Wednesday, August 07, 2013

Expert on aliens is no. 3 on Tory East Midlands Euro list

Remember Rupert Matthews? He's the Tory who teaches courses for the International Metaphysical University and believes "the evidence for UFOs and for the humanoid creatures linked to them is pretty compelling".

And its not just that he makes David Tredinnick look like a Nobel laureate: Matthews' eccentricity has a less appealing side.

Well, the news is that he will be no. 3 on the Conservative Party's list for the East Midlands at the next European elections.

You may also remember that Roger Helmer wanted to stand down as one of the region's MEPs halfway through this parliament, but said he would do so only if Conservative HQ would guarantee that Matthews (the highest placed unsuccessful Tory on the East Midlands list last time round) would replace him.

No such guarantee was forthcoming. Not only did Helmer fail to resign from the European parliament, he joined UKIP.

This incident shows what is wrong with the closed-list system for European elections that the last Labour government introduced. Parties and MEPs come to regard seats as their personal property.

The practice of stepping down halfway through a parliament to allow your successor time to bed in (of which the Liberal Democrats have been as fond as anyone) should be discouraged in particular.

As no. 3 on the Tory list, Rupert Matthews probably will not make it to the European parliament next time. He should concentrate on the inter-galactic elections of 2017.

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