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Campaign materials
#11
Tory Campaign Material - Flier - Finchley 

[Image: Screen_Shot_2020-07-19_at_10.59.11_AM.pn...height=971]
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#12
Eastwood Local Event
Canvass - Local Event


Isaac Westcott, Chancellor, visits the beautiful constituency of Eastwood for a day of canvassing for the local Conservative candidate, [NAME].

Local Investments

"One of the best things this Government is focusing on is making sure we can amp up local investments for Eastwood and Scotland at large. Now I know the last MP was... a little problematic, but not only are we going to make sure that justice is served, but we'll be getting on with the act of governing. Part of that is including more funding for projects to serve the communities of Eastwood to put folks to work and to ease the pain of businesses, workers, and commuters. One great case is the A77 road that runs through Eastwood- it's an important economic link for Scotland, providing transit links to Northern Ireland- and it also has a reputation as one of the most dangerous roads in the United Kingdom. This Government's massive investments in Scotland- including more than £5 billion in additional funding for Scottish projects and 50% more than we delivered to Scotland in 1990- will allow us to give the communities what they need: a new motorway project that will ease congestion and that will reduce the dangers to motorists in Eastwood. That's why you need to vote for the Conservative candidate [NAME], because the'll be there to ensure this Government can deliver on plans to ease the problems of the A77 and give Eastwood communities greater safety and more transit links to the rest of the United Kingdom. No one else will deliver this, but your local Conservatives will!"

Building an Economic Recovery

"A lot of attention is being paid to the state of our economy, and I think rightfully so. People are worried about losing their jobs- if they haven't lost them already- and worried if there's a plan to provide relief and a plan for growth. Labour wants to try to pin this on the Conservatives, including candidate [NAME]... and the Liberal Democrats couldn't be bothered to talk about the economy at all. Thankfully we have a Government that listens to the needs of the people for job opportunities, for better wages, and for changes to how we do business. This Government is already delivering, cutting taxes to each and every worker by nearly £500 a year- that's more that goes into your pocket. And we're stepping up investments throughout the UK to put people to work. We're protecting people's houses with a £8 billion fund to keep people from losing their homes, protecting businesses with a £5 billion plan to keep them open. And to provide needed support to the unemployed, to pensioners, and families, we've increased payments to low-income and unemployed people by hundreds of pounds a year. And with this extra money, we'll be able to get people spending again to boost our businesses and get our economy on the right track- it's a solid plan and it works for the people who need it most. That's why we need folks like [NAME] in Parliament fighting for Eastwood and fighting for economic growth- because only with MPs like [NAME] will we create jobs, boost wages, and bring prosperity to Eastwood!"

Community Charge Replacement

"I know there has been a lot of resistance to the Community Charge- the so-called poll tax- throughout the UK. Scotland was the first region to have to deal with this new tax attempt to fund local communities- and we see now that this was not the right answer. I'm ready to admit that- and that's why this Government took decisive action to provide relief and end this tax- starting with our budget in 1991, no one will be assessed the Community Charge here in Scotland. But we also know that the communities throughout Scotland need funding- so we made sure to boost payments to Scotland in order to make sure that our communities were not losing out. Conservatives know that we need to make sure our communities are funded- that's what I stand for and what candidate [NAME] stands for- and it's why we're going to roll out a new plan based on the ability to pay and based on fairness. We're going to make sure that local needs are met too from the government in Westminster- continuing to send money to communities throughout Eastwood that need it. We're going to keep the funding coming while ensuring our taxes are fair and sufficient for what we need. That's what [NAME] stands for, and Eastwood will only benefit from having him in Government to help us make the decisions."

--

Along with these points, Westcott will hand out a leaflet with the following points on them. The leaflet will be tailored to Eastwood of course with scenery and local landmarks as well as pictures of families, new construction, and a motorway- by the text is a picture of the Conservative candidate and his name.

