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Reasons to Vote for Martyn Pennington as MP for South Thanet

November 12, 2019 5:03 PM
By Martyn Pennington

Martyn Pennington 2017Why am I a candidate?

I'm standing for the Lib Dems in South Thanet because I believe Thanet deserves better than the two old parties can ever achieve; they are torn apart by infighting, and are more concerned with their own power, rather than the welfare of their constituents. The Labour Party has been taken hostage by left-wing extremists who don't care about helping small firms, or about the nation's security, or about encouraging our youngsters to achieve the highest standards.

The Tories are little better; their management of the economy is appalling, and have no clear policies when it comes to looking after your mum and dad when they're older, or about safeguarding our environment. We are the party with sensible ideas to help ordinary people. We care about you, your loved ones, your job, your future.

What do Liberal Democrats stand for?

The Tories are the party of big business and old Etonians, Labour are controlled by the left-wing trade unions. Liberal Democrats believe first and foremost in the value of each individual, especially those starting life at a disadvantage; that's why we've fought for more parental leave, better pre-school allowances, school meals, more apprenticeships, recognition of the rights of LGBT+ people, and more. We reach the hand of friendship to foreigners, but expect other countries to respect human rights just as we do. We know that one country on its own is not able to solve many of today's problems, so we need to work at international level to address issues like climate change and organised crime.

Brexit

Lib Dems believe that, since the 2016 referendum, it has been shown that being outside the EU will never be as good as being in the EU. Remember all those attractive trade deals we were promised? After three years work the Government has virtually nothing to show - no disrespect intended to the Faroe Islands, who have offered us a trade deal - except how vulnerable we would be for instance to US companies gatecrashing our NHS. The £350 million figure on the 'Vote Leave' bus was a lie (Nigel Farage admitted it the day after the referendum). And the Government won't admit that the only way to keep a border-free Ireland is to stay in the customs union. Remember we haven't even left yet, let alone decided our future relations with the EU, so "getting Brexit done" will take many more years. Liberal Democrats have been clear all along that we should stay in the EU, compared with the dithering of Labour and the infighting of the Tories.

Austerity

When the Lib Dems arrived in government in 2010, there was (as the famous note left by a Labour minister said) "no money left". Urgent action was needed to keep things going and get back into a healthy financial situation. But by 2015 the worst was over, and our manifesto looked forward to finishing the job, but "doing it fairly, making sure the wealthiest pay their fair share, balancing the books in 2017/18 so we can get back to investing in the public services and infrastructure". What happened? Thanks to mismanagement by the Conservatives, Government debt reached its highest ever level this year. Moody's, the foremost credit agency, praised the 2010-2015 government for controlling the government's deficit, but shows how things have fallen apart since then. Things can only get worse under the Conservatives.

NHS

Our policy is to put 1p on income tax which would provide more funds - probably something like £600 million - almost immediately (from next April) for the NHS, and start to restore the damage from the devastating cuts by the Tories (who have promised more money much later). It would also put more emphasis on mental health, and begin the creation of a single service including care of the elderly and disabled.