Although my seat is a contest between Labour and the Lib Dems, it could well make the difference between a Labour and a Tory government at the next election. In terms of international development, this choice is a very clear one.
People create jobs, not the government.
We in the Labour party know better than most that opposition is the easy part. What’s more difficult is governing and setting out an agenda for government.
I think most people believe success in government is how many fewer people are in government, not because you kick them off of benefits like unemployment but they’ve been able to control their own destiny because private sector employers have created more jobs.
It’s become unfashionable to celebrate political achievement, and Labour achievement even less so. And it’s positively uncouth to be proud of something that this Labour government is doing. So, slam me for saying so, but I’m really proud of the NHS.
More people on unemployment benefits is not success in America, fewer people on not because we kicked them off but because they have been able to get a job in the private sector, because government got out of the way.
As the economy faces such difficulties, more tough questions need to be asked about what the Tories would do if elected. Their ideology of free markets and small government needs challenging. That has to be part of our job.
We are the ones looking out for the middle class. Who do think pays for the endless expansion of government? Its middle class taxpayers. Our reforms protect middle class taxpayers.
As the prospect of a Tory government gets nearer, many traditional Labour voters – some who switched away in recent times and many who stayed at home – seem more determined to prevent that happening.
I believe that smaller government is better government. But I also believe that in the areas where government does play a legitimate role, we should demand that it is done better.