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Fiddling Tory MP Mackay resigns
ON 22 May members of Reading and Bracknell Socialist Party joined the angry constituents of disgraced Tory MP Andrew Mackay to lobby his public meeting - which he called in the hope that apologies and platitudes would keep his supporters sweet. This was after it emerged he had been claiming second home expenses on a property his wife, fellow Tory MP Julie Kirkbride, declared as her main home.
John Gillman, Reading Socialist Party
However, as his resignation shows, he was to learn that voters are not na´ve and will not stand to be patronised.
We created a significant presence outside the meeting with placards etc calling for a workers' MP on a worker's wage.
Although it was 'ticket only' to prevent the general public attending and in spite of it being packed out with Tories, there was mass opposition to him staying as an MP - although he was still deluding himself and came out of the meeting saying he had support!
A day later, after chatting to Tory leader David Cameron, Mackay said he wouldn't stand at the next election.
Terry Pearce - a Campaign for a New Workers' Party and trade union activist - managed to get into the meeting.
"I contrasted Mackay's behaviour with the problems in our community that pensioners on fixed incomes and the low paid face as a result of the recession. I accused him of hypocrisy and called on him to resign.
"In spite of consistent and loud demands from the audience he refused to answer my points. The mood in the hall was one of anger with many speakers heckling him, all this in spite of the fact that the local Conservative Association had tried to pack the meeting with his supporters. Another speaker said that a local poll had indicated that 65% of those that responded wanted him to go. All in all, a good result."
In The Socialist 27 May 2009:
Youth fight for jobs
Construction workers feature
International socialist news and analysis
PCS conference and workplace news
Socialist Party campaigning news