We are now in the last few days of this election campaign, and it is “make your mind up” time. For Labour, here in Hazel Grove, we have Michael Taylor. A hundred times out of a hundred, if it was just about you Michael ( sorry to use your slogan ) you would get my vote. But it’s not about Michael with his eminently sensible and implementable ideas about business and local problems, with his life and commercial experience and his honesty, passion and commitment.
It is Ed Miliband, it’s Ed Balls and Yvette Cooper, it’s the dead-eyed fembots of Rachel Reeves, Lucy Powell and Harriet Harman, it’s Chuka “Look” Umuna and Andy “What Mid Staffs?” Burnham and all the rest of the left-leaning professional socialists in thrall to Len McCluskey of Unite and Dave Prentiss of UNISON. with their divisive dinosaur politics left over from the Sixties and Seventies. In any event, they can only come to power with the assistance of the SNP, behind whose obvious separatist ambitions lurk yet even more extreme socialist policies.
My vote was never going to be for Lisa Smart of the Liberal Democrats, sent into our constituency with a sense of entitlement, supported by the resources of the local party probably still funded by us, the taking us for fools with the pretence that she is local and the dubious list of LIbDem achievements that include a few bits of extra playground equipment and moving one train from Marple to Rose Hill and pretending, like the Halifax Building Society, that we’re getting extra.
Over and above the local candidate, Lib Dem policies are too left leaning. I almost bought the “A heart for Conservative, A head for Labour” line but it is outweighed by, in my view, the single biggest failing of Clegg and the Lib Dem MPs in not defending their decisons. They failed to press home to their supporters old and new, that, yes, they had compromised , even u-turned on tuition fees but it was a price paid for all the other elements of their manifesto that they did get into law. Such as the large rise in personal allowances which took many poorer people out of tax and went some way to restoring a reason to work rather than claim benefits. They got things done, something no Liberal politicans had done for almost a hundred years. Gladstone, Asquith, Lloyd George, Clegg should have been their message.
So I am left with UKIP and the Conservatives. I think Farage, unencumbered by political correctness or party ideology, speaks a lot of sense on many issues, I do feel that we have allowed immigration to go too far unchecked, if for no other reason of the financial pressures on education , health, housing and other infrastructure that dramatic increases in population bring. I also, personally, do not enjoy feeling a stranger in my own country. I feel that in London, and in many parts of Manchester. A visit to Longsight market these days would help you understand. I also broadly agree with the UKIP message that Europe should just be a trading partner not a maker of laws.
So I come to the Conservatives. And after many ifs and buts, this comes down to one thing, the campaign message from Bill Clinton’s Democrats in 1992:
Whatever your political views, we currently live in a capitalist country. We must have a successful economy because everything else that you need stems from it. Health care, benefits, capital investment in infrastructure, the ability to support a larger population. So who is best to deliver an improved economy ? The Tories have tried and succeeded to an extent. They have not met all their commitments but they have demonstrably avoided the armageddon that Labour predicted. Another good call from Ed Balls? Inflation, unemployment, growth: all the indicators are right. On the other hand, Labour are almost idealogically opposed to making the decisions that will continue this recovery.
They also know they are weak in this area, that’s why their campaign has majored on the behemoth that is the NHS , sorry our NHS, and spreading fear, uncertainty and doubt about its fate if the Conservatives were to retain power. I simply don’t believe this. The NHS is so big and complex that it could be a country on its own. The reality is that the politicians of any persuasion are too prone to meddling with it to suit their own agendas.
So my vote will be for William Wragg, Conservative.