#AllThingsPolitics – Have the battle lines been drawn?

From the 1st of January, there will be 126 days until the UK goes to the ballot box and votes in a new government. For the first time in history, it is possible that this election will be the closest run due to the change between a 3-legged race to a 6-legged race. Yes, I said 6 – let me explain.

Conservatives

The Conservatives, as the party in Government, have a big task ahead to spread their message that they can be trusted with the public finances and health. The biggest issue faces society is personal finances and being able to access the correct medical advice when needed, or so polls suggest.

The Conservative party has gone some way in showing they can be trusted with :

  1. The Deficit is falling. It will reduced by a half by the end of the year.
  2. The Economy is growing. One of the biggest impacts the Government has made is supporting small businesses. Britain is now the fastest growing western economy with ore being built at home. Manufacturing is growing fast!
  3. The OBR predicts a “meaningful wage growth” that will pick up next year.

The Autumn Statement a month or so ago set out the next steps in the plan:

  1. A change to stamp duty so that people can own their own homes. The new system means 98 per cent of buyers who pay stamp duty will pay less. The buyer of the average family home (worth £275,000) will pay £4,500 less.
  2. Personal allowance will increase to £10,600 in April
  3. Husbands and wives can pass on their ISA’s tax free
  4. Helping small businesses to create jobs and grow. The Party has extended the Small Business Relief til April 2015 allowing 385,000 small businesses to pay no rates at all.

As a voter, I know exactly what David Cameron and the Conservatives stand for. A great speech to watch:

There is still a long way to go and the Conservatives need an answer on how to make the NHS better, run more efficiently and be there for when people need it.

Labour

Labour, as the main opposition party, has a big hill to climb. Today, Tony Blair stated

He told the magazine May’s election could be one “in which a traditional left-wing party competes with a traditional right-wing party, with the traditional result”.

When pushed, he said the outcome would be a Tory win.

http://news.sky.com/story/1400007/blair-denies-being-sceptical-of-labour-hopes

As a voter, I still do not know what Ed Miliband stands for. They have admitted they spent too much whilst in Government, but have no answer on how to control it. Labour have admitted their policy under Blair for immigration was wrong, but haven’t said how change it if given the key to No10. Whilst in Government last time round, they spent a lot of money on education but more on the brick and mortar than the education of the children – they don’t like Gove’s plan so what would they do differently?

What about our NHS? What plans have they to ensure it is there for people who need it? If we take NHS Wales as an example, the budget has been cut and patients are waiting longer for appointments.

Lastly, this years conference speech Ed Miliband admitted he ‘forgot’ to mention the economy and the deficit.

Ed Miliband has admitted forgetting parts of his keynote party conference speech amid intense criticism that he failed to tackle the economy.

The Labour leader said it was “one of the perils” of talking for more than an hour without notes, but insisted that the whole address was focused on Britain’s economic plight.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/politics/ed-miliband/11117748/Ed-Miliband-I-forgot-parts-of-my-speech.html

Politics is about who you can trust more with the the public purse and the services we rely on – if a leader cannot remember the most important factor to our lives, can he be trusted?

Like I said, a big hill to climb for Labour.

Liberal Democrats

The big hill the Liberals have over the next 126 days is to show what they stand for and what they have achieved whilst in Government without looking like they are “in-fighting” with the Conservatives.

To keep Britain stable, Conservatives and the Liberals had to join forces. If Labour had stayed in power, we would be a bigger hole than we were. Rightly or wrongly, the Liberals have done a great job in Government but they haven’t told us, the voters, about it.

UKIP

There is a small subsection of the public, that think Immigration comes high on the list as this impact on then “not getting the medical advice” when needed. From a personal point of view – there needs to be a big education process to explain “what does it mean to be British.” This is the main thing that UKIP is basing its campaign on – what it means to be British, whether ‘foreigners’ should be allowed in the country and whether ‘immigrants’ should be allowed to stay.

Being British is not about the colour of your skin or about where your parents were born, or even where you were born – it is about being proud of your country, its about having respect for your country, celebrating the achievements, uniting when in difficulty and about respecting different ways of living. The rise of UKIP has brought about this question and since UKIP has been in the mainstream media, people are doubting their neighbours intentions of being in this country. Being a British born Sikh, I have had a lot of interesting remarks and questions thrown at me whilst on the doorstep campaigning – ranging from “its all your fault”, “go back to your own country” and “UKIP is the only party with a BME policy.”

My question is: what is a BME policy? What defines me to be BME?

We seriously need to stop bucketing people into boxes and saying words like ‘white British’ or ‘BME.’ What does it mean to people that they have a different skin colour – surely we have moved on from judging people by the colour of their skin and can look deeper and judge them on what they give back to this country. Many ‘BME’ people are doctors, lawyers, nurses, give back to charity and pay their taxes honestly – surely if they do this, they should be treated fairly.

A party leader who says

It took me six hours and 15 minutes in the car to get here. It should have taken three and a half to four,” [Nigel Farage] later said. “That has nothing to do with professionalism. What is does have to do with is a country in which the population is going through the roof, chiefly because of open-door immigration, and the fact the M4 is not as navigable as it used to be.

http://www.theguardian.com/politics/2014/dec/07/nigel-farage-blames-immigration-m4-traffic-ukip-reception

Green party

The mainstream media have lately been speaking about a 4-legged race for the keys to No10 where UKIP would be the ‘King Makers’ but looking at the electoral maths it’s a lot wider than this. The Green Party has polled higher than the Liberals in the last few weeks and could possibly have more seats than the Liberal come the 7th of May 2015.

Unlike UKIP, the Green party have not alienated group of voters and are being used more as a “protest” vote for voters that believe the NHS, the economy but not immigration are the important issues to them.

For the Green party to progress they must get their message out to more voters and define what they would do economically, for our NHS and what they would change or keep in the education system. At the moment their main dialogue is the environment but this alone won’t gain them more support.

SNP

After the Scottish Independence referendum, many Scots were disappointed that Scotland was not an independent country. More importantly, those who wanted the Union to stay together did so but also asked for the Sottish Parliament to hold more powers. If people believe that the only way to get this is to vote SNP then the SNP vote will rise (as it has begun to) and they will be another ‘King Maker’ when it comes to which party is allowed to become Government.

To become ‘King Makers’ the SNP must convince the Scottish people that they can deliver for Scotland and that they have a realistic plan on how they would lead Scotland with devolved powers. The main complaint from the referendum was that there were very few definite answers.

2015

So the road to 7th of May is going to be an interesting one. Lots of unknowns. Ultimately, it will be a question of: who do you trust in No10. I know who I trust, do you?

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