Transparency and integrity with Esther Rantzen? Not always…

Interesting news from Luton South where Esther Rantzen is running a campaign to clean-up politics following the atrocious abuse of expenses by Labour’s Margaret Moran.

Whilst I am always keen to see people get involved in politics, in all parties and none, celebrities throwing their hat into the ring, seeking to trade on that celebrity, always raise my hackles slightly. I accept that is quite possibly unfair, as I know Rantzen is involved in some very worthwhile causes, like Childline.

She has set out her stall very clearly on her website:

  • “The recent past has shattered our trust in our Parliamentary system. It is crucial now to change things for the better.”
  • “I promise I will work for you transparently and with integrity and you can hold me to account…”

Transparency and integrity is about honesty in the conduct of your politics. If you present yourself in that way, you should conduct your campaign in that way.

Strange, then, that Rantzen should be found out by Luton Liberal Democrats for her own attempts to mislead the viewing public. I presume she was attempting to present herself as more popular than she is for a piece on ITN News, taking down Liberal Democrat posters and replacing them with her own.  Take a look at Andy Strange’s blog for a fuller account.

It is a curious and rather sad incident that has reinforced my dislike of that bulldozer sense of entitlement which often accompanies celebrity forays into politics. To my mind, “transparency” and “integrity” do not sit comfortably with the blatant distortion of other people’s political views, solely to further your own interests.

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