This December election isn’t just about our future in Europe
This December election isn’t just about our future in Europe. It’s about the shape of our country for decades to come. It’s about what kind of society we want to become.
I’ll be running a positive campaign to restore decency and honesty to our politics. To build a brighter future. To combat those who want us to become more inward-looking, backward-looking, more self-absorbed. I’ll build a campaign for an outward-looking, forward-looking and compassionate country.
We’ve been misled by a wealthy few who’ve irresponsibly played on fears to stoke prejudice. We must get beyond the Brexit chaos they’ve dragged our country into. We must restore the things that matter for the sake of our children’s future – our NHS, our schools and the very sustainability of our planet.
Many people say “you politicians are all the same”. That statement has never been more untrue. The choice here is stark:
- I’ve consistently supported the highest environmental standards and policies to combat climate change. The Conservative backed the scrapping of the Climate Change Department, scrapping of sustainable homes standards and rejected EVERY measure to combat climate change.
- I’ve fought to protect the NHS budget and our local hospitals. I and my party are honest about the money. We would increase tax (equivalent to 1p on income tax) to save our NHS. However, under the Conservatives, Edward Hain Hospital has been closed, our NHS has fallen into debt, is more overstretched than ever before, student nurses have had bursaries removed. No wonder there are 100,000 unfilled doctor and nurse vacancies.
- I opposed the use of political gimmicks in our schools, and successfully fought for investment, including the rebuild of Penwith College and of Helston College (my old school!). In contrast the Conservative supported cutting £13 million from local school budgets and forcing the political dogma of school Academies. Liberal Democrats would reverse the Conservatives massive tax cut for wealthy corporations to give our schools the funds they need.
- I successfully fought to save our Paddington sleeper service and for investment at Long Rock and for fair funding for Cornwall. Since then the Conservatives have voted to cut Cornwall Council’s core grant by 88%! Rail services have been run-down, overcrowded and expensive.
- I fought to ban blood sports and helped start the first community-led badger vaccine programme to combat bovine TB in cattle. The Conservative wants to reverse the hunting ban and supports the free shooting of badgers. He also backs the gun lobby.
- The Conservative voted to cut tax credits and benefits for the sick and disabled. I opposed this and for example led the campaign against the Conservative’s cruel “bedroom tax”.
- The Conservative voted to refuse sanctuary for children fleeing the Syrian war. We would put humanity at the centre of our refugee and asylum system.
There’s too much at stake in this election to ignore what’s going on. Don’t let those who promote lazy anti-politics cynicism put the Conservatives back into power.
This column has been submitted to publication in the local newspapers.