Local Investments
  • Only Conservatives like [NAME] will keep investments strong in Scotland- with more than £5 billion in new projects for Scotland this year alone.
  • Only Conservatives like [NAME] will help us fund and build relief projects to the dangerous A77- easing gridlock and bringing opportunities for Eastwood.
  • Only Conservatives like [NAME] will make sure that this Government provides direct relief for businesses in Eastwood, keeping them open!
Building an Economic Recovery
  • Only Conservatives like [NAME] will deliver on policies to make sure that you can keep more of what you earn and enjoy higher wages.
  • Only Conservatives like [NAME] will provide investments in businesses and in workers: higher payments, lower taxes, and assistance to homeowners in need in Eastwood to keep from getting thrown out.
  • Only Conservatives like [NAME] will actually show up to debate and vote for economic policies that boost productivity and growth- something Labour and the Liberal Democrats couldn't be bothered to do.
Community Charge Replacement
  • Only Conservatives like [NAME] will actually deliver on our promise to eliminate the Community Charge with an effective system based on the ability to pay
  • Only Conservatives like [NAME] will protect renters, will protect businesses when implementing taxes- something we know Labour is targeting directly with their new policies.
  • Only Conservatives like [NAME] will protect funding for local communities in Eastwood and Scotland, and making sure that all local needs are met.
That's why we need vote for [NAME] in this by-election: to fight for Eastwood and deliver prosperity!

------

Stump Speech
General Event


Isaac Westcott, Chancellor, visits each constituency with the local Conservative candidate to help campaign with them and to also deliver a stump speech on the economy. Each speech will be peppered with the local candidate's [NAME] and the importance of having those candidates with a voice in Government.

"It's a pleasure to be here in [CONSTITUENCY] today with [NAME], the Conservative candidate and the best chance that we have to make sure that [CONSTITUENCY] has a voice in how this Government moves forward. That's important because we're standing at the crossroads of a very difficult time in the United Kingdom: a crossroads where we decide what sort of country we want to be. I know it seems like an exaggeration- but we are being asked, starting here in [CONSTITUENCY] in whether we want to see a country that continues to be built on innovation and prosperity or not. A recession like we're seeing now always seems to be a popular time for some to raise this argument, but the reason I wanted to come here was to give support to [NAME] and to help you all understand just what's at stake here in this by-election.

"The economy of this country has been built on two pillars. The first is to say that individuals are the ones that can make the best decisions for themselves and their families. The second is to say that yes, there's a role for government in making sure that those who are affected by changing circumstances are prepared for. This structure has helped us: it revolutionised the world through the Industrial Revolution. It helped us to become one of the richest countries in the world. It helped us boost our productivity to become a European leader. Now that we're in a recession, it's time for that second pillar to step up- to make sure that we're providing support where it's needed.

"And that's what this Government has done. We've put £13 billion into direct assistance for homeowners to keep their homes and avoid default and to small businesses to stay open. We've put £19 billion down in increased direct payments to low-income workers, to families, to pensioners, and to the unemployed to help them meet their basic needs. And for those that are working, we're making sure they can take home £500 per year EACH to again, meet all these basic needs. Labour and the Liberal Democrats and their candidates are going to scare-monger and say that we're cutting people off- but this Government is taking serious action to provide support to those in need, provide support to the businesses that are keeping out country open and giving them the tools to grow again.

"And this is where that crossroads come in. Conservatives like [NAME] want businesses to stay open and want people to stay in their homes. Labour is saying now is the time to take these businesses and these homes over completely.

"But for the Conservatives, this isn't going to be enough. We want to continue to invest in local communities and workers. We've already started that to strengthen the tools that are available for people. Long-term support for the unemployed, including skills retraining, business expansion and creation tools, and job placement programmes has been increased by nearly £1 billion in this year alone, making sure we can provide tools for people to find their passions and find their new jobs. With candidates like [NAME], this Government can increase that further and provide even more. We established a "Family Hub" program for young people and their families that need support as well- something Labour couldn't even be bothered to copy and improve on- to again provide more opportunities not just for direct funding but to open new doors for people that have never been opened before.

"Contrast that to Labour- whose economic promise has been to take businesses over, to guarantee jobs without providing training, and to avoid providing any specifics on what they'll do. Contrast that to the Liberal Democrats- who have no policies at all and couldn't be bothered to show up for a debate or vote on these or other proposals designed to make life better for everyone.

