I cannot believe it was only a week ago …

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A week. a long time in politics.

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Thank you, all

A number of thoughts race through your mind on being told you have been selected as a Parliamentary candidate; amongst these is the enormous responsibility that has been placed on your shoulders. Your members want a campaign that makes them proud to be a part of a political organisation, and regardless of your chances your owe them to have at least given it your all.

I was selected last August, and I hope that I have worked hard enough. Despite the political climate that prevails in Southend West I think Labour did well. We finished a good second, hauling ourselves past the Liberal Democrats, as well as seeing off UKIP. Whoever follows in my footsteps, they will have the mantle of main challenger. Labour did well in the local elections, too, in this part of the borough of Southend-on-Sea, and we are well-placed in many wards now.

I must thank all my opponents and their workers for their campaigns. There is no democracy without choice, and despite my disagreements over what they each stood for, I at least acknowledge that the Southend West election would have been less diverting without their presence.

I wish Sir David Amess well in his role as my representative for the next five years. I also promise to play my part in challenging what he and his Government will be doing over that period.

I have the memory of a foot broken whilst canvassing, many charming and inspiring conversations, hours toiling over a keyboard, and the encouragement and hard work of all those who gave their time to help in my campaign.

I would finally thanks all those who voted, both for and against me. Democratic engagement is essential, and we only have to look to where in the world there is no democracy to see what a treasure we all have.

Daryl Peagram’s drivel – Conservative quality control on holiday

westboroughInTouch2 westboroughInTouch1The competition for worst Tory leaflet in Southend is usually a competitive affair – not this year. Daryl Peagram’s effort for his Westborough campaign is an assortment of misinformation and lies. There is so much rubbish here that it is difficult to know where to begin. I can only imagine that Mr Peagram wrote this after a long day in the hot sun, it really is dire.

Ok, a few corrections.

• Westborough does not “have the biggest population of any ward in the borough“. it is number six of the seventeen.
• No youth clubs have disappeared under the Joint Administration.
• The Liberal Democrats and the Independent Group are not full of socialists. Some of the Independent Group may have once described themselves as such, but they are a hotchpotch of disaffected party members from all quarters. Ron Woodley, Council Leader, describes himself as Conservative, as does Marimuthu Velmurugan.
• We have not voted to nationalise the High Street. Impossible even if we wanted to (the clue is in the name – nationalisation requires national government).
• There are no plans to concrete over Two Tree Island.
• The unhappy record of local schools in special measures is an inheritance from the Conservative administration.
• No toilets have been shut.
• Labour won two seats here last time.

There is more. He makes all sorts of wild claims that can only be described as irresponsible. He is oblivious to the reality of police cuts foisted onto Essex by his Government. Makes stupid claims about the rubbish collections. He apparently “hates bank bailouts” – which runs counter not just to common sense, but his own party’s policy.

He manages to blame the failures in the NHS on the Joint Administration locally, seemingly unaware that the NHS is being run (down) by the Conservative-led Government.

He also boasts about the local Conservative manifesto (their first, and Labour have been producing one for years) then claims he can vote independently – which makes the manifesto worthless anyway.

It really is shockingly poor. Any Tories reading it must cringe in embarrassment.

A cheap holiday in other people’s misery

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On a number of holidays I have enjoyed a trot around cities in horse-drawn carriages. Seeing the local Conservative candidate choosing to tour a part of Southend West in similar fashion I am reminded of those trips.

Sir David Amess impersonates a tourist in his own backyard. It makes you wonder how well he really knows the place.

Is it ironic that whilst the Conservative candidate indulges his taste for extravagant transportation, this Labour candidate was writing something about the Bedroom Tax?

I am fighting for the poor and disadvantaged. I am hoping that we can see the very richest pay a little more to help the rest of us. I am campaigning for a fairer and more inclusive society. I am definitely not planning to tour Southend West in a horse-drawn carriage.

Sir David Amess may not have intended it, but he has shown why the Tories can’t build a better future for working people because they stand up only for a privileged few. With a recovery which works just for a few, working families can’t afford five more years of David Cameron.

Axe The Tax

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St Laurence Voice

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Vote for Julian Ware-Lane

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