I wrote previously how I’d signed a petition in support of Equitable Life pensioners and how they’d been fighting for over 10 years to get fair compensation from government maladministration. The fight, although long, should be over soon, as the new coalition government has announced in the Queens Speech to compensate all Equitable Life pensioners, even the families of those policyholders who have since passed away since the debacle.
It is expected that the first compensation will be paid out within 12 months, which really can;’t come soon enough for many pensioners.
I look forward to chalking off more Liberal Democrats policies and campaigns being implemented and making a real improvement to people’s lives.
To my surprise it included Bromsgrove, although it shouldn’t considering the hard work the team put into the campaign.
I must admit I never expected a coalition, but at the end of the day it is probably the least worst alternative.
We could not have done nothing. There is a country to be run.
Supporting a Conservative minority government would have been possible but it would have been fragile, most Liberal Democrat policies would not have been enacted and there was the consdierable risk of another election within 12 months.
A coalition with Labour would have been ideal for many supporters but was never practical due to the parliamentary numbers and lack of support from the Labour party itself. A coalition with the Conservatives, although difficult should lead to many Liberal Democrat policies introduced (such as the £10k income tax threshold) and Conservative policies curbed (marriage tax allowance and inheritance tax threshold increase). All the details have still to be announced but this is what coalition government gives you compromise, hopefully of the important and best things for the country.
It’s also why voting for what you want, can make a difference. Although the electoral system is still against the Liberal Democrats, we can point to the 23% of people who voted for our policies when we were negotiating with the Conservatives, it gave us weight to get what our supporters wanted.
I don’t know what the road ahead will be like but at the very least we can say Liberal Democrat policies will have been delivered, we have experience of government and that coalition government can work (hopefully…).
Although not the result we were looking for, and in common with the national picture, not what the Lib Dems expected. It was nonetheless the best ever general election performance by us in Bromsgrove.
Over 10,000 votes (up 3,000) and almost 20% share of the vote (up 5%) whilst both the Conservatives and Labour saw both votes and share of votes decline, even if the Conservatives have an increased majority.
The Lib Dems will be building on this in next years local elections and the next general election (whenever that may be!)
Article by Gary Younge in the Guardian on Saturday
“Apart from a hiatus under Labour in 1973, Bromsgrove has been Tory since 1950…It was about as safe as a Tory seat could get.
This time the Tories are having to work hard for it. An independent Conservative is standing against the official candidate, Sajid Javid. Add Ukip, the British National party, an increasingly confident Liberal Democrat party and other independents into the mix and, while the Tories remain the favourites, the result is anything but assured. Labour is losing votes to the BNP; the Tories are losing votes to Ukip; and the Liberal Democrats are picking up votes everywhere.”
With your support we can turn Bromsgrove yellow!