"With our investments in the immediate term, and with our investments in education and skills, we can provide the tools for businesses and individuals to pull Britain out of a recession and put us on the path for responsible growth.

"Voting for [NAME] and for a Conservative Government will mean more investments in housing, in health, in education like we've already started to provide. It'll mean higher wages and more opportunities for workers, for young people looking for their first job, and for those who are looking to retire. We've already started to deliver on these policies.

"My colleagues have been talking about education: the new schools we're building, the teachers and staff we're hiring, the importance of the "Family Hub" program to reduce poverty and increase outcomes.

"My colleagues have been talking about health: the surge in NHS funding, the new clinics and hospitals, the doctors and staff, the pay increases that are well-deserved.

"And my colleagues have been talking about the importance of our security policy, particularly when we see a world more and more in conflict.

"You've seen the Government's position on our economy: we put it to a vote and we defended it. Conservatives have delivered more money for families that need it. More investment in education, in health, in security and safety, and in job creation.

"But take all this together, and what you see is that this Government is continuing to uphold those two pillars of our economy: the individual choice and the role of government to provide support when needed. And it's those pillars that we're being asked by some candidates to kick down- which I know is not what's in the best interest of [CONSTITUENCY]. It's why we need to turn out and vote for [NAME], because it'll mean opportunities for workers, for families, for students, and pensioners alike. That's what this Government stands for, and that's what we'll continue to deliver with your support. Thank you!"
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#13
Labour Canvassing – Finchley

Marcus Redgrave MP canvassed with the Labour candidate in Finchley. Here are the talking points for his conversations with voters on the doorstep.

National Security and Foreign PolicyI’m horrified by how badly this Conservative government has humiliated our country on the international stage. The illegal wiretaps, the secret assassinations, a KGB spy as Home Secretary and a Prime Minister fleeing the country to escape British justice.

I served in the Army for 14 years, I fought in the Falklands and to me, it’s unbelievable that a government could have so many scandals and yet still carry on.

I know that people have been worried about a Labour government’s approach to foreign policy. But I can assure you that a Labour government will not disgrace this country as the Conservatives have.

We’ll hold ourselves to the highest standards; we’ll repair our relationships with key allies from our first day in office, we won’t needlessly risk our national security with aggressive and unnecessary warmongering actions and we’ll reclaim Britain’s place on the world stage by standing against those countries that oppress their people. 

Pensions and Incomes: It’s only right and fair that everyone should be entitled to a fair retirement after working hard for so many years. No man or woman over retirement age should still be working, not when we can provide them with the security they’ve so fairly earned.

Furthermore, so many people in this country work so hard yet are not seeing the rewards. If we’re to truly give everyone equal opportunities then government must be there to support them and lend a helping hand.

A Labour government will increase pensions to support retirees and we’ll also better support those currently in work through increasing wages by 10% and giving workers more of a role in how businesses are run.

Government is there to help, Labour will be there to make sure of it.

Public Services: Right now, our essential public services are badly understaffed. Our hospitals don’t have the nurses to attend to patients who need them and our schools don’t have enough teachers to ensure our pupils get a quality education.

Furthermore, in yet another security failing of this government, there are not enough police to keep order on the streets and there are not enough firemen to attend to the number of fires taking place. All over Britain and particularly here in Finchley, your public services are being neglected.

A Labour government will hire 5,000 nurses, 15,000 teachers, 2,500 police officers and 3,000 firemen to solve these problems.

This will be the first step in an ambitious programme to get our public services fighting fit once more and we’ll make sure that places like Finchley get the high-quality public services that you need.
Marcus Redgrave
Labour Member of Parliament for Durham North West
(1987-present)
Shadow Secretary of State for Education and Science
(1991-present)
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#14
James McCrimmon Stump Speech. General Event #3 across all constituencies.

Hello, friends! It’s great to be here today to help support [candidate name here] as [he/she] campaigns to be your next member of Parliament for [constituency]!

