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Letters: It’s a fraud to say Tories did nothing wrong on expenses

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Issue 2554
Tory party organisers spent over the allowed amount for campaigning in the 2015 election, including bussing activists out to rural constituencies
Tory party organisers spent over the allowed amount for campaigning in the 2015 election, including bussing activists out to rural constituencies (Pic: Nic Goulding/flikr)

I suspect few readers of this newspaper will have been surprised at the decision of the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) last week.

It decided not to prosecute Tory officials or candidates arising from an investigation into Tory party election expenses during the 2015 general election.

It didn’t take Theresa May long to conjure up the line that the Tories had been vindicated and no one in the party had done anything wrong.

Unfortunately for her that is not what the CPS said.

What the CPS actually said was that while there was “evidence to suggest that returns may have been inaccurate there was not enough evidence that individuals acted ‘knowingly or dishonestly’”.

The CPS is required to consider whether there is a better than 50-50 chance of a conviction.

Saying there is not enough evidence is far from clearing the Tories of wrong-doing.

May also claimed the Tories “had always reported expenditure according to the rules”.


But if that was the case, why did the Electoral Commission fine the party £70,000 earlier this year following a report into its national election expenses?

Whatever views people may have about just how “democratic” our system really is in Britain, the rules about election expenses are there for a reason.

The whole point is to prevent a wealthy party from gaining an unfair advantage from high spending on publicity which another party could not match.

The Tories bussed huge numbers of volunteers into 29 key marginal constituencies in the last ten days of the 2015 campaign.

Since the Tories ended up with a majority of 12 seats after the election it is clear that what the party did may well have swung the election in their favour.

Mark George


Let’s vote to end fees

What the Tories have done to education—from tripling tuition fees to cutting school and college funding—has had a drastically damaging effect.

I’ve had to prepare for my college running out of paper and not being able to buy more. I worked two jobs at the beginning of my AS Level year.

My plan is to go to university. All the advice I’ve been given is “make sure you don’t earn over £21,000 and you’ll be fine!”

Scrapping tuition fees is possible—if we redirect money away from things like Trident nuclear missiles to services that help people.

I’m really encouraged by the Labour manifesto.

All students who want an education without a ton of debt should join me in supporting Corbyn.

Andriana Sotiris

North London

Just the job for the rich

Theresa May told the BBC’s One Show last week that for her and her husband Philip, “There’s boy jobs and girl jobs.”

This is reinforcing sexism.

Philip May works for investment fund Capital Group. It has a large stake in companies such as Starbucks and Amazon that have been accused of corporate tax avoidance.

I wonder if helping the rich avoid tax is a “boy job” or a “girl job”—or just a gender-neutral “Tory job”?

Sasha Simic

East London

Fox hunting shows true colours of cruel poshos

Theresa May said last week that she was in favour of repealing the fox hunting ban.

Poshos embark on a bloodthirsty day out

Poshos embark on a bloodthirsty day out (Pic: Owain Davies/Wikimedia)

Fox hunting is hugely unpopular. Polls suggest 84 percent of people are against it.

Most people recognise the class divide in fox hunting. It is a blood sport for the rich.

Tories and their friends revel in killing animals while working class people struggle to get by in the face of cuts.

The fox hunting debate shows the Tories in their true colours—heartless, bloodthirsty and barbaric.

Working class people don’t want to see the destruction of their environment or to see animals being killed mercilessly for an upper class sport.

Fox hunting is an issue socialists need to see in the way most people do.

It’s an issue of class division—and something to stand firmly against.

Alex Claxton-Mayer


Be fair to our ‘exemplary socialist’ MP

Your attack on the Green Party (Socialist Worker online, 9 May) was inaccurate and damagingly divisive among socialists who campaign alongside local Greens.

The key task for socialists in this general election is advocating a vote for Jeremy Corbyn’s Labour.

Electoral pacts with forces to the right of Corbyn would undermine resistance to austerity.

Yet that is not what is at stake in every constituency.

The Green Party is not a class-based left alternative to Labour. But some Greens are socialists to the left of the Labour machine.

Brighton Pavilion has in Caroline Lucas an MP with a track record of socialist politics, and policies we support.

Her backing has made a huge difference in local campaigns. She has defended the NHS, stood with anti-fascists and been arrested on an anti-fracking demonstration.

Lucas has joined picket lines, including those of the bin workers fighting against the then Green-run council.

It is one thing to advocate a Labour vote because of Corbyn rather than a Green vote.

It is quite another to mount an attack on an exemplary socialist who is in a position to win a seat.

Stephen McLean and Tom Hickey


The traditions of the police

I read with interest your report on a stop and search by Thames Valley Police.

The grand old traditions of the British police that brought the riots continue.

Noel Halifax

On Facebook

Greens aren’t radical or left
Green Party political shifts make me fear that it is a party not for me.

I remember the radicalism of the West German Green Party decades ago. This version is not the same animal.

Timothy Beighton

On Facebook

Austerity cuts mean murder

every suicide provoked by austerity is blood on the government’s hands.

Pushing someone to suicide is murder.

Stephanie King

On Twitter

Ignorance is no excuse

The Tories say they didn’t know election fraud is illegal because they were told it’s not?

They don’t know much then, do they?


On Twitter

No Marx for the revolution

You say “there’s a lot to be learnt from reading Karl Marx” (Socialist Worker, 10 May).

If Marx were alive today he would’ve wondered why capitalism hasn’t already dug its own grave.


On Twitter

Pathetic BBC propaganda

You report that “Theresa May can’t hide from questions and protests” (Socialist Worker online, 9 May).

That’s why the windows were covered for her pathetic performance on the BBC’s One Show.

The BBC is just a state-funded propaganda channel now.


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