Friday, March 27, 2009
Jury Team Profile - Scott Craig
I issued an invitation to Jury Team candidates a few days ago here to answer some questions, the first response came in from Scott Craig who is running in the South East region. I have reproduced Scott's answers below and you can view his profile here.
If you wish to vote for Scott in the Jury Team Primary, please Text SCOCRA01 to 86837.
If you have questions for Scott, you can leave them in the comments, or contact him directly via the contact details listed on his Jury Team profile. Please bare in mind that Jury Team candidates by-and-large are still employed so if you do have a question, you might not get an immediate answer.
Please answer True or False to these statements:
1. The EU should have even more control over the governing of member states including the UK. FALSE
2. The EU is the future of Continental Europe; the UK should be less resistant to this and more willing to be engaged with EU partners. TRUE
3. The EU is fundamentally undemocratic in how it is made up and how it functions. TRUE
4. If elected to the EU Parliament I will always vote in favour of returning legislative powers to member states. FALSE
5. Counties like Iceland and Norway should be made to join the EU. FALSE
6. Ireland was wrong to vote NO in their referendum on the Lisbon Treaty. FALSE
7. The main reason why people are against the EU in the UK is because the Tabloid media runs scare stories. FALSE
8. I believe the UK should be a part of a federal Europe, whether as the UK or as component nations or regions. FALSE
9. The UK should leave the EU as swiftly and as amicably as possible. FALSE
10. The UK Parliament should be sovereign. No laws made by the EU should be above the law making decisions of the UK Parliament. FALSE
11. The UK and France should give up their seats on the UN Security Council in favour of an EU representative. FALSE
12. The city of London and UK financial institutions should be regulated by the EU. TRUE
13. The EU has kept peace in Europe for 60 years. FALSE
14. If the UK left the EU, it’s economy would never recover. FALSE
15. Plans should be made for the UK to join the EURO within the next five year sitting of the EU parliament. FALSE
16. UK armed forces should answer to a European Military Chain of Command. FALSE
17. The EU should be allowed to collect taxes directly from European citizens and/or businesses.
18. There will never be war in Europe as long as the EU is strong. FALSE
19. The UK should not be allowed to declare war without the approval of the EU. FALSE
20. The UK should be allowed a referendum whether it accepts the EU Lisbon Constitutional Treaty before it comes into force. TRUE
21. I am prepared to give up some small freedoms so that the UK and/or the EU governments can better protect us from terrorists. FALSE
22. The EU should have control of EU wide policing to make standard the same across Europe, as well as centrally gather intelligence. FALSE
23. UK Common Law is incompatible with European Courts. We should protect Common Law.* I don’t accept that UK law (by which you mean English law I presume) is incompatible.
24. People who stand opposed to the EU should be punished. FALSE
25. The Eurovision Song Contest is a wonderful form of European entertainment and the voting is in no way rigged. FALSE
In no more than 200 words for each question, please tell us about the following:
Q. If you are elected to the EU Parliament, by what method and frequency will your expenses be made public?
I have made it a campaign pledge to publish annual accounts which are independently audited. These would be published online. If the public wanted to see my expenses more frequently, I would happily instruct my staff to post the material online. I believe in transparency and that is a big plank of my campaign.
Q. Have you ever stood for an elected position before?
Nothing terribly official, mainly university societies.
Q. Do you have you own website or blog?
Yes, you can find me on Twitter as ‘srcraig’, there is a politician’s page for me on Facebook, and I’m on MySpace under: www.myspace.com/scottforparliament
I will be writing updates on those sites about the campaign, and I’ve asked voters to post their thoughts on what they would like to see me take up in Brussels.
Q. Do you regularly read any particular newspapers or magazines? Who are your favourite writers/Journalists?
As a journalist myself, I read all of the UK papers, as well as a selection of the international press, the New York Times and International Herald Tribune in particular. I read the Economist, as well as Time and Newsweek. The New Yorker too. Without wanting to upset any of my colleagues, I have a particular fondness for John Simpson’s reporting, as well as Jon Snow of course.
Q. Why did you decide to stand for Jury Team instead of an existing political party?
I believe strongly that no one party has a monopoly on smart ideas. Some solutions will come from the old ‘left’ of the spectrum, some from the ‘right’ and some from the centre. Problems can rarely be solved by a dogmatic and unyielding approach, yet this is exactly what the party whip demands. Independents who are elected members can vote according to their judgement and conscience to best deliver what constituents demand of them. We need independents, not party drones.
Q. What is the very first thing you will do in your official capacity if elected?
I will hire staff who are not members of my family or business associates. I do not support the idea of parliamentarians using public funds to employ family members.
Q. And, as you have been good enough to answer the above, in no more than 1,000 of your own words, tell us why we should vote for you.
As an independent journalist, I’ve never been afraid to take on the big challenges, ask the difficult questions or duck from the issues of the day. I’ve seen first-hand how the economic crisis is affecting people around the world and how that is now coming home to roost here in the South East of England. I passionately believe in financial reform. It’s clear we had a regulator asleep at the wheel in this country, coupled with banks that were happy to privatise profits but now want to nationalise their losses. An EU regulator with real teeth, to oversee the banks - a major employer in the South East - will help to ensure this does not happen again.
Small and medium-sized businesses are the core of the region's economy. Regulation should be used as a tool to accomplish an objective, but too often they are simply making it difficult for business owners to operate. We should never have regulation for the sake of regulation. Cutting red tape and lightening the load for small business is one of my guiding principles.
The South East can lead the way in investing in renewable energy, instead of lagging behind as it is at the moment. I would argue strongly for major investments in the energy of tomorrow, making our environment cleaner and reducing our dependence on energy imports from unstable countries.
I want to see a fund set up for young entrepreneurs in the South East. Too often young people with great ideas simply cannot find the resources to help them realise their vision. We must invest in this talent.
I would be a tireless advocate for the South East. I believe that the European Parliament isn’t something that should be feared, but rather harnessed. And the EU is in dire need of reform and greater openness, something I would argue passionately for.