It’s been a very interesting year in British politics. The Conservatives elected the heir to Thatcher as their new leader, and he was eventually caught wiretapping his MPs and appointing Russian agents to great offices. And then, when he was inevitably canned, he fled to South Africa - a country known for human rights abuses and enshrined white supremacist policies. And then, when the new Tory leader was elected and had to do a budget, they increased spending and talked about how good it was for the country. And now, as you decide who your next MP will be, the Tories will be out and about telling you how good and noble they are for doing this, and how your next MP should be a Tory so that they can do the same. Let me be clear with you - that is as much a fiction as the idea that Thatcherism was good for the common man.

Friends, you can’t trust the Tories. Mrs Thatcher cut spending, supported the privatization of our industries, and openly opposed the will of workers across the country, while allowing her friends in the upper-class to profit off of the losses of regular people like you and me. When some industries reached the end of their life spans, she had no help for the people who were out of a job. When people were sick and needed help, she cut funding to the NHS. And when people started to recognize that we needed to stop the changes in our climate, she didn’t care. The Tory candidate you’ll see on your ballot on [by-election date] would have supported her if they’d’ve been in the Commons. The current Cabinet is composed of MPs who blindly supported her and, when she left, saw the statistics and decided to throw some money around to fix the problems in our society. The only problem with that is that they didn’t. NHS funding is still lower than where it was under Jim Callaghan. People are still hurting from the effects of Tory economic policy. With your vote for Labour, you can tell the Tories just where they can stick their pandering budget. You can tell them how hurt you have been by their last decade in office. And, most importantly, you can tell them that you’re supporting a party that will ensure that everyone is able to thrive.

The Second People’s Charter, my primary piece of policy, is directly influenced by my experience of meeting people across this country - people who have commonalities in what they need to live a successful life. You need a job. You need a fair wage. You need hospitals, food, and so much more.The Second People’s Charter guarantees this and, should Labour return to Government, will become enshrined in law. As we look towards our next millennium, we still have not killed William Beveridge’s “five giants” of “want, disease, ignorance, squalor, and idleness.” More people are unemployed than before. More people are homeless than before. More people are poorer than before. This must end.

With a vote for [candidate], you’ll send the Tories a message. You’ll tell them that you know what they’ve done to this country and that you’re done with it. A vote for Labour is a vote for British advancement, investment, and growth.
James McCrimmon
Leader of the Labour Party (1990-Present)
Leader of Her Majesty's Most Loyal Opposition (1990-Present)

Member of Parliament for Glasgow Pollok (1970-Present)
Traits: Campaigning Guru, 2XP

Formerly Shadow Solicitor General (1972-1974), Attorney General (1974-1979), Shadow Attorney General (1979-1980), Shadow Health Sec (1981-1983), Shadow Environment Sec (1984-1987), Shadow Employment Sec (1987-1989), Shadow Social Security Sec (1989-1990)
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#15
Stump Speech - All Constituencies.

Thank you all for being here today,

It’s brilliant to be here in [constituency] with you today, making the case for a Labour Member of Parliament and a Labour government. And I think the case for one has been made now louder not by Labour but by the Conservative Party themselves, don’t you?

When the Conservative Party under Margaret Thatcher first wielded power in 1979, I knew their monetarist experiment would fail and that someday the case for a Labour government would be made as she picked winners of the richest and losers of the rest of us. But now we’ve seen it all – foreign agents in the highest echelons of government, Ministers wiretapping one another and a second recession in their miserable period of government. Now is the time where we can send a signal to the country we are ready to put this government out of its misery.

In rolling back their disastrous cuts and policies en masse in the face of existential defeat, the Conservative Party know that their time is up. In insinuating those in the Labour frontbench are terrorists or people who would intentionally undermine national security – don’t they need some self-awareness? – they know that they have no positive vision left for the country.

It is up to this Labour Party to offer that positive vision. And we have. The Thatcher era’s rollercoasting economy and mass unemployment has to end. A tax cut here and a spending hike there will not do. We need to step up to the moment and have an ambitious policy agenda to empower Britons and build it up ready for the modern age, just as we had done in 1945.

Now is that moment, and we have that policy agenda.

There are simple steps we can take to do this, including an ambitious plan of investment that will make sure every area across the country benefits and generates wealth that can be shared by all, including [constituency].

