named and shamed, not all their offences were equally offensive.  So, some of them still have supporters.  Not only that, despite their iniquities, some MPs still did a very good job for their constituents (according to their constituents).  So, in the end, the whole brouhaha amounted to very little.

On the other hand, would it be smart to replace a productive MP just because of his/her indiscretions?  Have they really learned any lessons from the scandal or is it all just lip service?  With less than 10 months to go until a general election, how will the expenses scandal play into it?  Will independent candidates be the answer?  Or would anything change, even if independent candidates were to win?  Will people’s anger mean that real changes can really take place?  Or will the anger be misguided into choosing the wrong candidates?  It remains to be seen.

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