Diary of a Sutton Councillor

A Letter from David Cameron

I received a lovely letter from David Cameron today. He very nicely tells me that although I may have a very good and effective local Liberal Democrat MP, I should still vote him out in the next election in favour of a Conservative. His rationale is that a vote for the Liberal Democrats nationally is actually a vote to retain a Labour Government.

 So effectively Mr Cameron is telling me that any MP, as long as they are a Conservative, is better than someone I have come to trust and value, and with a proven track record of working hard for his constituents.

Well I am sorry Mr Cameron but I don’t pick my representatives solely on the colours they wear, so that their party can obtain power and control. I want my MP to be honest and trustworthy; to be sensitive to the issues that matter to me; an MP who is accessible and understands my everyday life. I also want my MP to stand up for justice and be principled. My MP Tom Brake isn’t just a Liberal Democrat, he is a man of values who has shown that he cares about his constituents and will speak up on their behalf.

 We have seen what abuses take place when voters blindly elect a candidate wearing the right colours without considering whether they will actually make a good MP. The scandals committed by those MPs in safe seats attest to that. Nor do I want to be told by some central bureaucracy that a particular representative is good for me (or good enough!) What does this distant authority know about my area and my concerns. What I want is a candidate who represents me, not just the Party.

 Mr Cameron’s claim that a vote for a Liberal Democrat is a vote to keep Labour in power is disingenuous. If you put a cross in the Liberal Democrat box here in Carshalton & Wallington, then that is exactly what you will get: a Liberal Democrat MP, representing you in Parliament. And having Liberal Democrat MPs in Parliament may be more important than ever at this general election. As many Labour voters find themselves unable to trust the party they once believed in, not only will the Labour majority dwindle to the extent that they lose control of the Government, they may even retain too few MPs to form an effective opposition. And the last thing we want is a Conservative landslide at the next election. That would give the Tories a mandate to do as they please.

 Not only am I unsure as to what, exactly, the Conservative plans are, other than slash and burn cuts in the public sector, but the evidence of their members’ actions to date: undermining the NHS; bowing to their anti-European factions and embarrassing themselves on the world stage by doing so; still looking for reasons to give up on the fight to address climate change, all highlight the need for a strong opposition to challenge them. And it is likely to fall to the Liberal Democrats to provide that opposition, that check on Tory absolute power.

 It has been the Liberal Democrats who have stood out against the cosy compliance of Labour and Conservatives in the past decade:opposing the invasion of Iraq; against ID cards; calling for tougher action on climate change; our positive view of Europe.

 So Mr Cameron, don’t ask me to vote out a local MP who has served me well and proved he can be trusted. And actually it is now more than ever that we need an alternative political party – the Liberal Democrats – to ensure a substantial and effective challenge to whichever party presumes it will hold power after the next election.

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December 5, 2009 - Posted by | Opinion

1 Comment »

  1. If you elect a Liberal Democrat MP in Carshalton and Wallington or Sutton and Cheam does it make a continuing Labour government (even a minority one) more or less likely?

    Comment by Adrian Short | December 5, 2009 | Reply


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