Despite the Chancellor claims he wants businesses to stay open, the Prime Minister boasts about how he’ll let businesses in [constituency] go under because of the recession created by this government – that’s fewer jobs in [constituency], less wealth and hopes and dreams of entrepreneurs crushed. Labour refuses to accept that.

When the Chancellor talks of Labour ‘taking over’ businesses, what he means is that we will give them that second chance. And in doing so, we will ensure workers and businesses can cooperate to build better conditions, stronger wages and stronger businesses so that everyone across the country benefits. These are the kind of policies we are proud of.

The Tories will speak of picking winners and losers, but Labour’s mantra is that we can all win if we work together. I do not want a government that cheersfor others losing, as Thatcher did for certain areas, as this Prime Minister does for businesses and as the previous Prime Minister did for his own Ministers: that’s the formula that leads to the unstable rollercoaster of an economy we’ve seen, mass unemployment and high inflation. We must work together to see an economy that works for each and every one of us.

And an economy that works for each of us can help build the long-term foundation for the public services that we all rely on. But after a decade of underinvestment we must act now, and we must be clear about how we pay for this – that is what we have done. By asking the very richest to contribute more, we can reverse that decade of underinvestment immediately.

We can hire build more hospitals and clinics in [constituency] after years of closure and hire more doctors and nurses to cut waiting lists. And reward them – the heroes who have saw us through the HIV-AIDS crisis – with a pay rise of 10% that they deserve. All while removing charges for dentistry and opticians’ check-ups and prescription charges for every resident of [constituency].

We can hire more police to keep the streets of [constituency] safe, but crucially ensure we break the cycle of crime by tackling it at its very roots.

We can ensure no child in [constituency] is left behind and is able to go to a good school by making unprecedented investments into education.

And in doing so, ensure no child is left behind by having a fully-fledged policy programme to lift up families and reduce health inequality. I was bemused to hear the Chancellor say “Labour couldn’t be bothered to copy and improve” on the government’s family hub programme. I’d like to dispel that myth just there: we’ve taken the government’s £200 million bung and ensured Family Hubs won’t just be a positive line on campaign material, but part of a cost neutral wider strategy to tackle health inequality head on, giving us lower waiting times and a more productive economy in the process.

The Tories will campaign to keep their seats. Their tendency to adopt and throw away policies in an instant makes that clear.

That is not what the Labour Party will campaign for. We know Britain deserves better. We’ll campaign for fairer taxes, stronger public services and empowering you.

And we can do it together and finally put this government out of its misery. Because we cannot do this alone. So I need you – and you – and you – each and every one of you to get to your local polling station on [date] and vote for [candidate name], for a representative who can make [constituency] and the country fairer, freer and more prosperous – for everyone.
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#16
Tory Campaign Material - Billboard - Finchley 

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#17
Tommy Dawson canvass in Finchley.

On Tory Scandals and Psychodrama:
I have to admit that the Tories have managed to unite the country while in Government - that is they have united it in complete contempt and exasperation towards them after months of leaks about unrelatable personality battles and damaging, shocking scandals. Over the past few months we have seen a high profile Tory Minister hanged as a result of treason, a former Tory Prime Minister flee to a country with an appalling human rights record in order to escape justice for the illegal wiretapping scheme he cooked up, all while the vast majority of us are worried about getting by in an economic crisis of their own creation. Aubyn Myerscough promised he would be different but has proven to be just as crooked as the rest of them, when he, after a little more than a month into power negotiated a quid pro quo sweetheart deal with foreign aid that was budgeted with the intent of helping the most vulnerable throughout the world in a shameless attempt to mitigate the damage of another scandal involving the fleeing from justice of a man that he, himself, appointed to a Great Office.

The Tories cannot be rewarded after instigating treasonous acts and presiding over national embarrassment on top of national embarrassment. Finchley’s Labour candidate, Rudi Vis, is a man of integrity whose active in the community and will join a Labour Parliamentary group in Parliament committed to investigating the full extent of the scandals and holding to account all who are implicated and then turning the page toward an honest, dignified Labour Government.

