I am afraid there is now no escaping it. The General Election that is. For the first time in my political career we have a situation where the election is not going to be sprung upon the public as a surprise.
We have all known the date for nearly five years.
But there will be differences from before, and the public is driving these changes. There has never been greater scrutiny of all the parties, as internet media allows for the most forensic analysis.
We no longer have to rely on talking heads on television to tell us what we know- everyone is an expert on something and can offer a critical view of a party’s policy.
Can I also say that I disagree strongly with the media’s attempt to hold an election only in a minority of constituencies. With such widespread varying voting intention, as the public exercise greater choice of parties, every seat and every vote counts and all should be treated exactly the same by their candidates to bring their messages to the public.
Most general elections boil down to the most basic of choices. Do you wish a particular Prime Minister and government to carry on, or has an alternative absolutely convinced you to change? In this regard, I think this election is no different. You will have that choice. I will make our case strongly and with passion- it’s for all our futures.
Whilst other economies have stalled, this country has seen 1,000 new jobs a day created, with consequent opportunity for young people. Left with a note saying ‘all the money’s gone’ (Labour’s Chief Secretary to the Treasury 2010) we are making long term reforms to health, education and welfare with little resource, but still finding sums for rail and road investment and protecting the pension as never before.
So it has been tough, but with your efforts and hard work, we are now getting somewhere.
Almost all you will hear until May will be a variation on all this. I know you will be searching in your questions, and I for one welcome the election process to do my best to answer.