Thursday, 28 January 2010

lobbyists and crazy eurosceptics

I get a lot of emails from lobbyists as a potential MP. On the whole, I think lobbying must work, or else they wouldn't do it. However, if elected I would put forward what is best for Blaydon and what I believe in.

The lobbyists from the Euroscpetic (or Europaranoid as they often appear) lobby are often the most hard to understand. I thought I would publish in full this slightly bonkers invitation to sign a secret pledge as a classic example of a very strange position:

An open letter to all PPCs standing in the 2010 General Election.
We have over the past weeks received a good deal of support for the aims and objectives of the Albion Alliance, and whilst that support has not always turned into a pledge sign up, the feedback from many candidates has been in the affirmative for the Albion Alliance and our attempts to address the democratic deficit by campaigning for a referendum on the UKs relationship with the EU, by appealing to prospective parliamentary candidates directly.
Here at Albion Alliance we are aware that some of you have been threatened by Party Central Office's, and in one case by a local selection committee, that should you publicly agree to sign the Albion Alliance pledge to work for such a referendum, or to campaign against the EU during the election period, then you will be deselected.
Whilst we understand your concerns, we still feel that PPCs should show the courage of their convictions and publicly sign the pledge but also understand that for many supportive PPCs deselection would defeat the object of the exercise.
So how do we counter these duplicitous behind the scene moves by Party Central Offices.
Albion Alliance have decided that we would be willing to run a secret database for those PPCs who wish to sign the pledge, but do not wish this to be made public at this time.
We will hold your pledges until such time as the election nomination process is formally closed, and publish them at that stage, a time we believe that is too late for any party to publicly deselect any candidate, but still gives you, the candidate, time to let your electorate know that you will support their democratic right to be heard on this issue.
If you would like to participate in our Secret Pledge scheme, allowing you to do the right thing by your electorate, please let us know here on, or use the PPC Secret Pledge tick box selector within the Candidate Pledge area on our webpage.
Let your voters know that you are willing to represent them in Parliament rather than being a respresentative of Party or State.

Kindest Regards
James Higham, Ian Parker-Joseph, David Phipps for The Albion Alliance

For the record for those of you still interested enough to have read through this, I have not been leant on by some sinister central office. I personally believe that pooling some sovereignty within the EU increases our strength as a country and that the European Parliament has a vital role to play in reducing any democratic deficit. It is national government that have resisted such a move. In addition, I am generally against referenda as I think they become hijacked by other issues and are often entirely dependent upon the exact wording of the question. If the UK parliament is the mother of all parliaments, as Europaranoids say, then why try to take power off it?

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