On the Economy/Shadow Budget:
As Tories flood into your neighborhood I’m sure there a lot of things they would prefer you forget. Atop that list is the fact that their reckless economic project is responsible for the economic crisis that has condemned millions to unemployment, precarity, and despair. While the Tories mocked the idea of rescuing community businesses and the jobs within in them, Labour understands that we’ve had enough losses due to the hollowing out of our industry and will not only provide relief to businesses right here in your community but empower your neighbors and friends who work at them to have a greater say in how they are run. Labour will put more teachers in our schools, more Bobbies on the beat keeping your neighborhoods safe, more doctors and nurses providing excellent care in our hospitals and we will give all of them a 10% pay raise to ensure that their pay is commensurate with the amazing work they do in our communities each and every day. While the Tories seek to salvage their failed program, Labour understands that creating good paying jobs must be central to our economic recovery and will commit the appropriate resources to do so. By voting for Rudi Vis - an economist who understands what is needed to bring us out of this Tory recession - you can help build a fairer economy for all as we stride toward the 21st Century.

On the NHS:
After the Tories have let our public services wither over the last 12 years with cruel cut after cruel cut, Labour understands the need for a bold plan to revitalise our NHS and ensure that it is the great, universal institution which Nye Bevan and that Labour Government intended it to be. We’ll end the sickness tax by scrapping prescription fees which disproportionately harm the vast majority of us for the benefit of the few, and end optical and dental care charges so that all may get the care that they need. Further, Labour will introduce Health Centres which will aid low-income children to ensure that they get the support they need early in life before they get sick as part of our aim dramatically reduce the scourge of health inequality as we head into the 21st Century. A vote for Rudi Vis on [by-election date] is a vote to save our NHS after a decade of neglect and to improve care and support for all.
Tommy Dawson
MP for Sheffield Brightside (1979-Present)
Deputy Leader of Labour (1990-Present), Shadow Chancellor of the Exchequer (1990-Present)
Socialist Campaign Group. 8 XP. Media Darling, Campaign Guru
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#18
Finchley Canvass:

On Tory Scandals

The Tories can no longer enjoy the support and trust of the people of Finchley. What’s their track record? A Home Secretary hung for High Treason, a Tory PM accused of similar crimes who fled to South Africa. An endless series of Cabinet links that have damaged the trust of the British people in their Government. It is up to us, the voters of the United Kingdom and you, the voters of Finchley, to send this Government a clear message: this incompetence will no longer be tolerated. It’s clear that we need a change and a new direction in Government. The status quo cannot be maintained. I ask each voter--including those who have never voted Labour before--to give serious consideration to doing so now. We need a serious alternative to the reckless Government in power and to send a clear message that changes must happen. You can send this message to the Prime Minister and Westminster by supporting a Labour Candidate here in Finchley and say “we will not longer support incompetence in Government!”

On the Economy

Tory economic mismanagement has wreaked havoc on high street--including here in Finchley. Labour understands what the Tories don’t--we understand that supporting our economy means supporting High Street--not bankers. Perhaps it’s because our party and its leadership is made up primarily of people from working-class backgrounds rather than banking or affluent ones, who fought hard to build up what we have. As a high street business owner of a small bookshop myself in Telford, I understand the struggles that so many small businesses feel--and the frustration with Governments that seem to give more support to big businesses rather than smaller ones--the smaller ones which form the backbone of our local economy. Let’s send a clear message to the Government--no longer will we tolerate the Tories supporting banks and big business at the expense of High Street. Vote Labour!

Supporting the NHS

The Labour party understands what the Tory party doesn’t--we need to invest more into our National Health Service to support the health and well-being. of current and future generations in the United Kingdom. The Labour party understands that we need to invest in our local NHS hospitals--like Finchley Memorial Hospital--to ensure that our communities remain strong and healthy. The Tory Government has been distracted by problems of its own making--but throughout these distractions, Labour is singularly focused on delivering what the British people care about--good Governance, a strong NHS, and sensible solutions for the people of Great Britain. When you go to the polls, I humbly ask you to consider: which party do you trust to be in control of your NHS? This Tory Government considering the events of the past year--or the Labour party? Your votes here today may not bring down a Government--but will send a clear message to the Conservative party as to whether or not they have the confidence of the British people. Please, show up and vote--to send a clear message to this Government and to protect your NHS.
JOHN BROWN
Labour MP for The Wrekin (1987-Present)

