I have the latest Green party newspaper thrust into my hand today - more on that later - included in which is an article by their PPC Adrian Ramsay demanding an independent body deal with MPs wage, allowances and expenses and also details of promises being made by young Ramsay if he shocks everyone and wins the parliamentary seat. This is a co-incidence because this is also what I have dedicated my latest parliamentary newsletter to as well. So let's compare.
Now usually minority parties, such as the Greens and LibDems, can promise what they want because they know they cannot win and wouldn't have to fund it or implement it. So you might expect Ramsay's honesty pledges to be wild and over the top, really taking in the public anger. Strong, bold way of cleaning up politics? Errr, no...
Ramsay pledged to carry on living in the constituency (ditto for me), to put his expenses on the web (who on earth won't be doing this now) and to carry out surgeries across the constituency listening to residents (isn't this part of the job anyway?).
I know that my promises have caused some colleagues to double-take but I believe each of them to be desirable and possible to achieve. They include:
Taking no paid work other than being an MP
Publishing my diary so you can see who I meet and whta I am doing
Never to employ any member of my family
Never taking taxpayers money (MPs communications allowance) to produce party leaflets
Claiming less year-on-year in total costs than Clarke
So why is Cllr Ramsay being so timid with this? Even if political expediency doesn't allow him to be bold doesn't he believe in making things more open and transparent?
There seem to be a number of issues on Ramsay's plate at the moment - other bloggers are asking which Green Councillor has been thrown out of the national party and if he backs Rupert Read's internal campaign which is mired in negative campaigning.
But this is serious stuff; will the Greens be as serious and strong on this as I am?