Tuesday, 31 January 2012

Fairness- who, what, why, where

Fairness and the coalition!

18 months ago we saw the forming of the coalition between the lib dems and the conservative party in a very visual form with a joint press conference on the lawn of downing street. What is it that most people remember about that bright sunny summers day apart from the glowing faces of a new fresh Prime Minister David Cameron and an energised forward looking Nick Clegg? One word "fairness" it doesn't matter where you sit on the political spectrum or whether you are a political hack or a casual armchair politico, everyone I talk to say that is what they remember. Its the "foundation" of what this tory led government is built on, and the thread that flows through the bold decisions being made across all departments over the last year.

What does fairness look like?

If you listened to the opposition under Ed Miliband you may believe fairness is something that floats around in academic political speak and brought out to spin that labour hold the monopoly on being the "nice party".

I've got a few messages for Ed, winning a leadership election when another candidate won the majority of votes IS NOT FAIR, telling the public you won't make any promises or suggest solutions to the perilous situation the country finds its self IS NOT FAIR, and when you suffer cliqueyness and become "pigeon holed" within the party for your gender or sexuality reeling off lists of legislation and telling you that you should be grateful for all the red tape they brought in instead of focusing on people IS NOT FAIR.

David Cameron and the coalition have been sending out a lot of messages themselves around what fairness looks like to: Always earn more in work than on benefits, an education system where every child has the chance to go to an academy, an education system where the qualifications you take will be valued by employers not just pieces of paper you were falsly sold, an nhs where clinical decisions will be made by medically trained doctors not management trained staff, an immigration system that protects the most in need but ensures community resources aren't stretched to breaking point by un capped influxs of people waiting 5 yrs for an immigration decision, a corporate tax system that rewards success and encourages growth not punishing high aspirations, a criminal justice system that keeps dangerous criminals off our streets longer but also recognises that social problems need social solutions not more time in prison and within 2 yrs of coming to power we are likely to see the legalisation of gay marriage something labour never delivered on.

I don't claim to be an "academic politics graduate" or MPs aide but to me the coalitions messages are plain simple examples of "fairness" being delivered not discussed not given as a list of rights but a values system that is defining every decision implimented by the government today.

You don't have to agree with every policy decision the government makes or every minor decision that sits within a draft bill or action, but what its clear to see is that people are at the heart of government decision making, they want to put people not quangos at the heart of local communities and they want to put people first above red tape and legislation.

people talk about "personality politics" but when I see this government in action I see "people and community politics" that's fairness and about time too!

New Beginnings - Blue Blairite

Who am I?

I'm 26 a diversity consultant from Liverpool and former Labour Students National LGBT Officer and now proud new member of David Cameron's "new" Conservative Party.

Shouts of why?, traitor, crazy, they hate trans and gay people, careerist I have heard but why have I made the big decision to cross the floor and join a new party.

After joining the labour party in University inspired by the passionate and progressive politics of Tony Blair and engaging Blairite members such as at the time Chloe Howard Chair of the University of Liverpool Labour club I believed I was supporting a party looking forward working in a progressive agenda for the UK.

This support and Vision lead to me standing and becoming Labour Students national LGBT Officer, Vice Chair of the shadow Climate change Minister Luciana Berger's constituency (Wavertree Liverpool) and a regular campaigner locally and nationally for the party at local, national and European elections.

So whats changed?

The simple answer to that is who stands for the values I support has changed. Once it was Tony Blair's Labour party that held the progressive ground in UK politics supporting business and encouraging wider participation within the party. But now times have changed we see Ed Miliband isolating the labour party from businesses and isolating himself from the Trade Unions that supported him just 15 Months ago. We are facing one of the most difficult economic periods in history and the message from the labour leader and Ed Balls is "we cant make any promises" political speech for "we have no solutions".

Unlike the two Eds, David Cameron is leading the conservative led government by making bold decisions on welfare reform, education, health and imigration and George Osborne has been honest and frank about what is needed to help fix Britain's broken economy. I feel that although the conservative party have not delivered on all the promises they have made yet they are coming up with solutions for the difficult problems we face, they are working towards a fairer society where people earn more in work than out claiming benefits and the party is reaching out to businesses with changes in corporation tax, reductions in health and safety regulation and other measures to help give the UK economy the kick start it badly needs.

I have spent the last 6 months disillusioned and pushed to the edge of a labour party that just 15 months earlier I was on the panel of candidates to represent as a councillor in Liverpool. Since stating my intention to leave the party and Join the Conservatives I have been welcomed with open arms from friendly engaging and postive members, talked to inspiring MPs like Louise Mensch and really felt energised to get back involved in politics as a whole.

What does the future hold?

I want to thank all of the lovely Individual members of the Labour party I have worked with over my time in the party and also all of the conservative party members who have made me feel welcome so far.

All that is left to say is lets get back down to working for a "fair Britain" at the end of the day we are all in this together.