Biography | 3 XP | Constituency Appeal | Issue Champion (The Pound)
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#19
Campaigns Material #3 - I am eternally optimistic about the human condition, upbeat, scrappy, local community campaigning is how we will win, says Alex Cardigan
 
Speaking to Liberal Democrat members in Glasgow after a busy day campaigning in the Eastwood by-election, Alex Cardigan implored members to engage in community-level action. Aiming to persuade even more helpers to target seats in by-elections, he also spoke about Liberal Democrat pledges to improve our schools, get more bobbies on the beat, give Scotland home rule, and take Party HQ out of London.
 
“Friends and colleagues, I have to tell you something. I was a Liberal Democrat gain, once. It was bloody hard work, and took years, but I have to tell you, it was worth every minute. Montgomery, that former heartland - my place of upbringing - had been lost for the first time in a century. I remember that election night well, 1979, though I was in Khartoum at the time, on a tinny little radio setup. It broke my heart that the Liberals had lost so badly again, and that my home constituency had been swept away in a blue tide. It also renewed my passion for Liberalism, for community politics, and for the reform we need.”
 
Safe seats, by their very nature, corrupt. That is why when I say that I was a Liberal Democrat gain once, I want to put a very clear message to everyone in this room. I want to always act like I was a gain. Like the seat isn’t mine by any right, whether that be by birth or by the colour of my rosette. And I want liberals up and down Britain – whether they are members or not, because let me tell you, most liberals aren’t signed-up yet – to adopt that mentality too. We can never be complacent, never let our communities down, and never do anything but scrap for every penny of funding locally, deliver every farmhouse at the end of a country lane their Focus, and climb every inner-city tower block.”
 
“I also want us to change mentality because, well, being a party that just hold seats isn’t good enough. We have 20 MPs. This country is yearning for change and we need to present a real alternative option at the ballot box. I am eternally optimistic about the human condition –, upbeat, scrappy, local community campaigning is how we will win. Caring about every Post Office, every school, every little thing that a resident brings up on the doorstep – and working hard to get things done locally.”
 
“Yes, we want reform on a national scale, and no, we will never lose sight of that – but that local, people-first, fundamentally human and decent campaigning is what defines the Liberal Democrats, and what this series of by-elections is going to prove we are every bit as good at as we have been. Glasgow Hillhead, Berwick-upon-Tweed, Liverpool Edge Hill, Crosby even – we got Liberal and Social Democrats elected, and they changed people’s lives. Community politics is not a means to an end, it is an end in itself, and as Britain’s only truly localist party, we should be acutely aware of that. That said, I see no point in vainglorious self-indulgent opposition when we have a duty to win.”
 
“Does positive local campaigning mean that we don’t call out our opponents when they let people down? Absolutely not. When Conservatives are flocking to Yugoslavia and the Soviet Union, and when the cowardly former Prime Minister attempts to run to Apartheid South Africa, we must be vociferous. But we also must make an offer, locally, door by door. In Eastwood, where I was earlier today, we’re campaigning to get them their fair share of a 1p tax rise to fund better schools. We’re campaigning for more bobbies on the beat, in an area just south of here, Glasgow, which has had all too many issues with crime under the Tories. We’re also campaigning to stop using Scotland as a political football and testing ground, and to not lecture from Westminster, but to listen from every doorstep.

“As someone from a nation other than England myself, yet still a proud Brit, I must tell you whilst I am here, that I am acutely aware of how distant Westminster feels. When I am in my constituency in rural Mid Wales, it is so so so difficult for me to defend the fact that decisions about their lives are made on the other side of the country, in an archaic old institution. We need a new local settlement for Britain – we need devolution for Wales and Scotland, and we need Councils to be empowered and reformed to take real action in their communities. We’ve seen the absolute shower that have been running the country for the last few years – Lance Campbell and Patricia Carmichael do not know more about my community than the people in it, yet they've been making decisions from Westminster! It is a disgrace that power is so distant.”
 
