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I've been reflecting on the reports of what is reported as another ‘security breach’ embarrassment (remember the jogger?) for Prime Minister, David Cameron.

I couldn't help but chuckle firstly at the quotes from Cameron's post incident interview.  ‘I rumbled the bogus caller when the man said, this is a hoax call’. Perhaps we can all be grateful David Cameron is prime minister and not directly involved and in charge of UK intelligence. Why did no one ask him 'what was it that gave the caller away!?'

But seriously, aren't you surprised too that this has caused such a storm, there's been talk of  ‘full scale security review’ and ‘review of protection procedures’ and other tory MPs kneejerk reactions were to call for 'security to be tightened'.

We know already that separate lines of communication for 'sensitive' discussions exist so an unsecure mobile conversation might have revealed say, what the PM had for breakfast? Is this of concern, a matter of national security? Of course not.

Ok, so you might expect that there would be some form of check carried out to verify the identity of a caller and it might suggest you'd want to review data protection policies if such a check wasn't made but is the idea of tightening security not wholly unsatisfactory, disproportionate and contrary to democratic principals?

After all, if you leave aside the caller's odd attempt to pass himself off, unsuccessfully due to the admission he was a hoax caller, as the head of GCHQ the story is in essence about a member of the public managing to obtain a mobile phone number and speak over the phone to the Prime Minister who hangs up on him.

I can't be the only person who thinks the idea this necessitates a review of ‘protection procedures’ is a gross over reaction. To me, this response has features of conservative elitism and a bygone era in our political landscape. Is it not a fundamental principal of any democracy that citizens can access and hold politicians accountable? Isn't the real question to be asked is why should you not be able to speak directly with your Prime Minister? Why not call his mobile to ask what he's doing about increasing use of food banks in your area, lack of housing or declining employment prospects and opportunities?

Is our PM afraid of such calls? Are we to take it that his local constituents don't get access to his mobile number?

The story strikes me as being in direct contrast to the political landscape we find ourselves in currently in Scotland. We've never seen a more politically engaged electorate? This is due in no small part to the access that Scottish politics allowed the mere mortals when it came to expressing political views on the referendum. There was a great willingness to be available and to reach out and invite the views of individuals.

Social media played its part in bringing politicians closer to their potential voters during the referendum campaign and will no doubt continue to assist those looking to engage in the run up to May's general election.

Scotland's new first minister, Nicola Sturgeon has certainly embraced the idea. Hats off to Ms Sturgeon who also pledged to become the most accessible leader. She'll be taking regular question and answer sessions on Facebook whilst tuning in and answering callers questions on Scotland's most popular morning radio phone in.

I've no doubt she'll face the odd hoax or more likely callers placed to give her a grilling but the FM appears to acknowledge that personal accountability of politicians is an essential component of democracy. She's shrewd as it's likely to help to build that all important relationship of trust, not just with her own constituents but across the board with her party. The Scottish Nationalists are also reaching out with the Cabinet touring  Scotland as part of their election campaign.

I'm pretty sure not all politicians will be forming an orderly queue to join the FM or embracing the idea of political rock and roll on a tour bus, but come election time my own view is those who are engaged, on call and more accessible, allowing a relationship of trust to develop with their electorate are likely to reap the benefit in the vote!  

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