“We have an impotent zombie government with a Prime Minister who’s already checked out of the job, at a time when people are calling for help. This simply isn’t good enough.”
Richard Foord MP www.devonlive.com
When I was elected just over a month ago, I had little idea just how much UK politics was about to change. In just over four weeks we’ve seen the ungracious downfall of a Prime Minister, and an increasingly scrappy contest to replace him. Yet there is also much continuity.
During my first weeks in Parliament, I’ve been stunned by how many of the long-standing traditions remain. Aside from the maze of winding corridors and the customs that date back centuries, the character of politics as carried on within the Houses of Parliament feels quite removed for our present challenges.
Everything is prefaced with formality and niceties, everyone is referred to by titles and constituency names, and the Government has almost total control over what the House of Commons can discuss.
It’s clear that we do need change. We need to ground our politics in the present and the future, and focus on working collaboratively to get things done. I will bang the drum for our part of Devon, but I will try to engage constructively to deliver for local communities.
What is also clear is that whoever is our next Prime Minister is going to have a big job on their hands. We are facing a climate emergency, war in Ukraine, and a cost-of-living crisis. The cost of the weekly shop and filling up the car are skyrocketing, leaving many unsure how they’re going to pay their bills.
Yet at this critical time we’ve seen Conservative Ministers focus on tearing each other apart in the quest to become the next party leader, rather than tackling these huge problems. To a new MP like me, it’s been astonishing to see senior Cabinet ministers tearing apart the same policies they supported just weeks ago.
Take taxes for example. The Conservatives have voted to increase taxes on hard working people 15 times – yet now they line up to decry those taxes and suggest they really didn’t want to increase them at all.
If they cared so much at the time, they would have taken a stand and resigned from Government. But, once again, we see career ambitions taking precedence over their promises.
At the recent Tiverton and Honiton by-election, voters sent a clear message that we’re fed up with being taken for granted. But it seems that the Conservative Government in London hasn’t got the message.
We have an impotent zombie government with a Prime Minister who’s already checked out of the job, at a time when people are calling for help. This simply isn’t good enough.
Liberal Democrats want to see real action to support those struggling – including a cut to VAT to put £600 back in your pocket, and a cap on the cost of heating oil to keep off-grid energy prices down.
These are measures the Government could bring in right now that would deliver real help, but instead the Conservative Party is spending weeks talking only to itself. I will continue to demand better for our communities and fight to make your voice heard in Westminster.