It’s not unusual for politicians to criticise the oppositions policies.
It’s not unusual to criticise the leaders of the political parties you oppose.
It is however fairly unusual to start an article about your own leader’s speech, by attacking the Leader of the opposition.
Local Conservative MP, Craig Tracey, has recently published an article on his website about the Prime Minister’s conference speech. He says the single biggest thing that struck him from Mrs May’s speech was Labour’s spending policies and Jeremy Corbyn. It wasn’t Government policy on Brexit, the economy, the NHS, public services or the Police.
In fact, in the very short article published by Mr Tracey (and probably written by Conservative Central Office), he mentions the word Labour four times and the word Conservative just once. He spends more time talking about Marxism than Mayisim. One has to seriously doubt if he understands what Marxism really is because the last Labour manifesto and our current set of policies would not have had Karl Marx jumping for joy.
A cynical person might suggest that Mr Tracey is trying to distract local people from the current Brexit turmoil in which his Conservative Prime Minister is trying to keep the United Kingdom in the customs union as some sort of backstop deal. I’m sure we all remember when Mr Tracey said that a customs union ‘would in affect not be completely leaving’ and that it would be ‘a direct contradiction to the democratic will of the people.’
The reality is that Mr Tracey and the Conservative Party continue to offer nothing to the people of North Warwickshire and Bedworth. In our constituency we’ve lost Police Stations, local libraries, leisure centres and a huge number of public services. The reason we rarely see a bobby on the beat is because of people like Mr Tracey. He voted to slash the funding for police here in North Warwickshire and now cries wolf about rising crime.
It’s not just the political shots that Mr Tracey hits well wide, it’s his economic assessment that’s also way off the mark.
Our economy is slowing, growing at a lower rate than almost all the major economies around the world and economists have already predicted that any jump in growth, albeit it unlikely, will result in higher inflation and the potential loss of jobs.
On the deficit, it’s not almost ‘wiped out’ as Mr Tracey proclaims. It still runs to many tens of billions of pounds and national debt is higher than ever before. The Conservatives have doubled national debt, borrowing more since 2010 than every single Labour Government put together.
Then of course, there’s the usual line put out by Conservative MP’s (who earn £77,379 per year) that unemployment is at an all-time low and people are earning more because of the National Living Wage. The reality is that the majority of jobs, particularly locally, are low paid and insecure. That’s why half of our residents travel out of the Borough to work, because the jobs here just don’t pay enough.
The triple whammy of usual Tory cons is completed by Mr Tracey’s line on NHS funding. He says we’ve had ‘£20bn extra funding invested into our NHS’. Yet under this Government, NHS funding has gone down as a percentage of GDP every year, from a record high in the last 12 months of the Labour Government. We’ve seen wages frozen for years and the recent pay award doesn’t make up for the huge loss of earnings our doctors, nurses and NHS staff have had to endure. Public health budgets have been slashed and adult social care is in crisis. Yet our Conservative MP thinks things are all rosy.
Mr Tracey should spend less time worrying about Marxism and Jeremy Corbyn and more time worrying about ordinary working people who have been hit hard by a Conservative Party that has failed to invest in communities like North Warwickshire and Bedworth.