People often ask me why I’m prepared to keep up the political fight

Posted on: 23rd May 2019

People often ask me why I’m prepared to keep up the political fight when the world outside politics is more pleasurable? Well, it’s because I see injustices and retain a strong desire to fight for what is right. To seek out the silent voices and to fight for those who need and deserve support. Here are some examples:

  • Some MPs quietly believe “the poor have only themselves to blame”. I don’t. A system which still favours the rich above the poor puts unfair pressure on millions in this country. There’s so much to do to create a fairer and balanced society.

Conservative MPs consistently voted to cut welfare budget and to scrap home standards. When I was in Parliament I fought the Conservative “bedroom tax” and unjustifiable welfare cuts. Liberal Democrats improved house building standards. But these have been scrapped by the Conservatives since 2015.

Yet Conservative MPs express concern – including in this newspaper – about growing poverty in Cornwall. Can’t they see the connection between their votes in Parliament and those struggling in their constituencies?

  • I’ve always fought to protect and support our NHS. It’s not just about putting patients before profit, but making sure medical professionals are properly supported.

Conservative MPs happily voted to cut nurse bursaries. The Royal College of Nursing has pointed out that this £1 billion cut in training has contributed to over 40,000 unfilled nurse vacancies. Experts predict the nursing shortfall will grow to over 70,000 in the next 5 years!

Yet some of these MPs plan to turn up at NHS careers events while bemoaning a “shortage of healthcare workers”. Can’t they see the connection between their votes in Parliament and the desperate shortage of healthcare professionals?

  • Promoting strong environmental policies and combating climate change has been a lifelong motivator for me.

In recent years Conservative MPs have consistently voted against measures to combat climate change. They’ve supported the abolition of the Climate Change Department, the selling off of the Green Investment Bank, the cutting of public investment in renewable energy and more.

Yet, now that our school children are on strike, climate protestors have helped galvanise public opinion and local people are demanding answers, MPs claim to have miraculously become green converts to every popular initiative that crosses their desks.

  • I want to strengthen the powers and resources of local Government. But Governments have often turned Councils into mere agents of central Government while cutting their funding.

Local MPs are the first to complain when local services are struggling, but have quietly voted to slash central Government funding to Cornwall Council by 88% since 2015. Services like social care, highways, public toilets and libraries are cut or jeopardised. To in part compensate, Council tax has to increase above inflation.

These are some of the reasons why.