Your MEP guests today showed just how poorly they engaged with the British electorate but just how they loved to squabble. They failed to explain why, after 30 years, MEPs are so anonymous in the UK.
John Whittaker (UKIP MEP) confessed that he only attended Parliament once a month whilst drawing a salary in excess of £60,000! You hit the nail on the head, when you asked if the electorate are getting value for money. Alas, you did not explore this avenue and nor did you question how much each of them had claimed in expenses over the past five years.
Your listeners complained, questioning why they should even vote! Given our desire to bring democracy to other countries, your panel were still unable to put forward a convincing argument. In fact, Daniel Hannan (Conservative MEP) remarked that we should not engage the electorate to explain the importance of voting and instead we should view the poor turnout as a public opinion poll for a change in direction.
We should vote because doing nothing will change nothing. The idea of spoiling a ballot paper is equally flawed at it achieves very little. It’s far more effective to vote positively for the right candidate and that involves doing some homework. Failing to vote allows extremist groups like the BNP to get seats.
You did allow various sound bites of other political party MEPs, presumably on grounds of equality. However, the programme was unable to speak to independent candidates because nominations only close on 7 May. I hope you run a similar programme with Independent Candidates in your panel, next time. If you had spoken to Independent Candidates your listeners would have heard something very different and a very real alternative to party politics.
I am a registered Independent MEP Candidate for London. I refuse political donations, pledge a minimum of €15,000 per year and pledge education to schools and community centres. In this way Londoners are better informed about our democratic process and encouraged to make a stand and be politically active. That will bring competition into the field of politics and create a new generation of truly passionate politicians.
Unlike other politicians, I am not embarrassed to confirm that I will try to claim the maximum possible to benefit Londoners as much as possible. I will be a Value for Money MEP engaging with Londoners and making Londoners leaders in Europe.
EUROPEAN PARLIAMENTARY ELECTION RESULTS ANNOUNCEMENT ON 7 JUNE 2009