Right now, it is embarrassing to stand on the doorstep and introduce myself as a Conservative Candidate. Not because I am ashamed to be seen as having ‘conservative values’, but because I am totally and utterly ashamed to be in any way associated with the shambles in Westminster. I don’t think anyone of any political persuasion is in a position to crow about their party’s role in all of this – the Conservative and Labour parties are both split in multiple directions with little willingness to compromise by anyone, the Lib Dems are blinkered to the result of the referendum and want to revoke Article 50, and UKIP have become so extreme that even Nigel Farage has washed his hands of them.
Today, we are seeing that we may be trapped in this Brexit nightmare for another 12 months. Whether you voted leave or remain in 2016, nobody voted for what could amount to 4 years of uncertainty. Everyone outside of the ‘Westminster bubble’ just wants to see an end to it. We want to see Parliament find a way forward that sorts this mess out. Right now, Parliament as a whole – and most of its MPs – can hardly be considered ‘honourable members’. I think most of us could find much more apt adjectives to describe their failure.
The inability of this Government to get its act together and the unwillingness of all parties to compromise has led to a complete breakdown in the relationship between the Parliamentary party and their grassroot supporters and activists. And the prospect of having to fight European elections is now becoming a distinct possibility. I don’t know who on earth will do the campaigning on the ground because as sure as heck I won’t be.
I have been asked why I am standing as a Conservative Candidate in these elections. I am beginning to wonder myself! But to stand as anything other than a Conservative would be a lie – I can’t just ditch over 30 years of party membership and claim that overnight I have ceased to be a Conservative. I still hold the same core values – I firmly believe in a non-ideological approach to politics and for flexibility (something our MPs should really take on board). I believe we all have a responsibility to help those who need help. But I also believe in ‘small government’ – that is, rules and regulations should be kept to a minimum and people should be left to run their own lives without ‘state’ interference. And I believe that work should be encouraged and rewarded. I remain a member of the Conservative Party, but am I a supporter of this Conservative Government and the Parliamentary Conservative Party? No.
When you are deciding whether you vote on May 2nd, I know many of you will stay at home by way of a protest at what is going on in Westminster. If this is your only reason for not voting, then I would urge you to reconsider if for no other reason than Westminster don’t care whether you vote or not.
I appreciate that it is easier said than done to ignore the national political crisis we have at the moment, but these are local elections which are about local issues. Your vote counts, and unlike our Westminster politicians, we will listen to you and we will deliver on our promises to you.