Ed Fordham: thoughts about my homeland

My party colleague and inspiring campaigner Ed Fordham wrote this excellent piece: http://edfordham.com/index.php/travel-blog/politics/135-thought-about-my-homeland-postcard-1Image may contain: 1 person, sitting and outdoor

So what happened – the day after the night before the four weeks ahead – what really happened?  It’s Friday May 5th 2017.  Yesterday was local election polling day.

Labour have slumped into the ground – they can still win elections, but they risk becoming a faction, but their meltdown, that was talked of, did not happen.  Thy lost but will and can over a long period of time, recover.  The swathe of 100+ UKIP councillors have been wiped out, but their vote has been assimilated, collected, harvested, vacuumed up by the Tories who emerged as the biggest winners in the night.

The public scepticism at politicians continues to set down roots, deeper roots with surges in support for independents and to an extent Plaid Cymru in Wales.  For the Liberal Democrats something else appears to be happening.  There was no great sweep, there were few great crashes.  But I think there is a divide in the way Britain is voting and it is about politicians and people.  Now then few people loathe UKIP as much as I – and I regard them as a neo-fascist party.  Noteworthy that Nigel Farage has endorsed Marine Le Pen.  But the people who vote UKIP are often doing so in a desperate last stop attempt to be heard.

Britain has over forty years increasingly divided and I have seen towns and communities – many of them my own places of residence increasingly neglected.  Starved of attention nationally, bereft of inspiration and leadership locally.  Let me give the examples I know best: Spalding and Boston in south Lincolnshire undergoing dramatic and steady social change, demographic shift and community closure with services centralised, closing, streamlined and often sidelined. There are villages without shops, indeed with any commercial transaction available, miles and miles of land with no schools, post offices a rarity and usually electing Conservative Party representatives who in turn blame everyone but themselves.  MP John Hayes is the worst typification of this and at the other end of the spectrum Cllr Gary Porter of South Holland DC, now I think Lord Porter, a solitary example of someone trying to act rather than complain.

These communities in desperation turned briefly to Labour in the mid 1990’s before finding they didn’t matter that much, and so turned to abstention and then UKIP.  This last week, in the face of some of the most unpleasant rhetoric from a Tory Party Leader in my memory against Europe and some of the communities propping up the South Lincolnshire economy, the voters wiped UKIP off the map.  But far from tackling the hate of UKIP the Tories have taken it on board.  I will sit and wait to see how long it takes for some of those Lincolnshire UKIP activists to be recruited back into the fold of Conservatism and specifically by John Hayes MP.

So the Conservatives now rule, almost literally, in South Lincolnshire, untrammelled.  What will they do? Will there be investment programmes, start up grants, youth initiatives, plans for village vibrancy and for community cohesion to be centre stage.  No my worst fears are now ever present, having passed through the political cycle for electoral benefit the Tory Party will rule supreme and the voters will see little change.  services will be cut further, centralisation will continue, faceless one-stop-shops will be shrunk and the discontent will sink deeper.

For these reasons and more – I reject the cyclical Tory Party that seeks power above all else and I am a Liberal Democrat.

But what does this conclusion by me mean for the voter.

Read more of this article here http://edfordham.com/index.php/travel-blog/politics/135-thought-about-my-homeland-postcard-1



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