Is there anything in your past that we wouldn’t want to see on the front page of the paper?
This is one of the questions every political party should ask prospective candidates.
If the answer is yes, it doesn’t necessarily rule them out, but it should then lead to the next question: should the public know about this?
The answer in David Garret’s case should have been “yes”.
An MP who has such strong views on law and order either has to have a blameless past, or have been open about it and show he’s changed.
Regardless of whether or not he was wrongly convicted, he should have been up front about it.
We can’t expect all our politicians to have blameless pasts and we don’t need to know about every little blot on their copy books.
But it was stupid not to make this public before Garret got in to parliament and became Act’s law and order spokesman.
The incident itself doesn’t look very serious but not being open about it reflects poorly on him and his party.