Haggis, Neeps and Liberalism #13

So, Tories really are sheep in respectable politicians’ clothing.

In a comment to me on Facebook of all places, Conservative Future Scotland Chair Duncan Stewart attempted to make excuses for Tory spin doctors dropping in “stunt students” for David Cameron’s press conference at University of East London this week.

At the press conference Mr Cameron took the opportunity to attack Gordon Brown over expenses, claiming that the Tories were the “new generation” of politicians “at ease with openness” needed to reform politics.

However, UEL Student Union President Joseph Bitrus blew the whistle on Cameron’s latest attempt at public deception. He was alerted to the ploy in part because the so called “students” at his University were not recognised by students or staff, and did not “represent the multiculturalism of the university”!

When I challenged him for a comment on this, CFS Chair Duncan Stewart said “ Every party does it – its called PR.” He then went on to say that he believed UEL students would have been approached by the Tories to appear first, but that UEL students would have been reluctant to attend. What a worrying lack of faith in the youth from the head of the youth wing!

In an email to try and woo Liberal Youth members to join Conservative Future a couple of months ago, Chairman Michael Rock said “We have grown up under sleaze, and have been taught not to trust politicians.” Clearly, the Conservatives have no intention of altering this, nor do they seem to wish to.

If I ever I needed something to remind why I spend most of my free time campaigning with Liberal Youth, this was it. We can’t let the Tories keep masquerading as change, when all they will bring is more of the same old sleaze and broken promises.

To all PPCs, MPs and councillors out there, never underestimate the youth. Your local college, University or school could well be a hotbed of political interest, and you only need to ask. In 15 months, LYS have set up new branches in Aberdeen, Glasgow and Fife, with more branches popping up all the time. Disregard them at your peril, and if you play your cards right you could be looking at thousands of votes just for taking the time to show some voters respect and courtesy.

Callum Leslie is Vice-President (Communications) of Liberal Youth Scotland.

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