By Ruth Gripper, Liberal Democrat parliamentary candidate for Truro and Falmouth|
Candidate Voices: We want to give the opportunity for all candidates to voice their reason for running in this general election, in order to let voters find out how they plan to improve their constituency. The views are not those of The Falmouth Anchor, but of the candidates.
Since I became a parliamentary candidate, many people – of all political persuasions – have said to me, “you’re very brave.” That’s not what people tend to say about politicians on the telly or when they’re talking about them online. I’m not brave – but I do believe politics matters and I want to be part of changing it. That’s why I’m supporting Compassion in Politics and have pledged to #Stopthenastiness – getting involved in politics should be something that everyone feels able to do.
A good local MP can make a huge difference to individuals and the community they serve. And a government with a positive vision and a plan to deliver it can transform the country.
The Liberal Democrats will build a brighter future by stopping Brexit. If we are not in government, we will continue to make the case for a people’s vote – as we have for the past three years. Brexit has damaged our international reputation and, according to the Institute for Fiscal Studies, cost us £1bn a week. Staying in the EU would provide a £50bn remain bonus to spend on tackling poverty and inequality.
The Conservative government has squandered the past three years that could have been spent tackling the climate crisis. That task is now urgent. The Liberal Democrats will transform our economy so that it works for people and the planet. We will make sure 80% of our energy is from renewables by 2030, increase taxes on flying and place stronger environmental duties on businesses.
Until now we have measured our success as a country by GDP or how much we spend. This takes no account of the impact on the planet or how evenly the benefits are spread. This has to change. The Liberal Democrats would introduce a wellbeing budget, something Jacinda Ardern has already done in New Zealand.
Cornwall is a place of innovation and creativity – nowhere is that more apparent than at the universities. But we are still one of the poorest regions in the country with a low wage, low skill economy. As a country we invest too little in education at every stage of life. The Lib Dems would give people £10,000 to spend on training and education throughout their life.
It has been said that we get the politicians we deserve. We deserve better than what we’ve seen over the past few years. The day that I’m writing this, the chief Rabbi has launched an unprecedented attack on the Labour party for its failure to deal with anti-Semitism, and the Muslim Council of Britain has been similarly critical of the Conservative party’s failure to deal with Islamophobia. Neither party seems willing to admit there might be a problem.
As a young, female, Scottish leader Jo Swinson offers something very different to the other main party leaders. She has handled the hostile questions and attacks calmly and been willing to admit when we’ve got things wrong.
Earlier this week, I met Jo Swinson when she came to visit Wheal Kitty in St Agnes. Here, at on old mining site, Cornish businesses are doing things differently. Whether it’s making jackets out of recycled plastic, designing wetsuits without plastics, or supporting communities to become plastic free, these organisations are putting their principles into practice and launching successful national brands from here in Cornwall.
Jo Swinson and the Liberal Democrats have a vision for a brighter future that starts with stopping Brexit and tackling the climate crisis. At Wheal Kitty I saw a person full of energy to do things differently, and full of interest in how here in Cornwall we already do.