Posts Tagged ‘Sayeeda Warsi’

The uncomfortable truth about party politics is that loyalty trumps morality

07/06/2012, 07:00:28 AM

by Peter Watt

This week there was one story that depressed me more than any other.  It was actually quite a small story and you may well have missed it.  It involved Baroness Sayeeda Warsi and a referral to the City of London Police following various allegations in the national newspapers about her expenses.

Putting aside the actual allegations and whether or not the police should be involved, for me the really depressing part of the tale was actually an interview given on LBC 97.3 by the MP who referred the matter to the police, Karl Turner.

Karl was being interviewed on the James Whale show and you can hear the interview here.  Basically Karl appears to concede that, despite the matters being considered being serious and a non-party political issue, he would not have referred a Labour MP in the same situation.

Now I don’t know Karl and I am sure that he is an excellent MP.  But inadvertently he has allowed something to be raised in public that is a pretty uncomfortable truth about party politics.  Worse, it is something that most people involved in party politics will recognise and actually completely accept. In the words of Disraeli to errant MPs, “damn your principles!” and “stick to your party.”

All political parties make much of the fact that they “stand up for” people; that they are “working together” for the greater good.  All try and portray their positions as being in the national interest and of being a selfless pursuit of power that once achieved would give them opportunity to deliver for others.

To a very large extent of course this is true.  But there is another side; a side that allows things to become, well a little less balanced: namely that when push-comes-to-shove all that really matters is that my team wins.  Quite often this trumps the more altruistic elements of political motivation.


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