I’m Richard Taylor…
I think I’m going to vote for Julian Huppert to become Cambridge’s MP again on Thursday.
We really lost something when Julian didn’t get re-elected in 2015. We lost our active and communicative member of Parliament.
Julian did the job of being Cambridge’s MP really well; being accessible and communicative really matters… with Julian Huppert as our MP we had an interactive and rational representative.
Cambridge should send a scientifically and technically literate MP to the House of Commons; particularly in light of renewed plans to ban encryption. I also think we should send a strong defender of justice and due process to represent us at a time when there are increasing calls for detention of terrorist suspects without trial.
I hope though those issues don’t distract us, and our MPs, over the course of the next parliament, from the challenges in housing, the health service, and the basic fairness of society.
While he was our MP Julian Huppert brought us national investment in Cambridge through the city deal, helped bring us the Cambridge North Station, and tackled the relative underfunding of the region’s schools.
Huppert has committed to help me in my efforts to get local public bodies to operate more transparently – that’s important as it’s not all about the money; in our local NHS for example while, funding has to increase in-line with the number of people in the area, and to reflect the ageing population, and the costs of treatments there’s also a lot we can do to redesign services, and ensure they’re as efficient as possible. Preventative healthcare is often not only cheaper but better for people’s health. We have to be able see what’s being done, so we can all, individuals, lobby groups, elected representatives, professionals, help identify problems and lobby for improvements – that case can be made for other public services too.
Huppert is also the candidate I’d be most comfortable lobbying, and sharing my own experiences with seeking changes to practices in educational institutions to try to prevent mental health problems and in trying to ensure fairer access to professions in our society.
There are many areas though where I disagree with Huppert’s judgement. He and the LibDems would have had us in the European single currency; paying out huge sums to support the failed economies of Greece and other countries. He’s happy for our laws to be made in the European Parliament rather than in Westminster.
On tuition fees, despite Huppert’s record of opposition he didn’t make a passionate case against them in Parliament when he was last our MP; and his stance has weakened further.
I’m disappointed that Huppert and his party have ruled out coalitions; the job of Cambridge’s MP is to try and work with those elected by other parts of the UK and to seek to form a Government; not to pre-emptively resign themselves to opposition.
While I think we’d be better off with an independent MP rather than a party representative; ensuring deliberations take place in public, not between party leaders behind closed doors we are very lucky here in Cambridge; all our candidates are better than the average MP.
I want restraint in public spending and a focus on getting good value for public money, those are key Conservative traits. I want a strong economy so we’re wealthy enough to be able to afford the best public services, the best health services. All parties are promising to continue to spend more than is raised in taxes but the Conservatives are our best bet at avoiding the deficit, and debt, getting worse. The candidate in Cambridge hasn’t impressed me, he’s avoided answering questions I’ve put to him on press regulation and tuition fees; and I’ve read a lot what he’s written as a Christian on the importance of family and he appears to shy away from being clear about his conclusions, perhaps out of fear they’d be seen as politically incorrect.
As for Labour, well they want to substantially increase the tax take, and increase the size of the state. That’s a perfectly legitimate proposition, but I value personal freedom and that’s not a direction I want to see the country take. Most taxes are levied on people’s hard work; there’s no magic way to raise taxes without us all ultimately paying; if you tax Tesco more then our food, and everything else we buy from there is going to cost more. The bits of their budget they’ve published balance, but there are huge omission such as paying for their plan to nationalise the utilities.
I’m going to be walking, or cycling, to the polling station with Green Stuart Tuckwood’s statement urging those of us who want serious change to vote for it in my mind. I do want a significant shift in wealth on our country, and Green proposals to abolish tuition fees and tuition fee debt would be a big step towards that. I want to see us generating more electricity from tidal power. Having watched I think it’s seven hustings events in Cambridge I think Stuart Tuckwood has made a brilliant pitch to become our MP. It’s a shame we have to choose just one person to send to the House of Commons.
Elections should be a conversation; a debate… if you think I’ve got it wrong, do let me know in the comments; there are plenty of hours to go before I’m going to be getting my ballot paper.