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September 17, 2013 - Bill Esterson's Westminster Diary

Bill Esterson



A big thank you to the 30 residents from Maghull and Lydiate who gave up their Saturday morning to take part in 'The People’s Politics Enquiry', which we held in Maghull. 

The enquiry is a recognition that politicians are not trusted and that fewer people vote than used to be the case. 

The question is why and we heard from people with a wide range of views about the reasons. 

For some people it is that all parties are the same, while for others my party, The Labour Party is not doing enough to attack the Tory-Lib Dem government and the impact its policies have on ordinary people. 

This apparent contradiction shows that politicians cause a lot of confusion in the way they work and clearly fail to make sure the public understand what they stand for. 

Part of this is of course the distortion caused by the way that TV and the newspapers report politics, often opting for sensational and negative stories rather than looking at what the parties say they want to do. 

But the central piece of feedback was that there is a lack of trust in politicians and we all have to do better to improve that relationship. 

The people who attended the Maghull event raised concerns about the impact of zero hours contracts, the rapid decline of the NHS and the impact of immigration on a small country which already has its own share of financial difficulties. Concerns were also raised about the way that some groups of immigrants refuse to integrate, leading to mistrust and misunderstanding. 

The point about 'The People's Politics Enquiry' is that the agenda is set by the people. 

Politicians have to take on board the points being raised and try to do something about them. That’s why I shall be making sure that the government responds on these issues but also that my own party does so too as we develop our policies for the next election.

The residents who attended the Maghull event told me they appreciated the fact that I go round and talk to people and in my view this is exactly what politicians should do so that we understand what our residents think. I knock on doors most weeks to listen to what people have to say so that I can represent the people of Maghull, Crosby and Formby when I am in Westminster during the week. 

But this is only possible thanks to the hard work of a dedicated group of volunteers who all help the Labour Action Teams around the constituency.


In the week of the Lib Dem conference, it is worth taking stock of their contribution to government. 

A list of Conservative government policies supported by Lib Dems might include student fees, the increase in VAT and a tax cut for millionaires. All of these were bitterly opposed by the Lib Dems before the election and whole heartedly supported by them a few weeks later, once the Lib Dems were safely in government. 

Add to those unbelievable u-turns, a cut in wages of £1,500 for every working person, massive increases in NHS waiting times, a cut of 5,000 nurses and 15,000 fewer front line police officers and it is clear that all the Lib Dems have done is prop up a hardline Conservative government.

Given the delight shown by the Lib Dems when they joined a Tory government and the way they have supported every single attack on ordinary people while supporting the very few wealthiest people in our country, the reaction against politicians, which was spelled out at ‘The People’s Politics Enquiry’, is entirely understandable. 

I only hope that Labour are better at keeping our promises in government after the next election.

 

 

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