Sunday 21 May

This morning I went to our usual Sunday RV in Shirley Hills Car Park to help deliver leaflets for Gavin Barwell, the Conservative Candidate for Central Croydon.  Councillors Tom Philpott and Hannah Gray were there already as were Scott Pattenden (our Vice Chairman Political) and his friend, Felicity. There may have been others too because the crowd of activists was so great that all three car parks were full and I may have missed a few other Beckenham folk. 

Having picked up our batch of leaflets we were despatched to Addington and delivered them in the Overbury Crescent/North Downs Road area.  Halfway through the round a rather insistent Staffordshire Bull Terrier seemed particularly keen to devour what was contained in my Barwell leaflets and so I let him have those in my hand.  He was a bit sniffy about them but then clearly growled his support. 

En route home I stopped in to discuss where we were at in our campaign at the house of Brian Cooke, our Chairman and his wife, Councillor Mary Cooke. 

I note and am pleased that the Conservative Manifesto does put tackling the annual deficit and thereafter the UK debt as a very high priority. We must not forget this vital task.   But other parties’ manifestos seem to concentrate on borrowing rather than the much more awkward job of balancing our books.  But t’ was ever thus.  For instance, we have had three Labour Governments over the last 50 years - 1964-70, 1974–79 and 1997-2010 – and each of those Labour Administrations has trashed the economy.  We have had to put it right again – which is hardly electorally easy. In truth Tories sort out the economy whilst Labour dishes it.  I say this to remind everyone of just how big a threat Labour could be to the future of our country.  We must continue to cut our annual deficit as it our children and future generations who will pay for it if we do not get this right.  But, at the same time, we must do this sensibly, ensuring the most vulnerable in our society are still protected.  It’s a fine balancing act.

Yet, since 2010 our annual deficit has been cut by almost two thirds.  At the same time, more workers now have jobs than ever with unemployment in the UK overall at 4.8 per cent.  Locally we are very lucky by comparison with that national figure.  Currently we have just over 1 per cent of the local workforce without a job. 

We need sensible heads sorting out our economy.  The truth is that senior Conservative politicians have such heads, can do their sums and explain where monies come from – in total contrast to the likes of Jeremy Corbyn, John McDonnell and, spectacularly, Diane Abbott.