Re-elected MEP Mary Honeyball slams expenses scandal
PUBLISHED: 16:17 11 June 2009 | UPDATED: 16:15 07 September 2010
Thursday's national European elections might more aptly be named the expenses elections . Angry about MP s excesses, voters made a stand against the main parties by either voting for fringe parties or staying at home. Frustratingly for Euro-MPs, who
Thursday's national European elections might more aptly be named the 'expenses elections'.
Angry about MP's excesses, voters made a stand against the main parties by either voting for fringe parties or staying at home.
Frustratingly for Euro-MPs, who work independently from the Westminster machine, expenses drowned out any attempt to make this vote about European - not national - issues. Voter's vitriol against the main parties, and the main parties' failures to garner support, resulted in two BNP euro-MPs getting seats in Strasbourg.
But here in London, thankfully just over 95 per cent of voters did reject the BNP's sinister blend of racism and homophobia in suits, preferring to put their trust in the two main parties to represent their needs in Europe.
I am proud to be part of, and represent, a citywide community that prides itself on its breadth and range of cultures, a city that that said "No" to the BNP in this election. The strength of our multi-cultural society is what enabled us to trump Paris in the bid for the Olympics.
As main parties we have a responsibility to give voters a viable and more attractive alternative to fascist parties. Labour lost 3.5 per cent of its share of Londoners' votes, a clear indication that we need to be working a lot smarter to prove our worth. And despite Labour's trouncing in the national media over the past few weeks, the Conservatives made minimal gains of just over half a per-cent, showing a decline in favour for the main parties and that the Tories are in no position to win a general election as yet.
It was in fact the Greens that picked up the largest gain in vote share - 2.5 per cent - in London in comparison to last year. Ukip's drop of 1.6 per cent of their vote share, from 2004, reveals that Londoners are perhaps not as euro-sceptic as people living outside of the capital.
Indeed whilst out campaigning I was heartened by Londoners' interest and knowledge of the European political system. Their complaints were not with the European Union, but with the distaste for MP's expenses and their perceptions of a break down of unity in the Labour party.
However despite all this, over 21 per cent of Londoners turned up and voted for Labour last Thursday and I am extremely grateful to those people for giving me another opportunity to represent this great city and its interests in Europe. Next month I will be returning to Strasbourg to push for better consumer and employee protections for the people of Hampstead and Highgate and beyond. Please get in contact with me with any thoughts or concerns you may have that I can use my elected position to help you with.
Please keep in touch and contact me via my regular blog: http://thehoneyballbuzz.com/