Crawley Observer Column, Wednesday 7th June 2017

Tomorrow is the General Election, the one Theresa May said she wouldn’t call and then did. We were told it was necessary so she could deliver on Brexit, something she said was a bad idea and then changed her mind.

Over the campaign we’ve seen Theresa May avoid contact with the public, avoid debate with other party leaders, propose an uncosted manifesto and u-turn on its contents before we even reached Election Day. That’s a first in British history and it comes from someone claiming to be strong and stable.

With a Conservative manifesto lacking any detail on public finance or the their plan for the country, Theresa May is asking us for a blank cheque in the form of a large majority. After the weakness and instability of recent weeks I know even life-long Conservatives who are terrified at the suggestion.

In contrast, Labour’s manifesto has proven popular and is fully-costed, using the Government’s own figures, and whatever else has been said about Corbyn he’s clearly someone who sticks with his beliefs against any onslaught.

Voters in Crawley can only send one person to Parliament and neither May nor Corbyn is on the ballot. The only question we can answer is who, in the face of unprecedented challenges, will stick up for us in Parliament and put Crawley’s needs before their personal political interests.

Despite Crawley having an MP at the Department for Communities and Local Government, Crawley Borough Council has suffered far greater cuts from central government than our neighbours. Despite having an MP at the Department for Education our schools are critically underfunded. We have been promised much over the years, from specific commitments made to individual local communities to a new hospital for all of us, yet what—if anything—has ever come of these promises?

We need a local voice in Parliament to speak up for the town’s needs, one we can trust. At stake in this election is the future of our country, of our services and of ourselves, and whether we can build a country which works for the many, not the few.

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