The statement posted today in my previous blog entry, (please see below) was sent to Head Office on Tuesday. I have not yet had any response which indicates to me that action will be taken on the points that I raised.
I am not prepared to stand back in silence while longstanding and hard working members and colleagues are suspended ‘pending investigation’ but without a clear explanation. And, following the leadership challenge, I’m not prepared to carry on as before while rumoured irregularities are simply swept under the carpet. We have to have integrity, fairness and clarity at all levels. If we lose sight of these principles, we are doomed.
I realise the disappointment that some people will feel, especially those party workers and activists who so generously gave of their time, money and efforts to get me elected in 2008. To them, let me say this: it would be far, far easier for me to remain silent and turn a blind eye to the current concerns in the hope that they will go away. But the situation is not improving and every day that goes by sees more good people leaving the party in disillusionment and confusion.
It’s not in my nature to do nothing. I cannot stand back when things are clearly amiss, and watch from the sidelines. This, I feel strongly, would be letting all of you down, and would not solve anything in the long term. What matters above all else is the welfare of our cause and our country. Nationalism must not be damaged simply to preserve personal interests.
I’m not pointing the finger at anyone. I’m not out to apportion blame. I’m not getting involved in factionalism, or doing deals. I am simply asking for answers, so that the problems can be rectified, and this is the only way I have of showing that I am serious about obtaining them. If I have jeopardised my own career prospects in standing up and speaking out, then so be it.
I look forward to resuming the party whip just as soon as I am satisfied that sensible action is being taken to address those issues which are worrying so many members and holding us back. Then we can hopefully move forward with renewed vigour and optimism and start to recover the ground we have lost.