Has your MP delivered what you really need?
As a previous local election candidate and ardent follower of national and local politics, I enjoy a fair, lively and constructive debate. And equally, like many, I dislike the ugly cat-calling of PMQs and the smear-campaigns and character-assassinations against opponents such as the Tory press attacks on Ed Miliband (which are at the worst extremes disgusting and at best, infantile).
So when it comes to our MP Mr John Hayes, I do not want anyone to have any doubt that I respect him. Having met him on a number of occasions, especially previous counts in the South Holland Centre, I have no doubt that Mr Hayes is a well-intentioned gentleman. Like me, I do not doubt that he aspires to uphold the ‘Seven Principles of Public Life’ which were defined in 2004 by the Public Standards Committee report chaired by Lord Bew as selflessness, integrity, objectivity, accountability, openness, honesty and leadership.
However, I also believe that good politicians should, at the most basic level, represent the interests of constituents effectively and properly. So, despite my respect for our MP and my belief he has good intentions, I am seriously concerned that after his many victories since 1997 he has not delivered more of what constituents in South Holland & The Deepings actually need.
Recently, as a constituent, candidate and an interested citizen, I took some time to scrutinise John’s voting record. Do many of his constituents know, for instance, that since 2010 Mr Hayes has voted for the Bedroom Tax? A tax break for millionaires? Incremental privatisation of the NHS? And do they also know that he has voted against proposals to tax £2m mansions (to get the wealthy to contribute to balancing the books)? Or that he voted against protecting SureStart provision and against the £8 minimum wage? (All Labour proposals).
It seems that despite his good intentions, John has played an important part in a Tory-led government that has consistently undermined our public services with cuts that go beyond efficiency, cuts that have eaten through meat and into bone. This is not representing the interests of his constituents.
I have spoken to many ordinary people in the Deepings and South Holland, and people have really suffered during the last five years under this government. They don’t feel the recovery. Their quality of life has fallen, whatever commentators might say about how much better off we should be feeling.
The sun might be shining for Mr Hayes’ government, and Mr Osborne might be “fixing the roof” of his Trafford pile. Yet for many, many of Mr Hayes’ constituents, they are staring at leaky ceilings and wondering where they’ll be turning to fund the repairs.
People should start asking themselves what sort of infrastructure or public sector will be left (if any) after a further £12bn of unplanned cuts that will be landing over the next five years, if we get another Conservative government. Not much, I should imagine.
I hope that people will realise that they have a chance to vote for a better future, a better plan built on sustainable and broad-based growth for all. I think it’s time for a change. If you feel the same way, perhaps it’s time to vote with your feet, and vote for the only party that has consistently challenged this government on every major quality of life issue for the last five years: the Labour Party.
And as your local Labour candidate, I promise to be your bold, new voice of progress for this area. To build an economic powerhouse in the Fens, and improve quality of life for all.
Labour Party candidate to be your next MP