“One constituent of mine, though, after I had said all this, said something very wise and sage to me. He had nodded along in agreement, but one thing bugged him, clearly. Alex, he said. You may say all this, and rally against centralisation, and I’m with you on that. But why is Liberal Democrat HQ in London too? Why are you playing the same game by paying well over the odds to stick your office there? He was right. It is an absurd hangover from a bygone time that all the parties compete to have the most central Westminster offices. So I’m not going to let that continue. Liberal Democrat HQ is going to move, and we are going to open more regional and local offices than ever before as part of a new commitment to community politics. In fact, I think here in Glasgow, you may well have a very good chance at getting our new HQ.”
 
“One final thing, I want to say. We are being attacked by the Tories for not having enough policies. In my experience, though, Liberals and Democrats have never lost elections due to not having long enough manifestoes. We have never lost elections due to not being detail oriented enough. We have led on policy, nationally – on defence policy the Tories have no answers. On schools, we have a plaster over a gaping wound they have inflicted. When we say we want to listen to people, and we want grassroots policies, not lectures from London, we mean it. That is why we have Conference democracy, that is why we campaign in such an intense way, and that is why we do not issue edicts from central office, we listen. It’s also why we have a more radical set of policies than any other party – home rule for Scotland and Wales, and a radical package of local devolution, as well as regular referenda. We aren’t afraid to ask people what they think. The Tories seem terrified – presumably because they know what people up and down this country think of them by now.
 
“Now, we do not have long until voters are going to the polls. We must make the most of every second. Every morning we can deliver a Focus in Eastwood, every afternoon we can talk to voters in Aylesbury, and every evening we can have a glass of wine at a local fundraiser to bolster our campaigns even more. We are a party of substance, and are going to get back on the political map better than ever. We’ve got to win first, we’ve got to do that local campaigning we’re so good at, and we’ve got to win. Thank you all – I know you’re behind me, behind our candidates, and I know you’re going to help us win.”

Cardigan leaves stage to an ovation from Scottish Liberal Democrat members.

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#20
Eastwood canvass:

Ruth Murphy went canvassing in Eastwood, where she spoke to voters about the issues that mattered to them and urged them to vote for their local candidate, James McGuire.

To one voter she said: “The Liberals have campaigned around this seat saying that the only opportunity to get rid of the Conservatives in this seat and move on from crooks like Lance Campbell would be to vote for them and their blanket endorsement of Conservative policy. They would have you believe Labour don’t have a chance in this seat.

But have you seen the recent poll that’s made the papers? It’s made it clear that Labour aren’t polling third in this seat, or even in second, but in first place. A vote for the Labour Party is undoubtedly the best way to boot the Conservatives not just out of this constituency, but out of government altogether!” 

To another, she spoke about Labour’s Shadow Budget: “We know Thatcherism as we know it isn’t working. The Conservatives boast about their strong economic management while people all over the country are losing their jobs, wages fall, inflation rises and we’re in the midst of the country’s second recession in a decade.

Instead of calling for more of the same, Labour have made it clear that we want to invest in you, your community and your public services. By asking only the very richest to contribute a bit more – those who earn over double the second rate of tax and earn more than twenty-five times the basic rate – we’re able to put more bobbies on the beat, revitalise communities left behind by Thatcherism, end the dreaded poll tax definitively and put unprecedented investment into schools and hospitals. That sounds like a better alternative than the Tories’ rollercoaster economy of dips and rises, don’t you think?” 

She discussed empowering the British people with another voter: “The Tories will boast about a spending rise here, and a tax cut there. But right now, what we really need is to empower individuals in the long term to live rich and successful lives. 

With the Liberals endorsing the Tory budget, it’s only the Labour Party that can offer a vision that truly empowers you and your family, both politically and financially. For all the talk of a Marxist takeover of businesses parroted by the opposition, all Labour is proposing is strengthening your say in your workplace – empowering you.

Unlike the Thatcher government we will refuse to be a centralising government, and we’ll ensure that more political decisions made in Eastwood and Scotland are made by people in Eastwood and Scotland.”
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