When you come to cast your vote on 12 December a mass of conflicting thoughts will no doubt be swirling through your brain. To some, this election will be all about Brexit. To others, it will be about who runs Britain- our schools and hospitals, our economy, our foreign affairs and defence and so much more. It may be about the personality of the two Prime Ministerial contenders - Boris Johnson or Jeremy Corbyn. To some (I hope) it may be rest on the personality of the local candidate.
Well let me try to help clarify your thinking. First and foremost, I am standing as your long-serving and hardworking local MP, wholly committed to serving the interests and the people of North Wiltshire. And I hope that I am right that even those of a different political persuasion to me would readily accept my claim to be a constituency MP above all else.
Second, I am a Conservative; and if re-elected I will help form a Conservative majority government. That has huge merit in its own right - Boris has announced a whole string of bold and innovative policies. 20,000 more police on our streets; up to 40 new hospitals and more spent on the NHS than ever before; equalisation of state grants for schools, which will greatly benefit Wiltshire. It is only because of the careful Conservative stewardship of our economy since 2010 that we can now afford such welcome increases in spending. I would view it as one of the greatest catastrophes imaginable if a hard left Government run by Jeremy Corbyn, John McDonell and Diane Abbott were to put jobs and livelihoods at risk and be allowed to wreck the economy again.
Third. Let’s be clear. A vote for any of the minority parties, or independent candidates, is in effect a vote for Jeremy Corbyn. In marginal seats, and even here in North Wiltshire, a vote for the Brexit Party, the Lib Dems or the Greens, risks a Labour victory. The Lib-Dems in particular might well form a pact with Labour in order to get power. This is a generational battle between freedom loving Tories and hard left Labour. We cannot risk a Jeremy Corbyn government, which might well be the result of a vote for any party other than the Conservatives.
Fourth, as someone who has supported leaving the EU for a long time, an incoming majority Conservative Government will enable Brexit to be finally delivered, which is what 17.4 Million people voted for. There is much that is wrong with the Deal which the PM was able to negotiate with the EU. But it is the only means by which we can leave the EU, and we must now join hands in supporting it. I do very much respect the opinions of those who were opposed to leaving the EU. They have a great many sensible views, which we must take into account. Most of them would agree, nonetheless, that we could not now go back cap in hand to the EU and ask to be readmitted. What a humiliation that would be. Most sensible Remainers would agree that the outcome of the Referendum demands that we must now leave, even if they themselves have reservations about it.
I have an old election leaflet from my predecessor Captain Cazalet (MP 1923-1942) which reads: “Your support is asked for Captain Cazalet. The Conservative Candidate. The Man you know. No wild promises, but a record of performance and a policy of steady progress.”100 years on, that message still rings true. I am offering no wild promises but steady progress. A common-sense Conservative majority government which will lead our country forward to a new solid, bright future having left the EU; a block on the designs of Jeremy Corbyn with his extreme policies, but above all a record of hard work for and commitment to the people of North Wiltshire, and a promise to go on doing just that.