Sittingbourne 16th March 2008
Recently our MP voted against having a referendum on the new EU Treaty (Constitution) despite Labour having promised at the last General Election to allow us to vote on whether the EU Constitution should be ratified.
His excuse for his decision to renege on his promise is breathtaking; firstly he tells us that the Lisbon Treaty is not a constitution, even though every rational person accepts that both documents provide for the same fundamental changes to our relationship with the EU; a similarity that has been camouflaged by the use of a new name.
Then our MP tries to further justify his actions by equating the Lisbon Treaty with the Single European Act signed by Margaret Thatcher and the Maastricht Treaty signed by John Major, pointing out that neither of those treaties led to a referendum.
Setting aside the obvious observation that perhaps those very important treaties should have been put to a referendum, the major difference is that neither Margaret Thatcher, nor John Major went into a General Election promising to have a referendum on those treaties.
Labour is now saying that to have a referendum on the EU Treaty (Constitution) “would be near to impossible”, on the spurious grounds that it is a complex document most of the contents of which are “not known in detail by most citizens”.
That situation is no different after the General Election that before it, so why did Labour promise to hold a referendum? Answer; they wanted to win the election, after which they hoped we would all forget their promise. Do they think we are fools?
Date: 15th March 2008
Release date: Immediate
Subject: Gordon promises to reveal all his expenses if he is elected.
Gordon Henderson has promised to reveal full details of any expenses that he claims if he is elected as a member of parliament after the next General Election.
Mr Henderson made the pledge when he addressed the Annual General Meeting of Sittingbourne and Sheppey Conservatives, which met in the Sheerness Conservative Club on Friday 14th March.
Mr Henderson told members:
‘Ladies and gentlemen, I want to make a difference. People are increasingly fed up with politicians who say one thing and do another. They are fed up with politicians who have their snouts in the trough of public money. They are fed up with politicians who simply do not understand how real people, in the real world actually live.
‘Recently I was talking to an MP who was astonished when I told him that if I am elected I will commute to Westminster every day. “You can’t do that,” he told me, “it is hard work commuting. You really must get a flat in town. There is an allowance for a second home so you might as well use it.”’
‘My response was simply this; getting a flat in town might well be a sensible thing for those MPs who live some distance from London, but I am only an hour’s train journey away. A large number of my future constituents, including my own daughter, commute to London every day; they cannot afford to own two houses and if the hard work of commuting is good enough for them, then it is good enough for me.’
‘Of course, we have seen a lot in the news recently about MPs expenses. Many MPs seem loathe publishing details of their expenses, or, providing receipts for all their expenses. Quite frankly I find that attitude quite scandalous. Having been in business most of my life I have absolutely no problem providing receipts for expenditure. In business if you don’t provide a receipt, you don’t get your money reimbursed. It’s as simple as that and so it should be.
‘Now there is talk of MPs being forced to reveal their expenses. Don’t hold your breath! MPs have a record of kicking such requests into the long grass! Which is why I make this promise to you; if I am elected at the next General Election, whatever the other MPs do, I will publish regularly all the expenses that I have claimed and will provide receipts for all the expenditure.
‘I will also make you another pledge; last year Labour MPs voted themselves an annual £10,000 “communication allowance”, which they use for glossy leaflets promoting themselves. This means that we tax payers are funding promotional literature that should properly be paid for by the MPs themselves. So, once again, if I am elected I promise you here and now that I will refuse to take that £10,000 communication allowance.
‘I know it is only a miniscule part of Government expenditure, but I hope my refusal will be a symbolic gesture. I hope it will demonstrate that my first priority will always be to the taxpayers of Sittingbourne & Sheppey, and not to my own bank balance.’