With the forthcoming election some six weeks away it is essential that all parties put forward credible, evidence based policies and credible candidates to implement them.
However, it would seem that the Tories and UKIP have ignored this basic rule. The Tories have managed to reinstate Mrs Croft as a candidate for HDC using the convenience of her selection by a different Tory group whose members include the current Tory HDC group leader!
They then go on to parachute in a candidate for the general election who is a member of the Countryside Alliance and offer policies which include the repeal of the ban on fox hunting, when there are so many other policy priorities to address on housing, the NHS, welfare, education and UK’s role in the world. It merely confirms how out of touch with real lives and people the Tories are.
But not to be outdone, UKIP is immersed in scandals and have now ejected Ms Atkinson, one of their MEPS, making some 20 ejections from UKIP ranks at senior level in the last five years. Whilst in policy terms ‘UKIP’s policy is whatever comes into Nigel Farage’s head the last time he was on TV’ (Independent Editorial 22/3/15).
UKIP’s stance on Europe and immigration has been shown to be misguided by two reports. One from the independent Office of Budget Responsibility on the value of immigration to the UK economy which confirms a significant positive benefit to UK GDP both historically and going forward from immigration (Guardian report 19/3/15) and one from a European research group ‘Open Europe’ which shows the UK economy would lose almost £60 billion a year if we withdrew from Europe (Independent 23/3/15).
Unlike UKIP they see limited prospects of being able to replace that trade in the global market, whilst trading with Europe would still require UK to sign up to the majority of EU regulations we currently recognise! Thus rendering UKIPs two flagship policies fatally flawed.
Thankfully the Liberal Democrats are offering credible, costed policies and hardworking effective candidates. It is for the electors to choose on May the 7th.
Lib Dem Horsham District Council candidate for Cowfold, Shermanbury and West Grinstead, Smithbarn, Horsham