It really depresses me when politicians are caught seeking money in return for their political influence. While I don't believe in state funding of politics I equally don't believe it is right that members of the House of Commons, House of Lords, European Parliament, Scottish Parliament or indeed our Local Council's should receive any personal financial gain from external sources in return for political influence.
Raising money to fund campaigns is a quite legitimate activity and if your own policies, or indeed those of your Party, are attractive to people who then help fund campaigns in the hope of seeing them enacted then that is democracy at work.
Today's news that four Labour peers have solicited money, for purely personal gain, in return for them amending legislation to suit the donor merely reinforces the public's view that politicians are in it for themselves and the money. Lords who act in this way, no matter the Party they affiliate themselves to, should be kicked out of the Lords and lose any right to help shape the country we live in.
If elected, I have promised to claim less and to spend less than the current Member of Parliament for East Renfrewshire when it comes to expenses and not to publish any political propaganda using any one of the various members allowances.
To restore the public's faith in democracy the public needs a new type of politician to represent them in the way they clearly aspire to be represented. In East Renfrewshire that will take an election and in the House of Lords that will take a few sackings.