Monday, 14 June 2010

Westminter - new faces, same old hypocrisy

The subject of hypocrisy in politics has raised its head again.* Two MPs who took the high moral ground in their successful election campaigns have been found wanting.
First LibDem David Laws felt obliged to step down from his key role at the Treasury when his expenses record was shown not to be as spotless as he boasted. And now Tory Caroline Nokes, who made the most of her Christian credentials, was exposed at the weekend as having had a hotel tryst with a man who wasn’t her husband.
Pretty trivial stuff in the scale of things. But as the electorate votes these people into office and then pays for them to stay there, we have a right to expect our elected representatives to mean what they say.
This is doubly important because Labour was kicked out of office, in part, because of its weak grasp of the truth, which came to a head with the expenses scandal. The Tories and LibDems promised to behave better.
Hypocrisy is not like pregnancy; there are matters of degree - from little white lies to thumping, self-aggrandising deceit.
If I encourage family and friends to pursue a strict health regime I don’t myself follow, it only becomes reprehensible if I say that I do – and even then I’m trying to do good not harm.
But a prospective MP on the hustings in trumpeting his or her own moral fibre is - making if only by implication – criticism of rivals.
If subsequent events show a blotted copybook, this hypocrisy is less forgivable. Indeed according to the Guido Fawkes website the second placed candidates in both Laws and Nokes constituencies are crying "foul."
* see my April 12th 2010 post

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