Jane Ellison is my Conservative PPC in the uber-marginal seat of Battersea (Labour majority 164)
If the Tories don’t win here, Gordon Brown will have been re-elected – probably with an increased Parliamentary majority.
So, I read Ms. Ellison’s “Reporting Back” leaflet with interest.
In some ways, it’s a great mimick of LibDemmery.
There’s all sorts of pictures of Jane at all sorts of civic functions.
She helpfully tells us that the leaflet was paid for and distributed by Tory volunteers (is Michael Ashcroft a volunteer?)
Painfully, there’s a list of helplines on the inside front panel of the leaflet. Covering everything from a graffiti hotline to advice on influenza. They even tell you the telephone number for National Rail Enquiries (it’s 08457 48 49 50 just in case you haven’t mastered google yet)
Balancing the books doesn’t seem to figure though. So, Ive dropped her a line.
Well, I tried to.
But unfortunately www.janeellison.net is down at the moment, and so my email bounced. I had to send it to firstname.lastname@example.org
Here’s what I wrote:
Thanks for your August/September newsletter, which I’ve now read in its entirety.
I am most concerned – given the country is hurtling towards a debt of £1.4 trillion – that there wasn’t very much information about the cuts you will be advocating if you’re successful as the local Conservative candidate and/or the Conservatives form the next government.
You seem to have a number of spending pledges in your pamphlet, for example:
1. Improved maternity provision
2. Return of health services to Bolingbroke Hospital
3. Requiring all new health centres to offer longer, flexible hours and walk-in services
4. Extension of the tube network into east Battersea
5. Forcing rail companies to provide longer trains and extended platforms
You also mention one tax issue – the rise in business rates (which you oppose).
I assume you can deliver all of the above spending commitments by raising other taxes?
From what I can ascertain, it seems you support less tax and more government spending at a time when the United Kingdom is practically bankrupt.
I was wondering if you could give me an indication of what cuts you would like to see in public expenditure?
Which current expenditure projects would you like to see axed?
I was also a bit bemused to see a list of telephone numbers on the inside panel of your leaflet – all from quangos dealing with everything from influenza to graffiti.
I’d understood that the Conservatives were going to slice back on quangos.
Which of the quangos listed in your leaflet do you think should be abolished?
I look forward to your early reply.
With all best wishes,