In her final Chronicle column before Parliament dissolves next week, High Peak MP Ruth George discusses the upcoming General Election.
I’m looking forward to the next few weeks in High Peak, speaking to lots of people and making the case for a new government.
We have the opportunity to change course as a country. To end a decade of austerity that has made us and our country poorer.
As MP, I’ve seen what years of austerity have done in High Peak.
The month after I was elected, the closure of our specialist dementia ward in Buxton was announced, and the proposed closure of Shire Hill the next month.
It’s seemed like cut after cut – to our libraries, nurseries, buses, youth clubs, police, schools and carers.
I’ve seen the effect of austerity on people who come to my surgeries or visit our food banks, struggling to get by. Often working people whose wages don’t stretch far enough.
It’s not right that almost a quarter of children in High Peak are growing up in poverty in the sixth richest country in the world and under Boris Johnson’s policies it’s set to get worse.
I’ve always supported policies that balance out our unfair economy. Fair taxes for the richest people, the most profitable companies – so we can invest in our public services, in infrastructure, in green energy and transport, and help to grow our economy again.
I’m looking forward to setting out that positive vision for High Peak and for our country.
The Conservatives are trying to deflect people from this sensible alternative by claiming that I’ve been trying to ‘block Brexit’. But the facts don’t bear that out.
Boris Johnson’s Brexit Deal has been shown to be bad for our country – it will impose tariffs at our borders, cost us jobs in High Peak, shrink our economy, and threaten our rights at work and environmental standards.
But I know that some people are prepared to pay this price to Leave the EU.
So I supported that deal the other Saturday on the basis that it could be amended by Parliament to improve it if a majority agreed.
But instead of bringing the bill forward for MPs to examine, Boris Johnson refused and demanded a General Election instead.
As regular readers will know, I’ve consistently argued for a deal with the European Union that protects us against border tariffs and undermining our rights.
But Theresa May was prevented from doing such a deal by Boris Johnson and his right wing supporters.
So I’ve said that the public should get a vote on the deal. No one voted in 2016 to make us poorer so everyone should be able to decide if that’s what they want.
I’m looking forward to setting out these sensible proposals to people around High Peak.