It’s official – Election Day May 6th *UPDATED*

Well the waiting is over, and the election is finally upon us. We’ve been in election mode ever since the summer of 2007 when Gordon Brown took over as Prime Minister and famously “bottled out” of an snap election.

The Lib Dems start the campaign from about 20% in the polls – pretty similar to this time in 2005.
I suspect that we will be the main beneficiaries of the leaders debates, and so there is every chance of us picking up significantly over the next few weeks.
The election is going to be dominated by the economy and how the different parties will deal with the deficit that Gordon Brown has accumulated.
We are already seeing cuts here in South Manchester – the Labour Council has decided to close Ewing School and the Burnage Walk-in centre has been shut. Locally the question that voters need to ask is who will fight to protect local services and who will be on the side of local people.
Where were the local Labour Party when the Labour Council voted through the closure of Ewing School? Well actually they were supporting it! And where were Labour when Burnage walk-in centre was closed? Who knows, because they stayed silent.

Labour are spinning a line about saving local services, but they are either responsible for closing them, or they have done nothing to save them.
Alistair Darling has admitted that Labour cuts will be more savage than cuts under Margaret Thatcher, but he won’t admit where those cuts will be made. Why won’t he come clean on where the axe will fall?

During the interview we talked about what will be the deciding factor on May 6th, and as I have stated before I feel the next election will be judged on who will stand up to protect local services.  I stand by my record of action fighting for south Manchester over the last five years.

My three election pledges are:
1. Protecting local services against cuts, it is vital our valuable local services are maintained and protected.
2. Fighting to get Manchester’s £82 million back , that should have been invested in the police to get us more bobbies on the beat
3. Fairness Agenda, four key themes:

  • Fair taxes: We will ensure no-one pays income tax on the first £10,000 they earn. 3.6m low-income workers and pensioners will be freed from paying income tax and millions more will have a tax cut of £700 a year. We’ll pay for it by closing loopholes that unfairly benefit the rich, a new tax on mansions worth over £2m, and ensuring polluters pay for the damage they cause.
  • A fair start for all our children: We will get every child the individual attention they need by cutting class sizes. We will spend an extra £2.5bn on schools, targeted at children who need the most help. The average primary school could cut class sizes to 20. An average secondary school could see classes of just 16.  At University level we will scrap tuition fees.
  • A fair future: a rebalanced, green economy: We will create hundreds of thousands of new jobs with a £3.5bn green stimulus and job creation plan in our first year in government, fully funded by cut backs elsewhere. We will break up the banks and rebalance the economy away from unsustainable financial speculation. And we will be honest about where savings must be made in government spending to balance the books and protect our children’s future.
  • A fair deal from politicians: We will introduce a fair voting system to end safe seats and make all MPs listen to people. We will ensure corrupt MPs can be sacked by their constituents and stop non-doms from donating to parties or sitting in Parliament. We will take power from Westminster and give it to councils and communities, with local power over police and the NHS
  • 6 responses to “It’s official – Election Day May 6th *UPDATED*

    1. Dear Sir,

      Whilst you published your article on the subject of the election it would be far more useful to your community if you had been present at the final reading of the Digital Economy Bill in Parliament.

      Regards,

      Mike

    2. Good luck with the campaign John – you’ve done more for us in the last 5yrs than the previous liebour mp did in his whole tenure.

    3. John,

      I wish you all the best in what it going to be a bitter campaign.
      Unfortunately, you will be unable to protect local services from budget cuts. It is simply because there is too much to cut. Take out the NHS, welfare payments and pensions, and the rest needs to be cut in real terms by 20% or more to meet even Alistair Darlings optimistic view.
      My own calculation is that at the end of the next parliament around half the national debt (Between £600bn to £750bn of the projected £1400bn) will be due to Gordon Brown’s decisions as Chancellor to build up a structural deficit under the guise of investement.
      I like the idea of raising income tax thresholds to £10,000. Paradoxically, moves like this can actually improve the government finances, as it reduces the poverty trap for those out of work. It also encourages part-time workers to seek longer hours. I hope the idea catches on.

    4. Thanks for your vote today on the Digital Economy bill – I just wish more of your party could have been persuaded it was worth their time.

      As it was there was stronger opposition on both days from Labour rebels. Many people, including myself had been looking to you to lead the argument against.

    5. John,

      Many thanks for your vote yesterday on the Digital Economy Bill and for your consideration of the clauses.

      I wish other MPs had followed your example and at least considered how, if some of the clauses remain in their current form, those the bill seeks to protect will be the least well served compared to the true beneficiaries of the bill – Peter Mandelson’s chums overseas.

      Best,

      Mike

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