Posts Tagged ‘Lucy Rigby’

Tory Karl McCartney is the walking, talking embodiment of why Lincoln needs Labour

11/04/2015, 03:38:54 PM

by Jack Tunmore

The good people of Lincoln have every reason to feel proud this year. Their copy of the Magna Carta, housed in the freshly revamped castle, is drawing in speakers as illustrious as the Governor of the Bank of England to mull over its significance. They also live in a seat that has been a bellwether constituency since October 1974, is always a central election battleground and now wait to play their part in deciding who will enter Number 10 after May 7th.

Against this grand backdrop skulks the figure of Karl McCartney, the Conservative incumbent who defeated Gillian Merron in 2010 with a slender majority of 1058. McCartney has managed to mangle his public image since then in a way that takes some politicians a lifetime.

A full analysis of McCartney’s mishaps would exhaust the reader, but it is worth skimming over the highlights because his behaviour is a considerable factor on the doorstep.

In January he invited constituents to attend a seminar with representatives from the Department for Transport and Network Rail. Given that both are public bodies it raised some eyebrows that he asked each constituent to send a cheque for £15 to his home address to attend, or £5 for a summary of the meeting sent via email.

His constituents were not as unfortunate as the IPSA officials, however, who received personalised notes from the Honourable Member for Lincoln attached to his expenses claims.

One such note accused an official of “talking sh*t” while another innocent scrutiniser was called a “pedantic SOAB.” SOAB, I am reliably informed, is internet shorthand for “son of a b*tch.”


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Want to engage young people? Lower the voting age to 16 and build up citizenship education in schools

09/10/2012, 02:41:49 PM

Last week Lucy Rigby won the “top of the policies” vote at Pragmatic Radicalism’s event at Labour party conference. The winning proposal tackled the question of how to engage young people in politics

Most people with even a vague knowledge of politics know that the way we do politics – in this country and others – is in deep, deep trouble.  Turnout, in every type of election, is low – which, amongst other things, raises all manner of questions about legitimacy.  People feel disengaged from politics, particularly young people.

You don’t need to be a canvassing enthusiast to be all too familiar with phrases such as “they’re all the same” and “voting doesn’t change anything”- that’s just the standard office view (on the few occasions politics is talked about).  There doesn’t seem to be much of an explicable connection between physically putting an ‘X’ in the box of a candidate in constituency Y, and the prime minister that appears on the television a day later.

In essence then, I don’t think it’s an exaggeration to say that the mechanics of our democracy is in crisis.  It’s the responsibility of our generation to solve it.

First then, let’s enfranchise 16 year olds.  Currently, a 16 year old can get married, fight for their country, pay income tax and national insurance and become a director of a company.  But they can’t vote.  That’s not fair and it doesn’t make any sense.  Let’s change it.


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