National and Local politics from a Liberal Democrat from Gillingham, Kent
Tuesday, 24 May 2011
Should Huhne stay or should Huhne go?
The party is in crisis, there is no denying it and there is no need for me to write another blog about it. Unfortunatly in todays politics image is everything and the media of today has a keen eye for weakness and for digging up information however deep you buried it.
David Lawes was our first casualty to such attack and correctly so. As much as I respect and like David Lawes completly understand his motives and reasons he was wrong to commit expenses fraud. He acted immpecably by appologising publically and to the Prime Minister and Nick before resigning and submitting himself to investigation as well as paying the money back.
Doctor Vince was stung. Pure and simple. He was castigated for voicing his own opinion in private. Now however unprofessional it was of him to do so he was also caught out by journalists using secret recording devices for the reason of just causing trouble. He has also been casigated for voicing his opinion on policy which as a coalition minister he should be allowed to do.
When we come to Chris Huhne... I like to believe that people are innocent until proven guilty and if Chris Huhne is innocent then I hope that the media will write a full retraction on the front pages.
However how should Nick respond to the crisis?
Chris Huhne has been loyal and worked very hard for the Liberal Democrat party and as a minister but he should now step up and fall upon his sword.
If he is innocent there is time for him to come back to the front benches in another portfolio.
In 2009 Nick attacked the Labour benches that were rocked with scandal and the Conservative MPs who had commited expenses fraud. The image of the party was that we were not involved heavilly in that sort of thing and that we were different. Now, two years later it appears that we are as guilty.
However, we have promised new politics, a cleaner politics and unfortunately Chris Huhne must stand down to fall into the line. He is a minister being investigated by the Police for a criminal offence, this cannot help but affect his work and more importantly his family life too.
Maybe a hiatus would do him good.
If Chris doesn't stand down on his own then Nick should relieve him of his post - at least for the duration of the investigation.
It is the only way. We cannot, as a party or even as a government allow sleeze. It is the easy way for the opposition to criticise us. If we are trying to break the stereotypes, to engage the public in politics and show that poiticians can be trusted, at least to up hold the laws of the realm, then we must be seen to be tough on this. A government minister cannot be seen on the front pages of the Sunday newspapers for the same story for three consecutive weeks.
I do feel sorry for Chris Huhne and I hope that he is innocent and clears his name. Equally I hope that if he is guilty that he is charged accordingly.
He has to stand down for the duration though and if not voluntarily definetly by suggestion and then finally order.