8th January 2013

8th January 2013

The debate in the House of Commons resulting in benefits being capped at 1% rise may cause some, including 4 Lib Dem MPs to baulk at the idea but surely this is, to use modern parlance, a no-brainer.  Most people in the public sector have had 0% rises over the past two years and in the private sector have seen their wages go up by less than 1%.  Many have also seen the deductions for their pensions rise.  So why should those who do not work get any rise let alone 1%.

I heard a man on the television complaining he was barely surviving on his benefits.  How does he think people in the public sector feel when he got 5% last year and they got nothing?  Last year private and public sector workers had to survive on less because of the cost of living rises.  A teacher still has to pay his increased gas bill, a nurse still has to get to work paying more for her public transport, a police officer still has to pay for their cornflakes and the factory worker still had to pay his higher electricity bill yet they got nothing extra to help them.

If we look at the benefits affected by the vote this evening and marry these across to the working person it become even clearer as to why this has to happen.

  • Jobseeker’s Allowance, if you are not working why should you get a pay rise when those in work are not getting a pay rise?
  • Employment and Support Allowance, again if you are not working why should you get a pay rise when those in work are not getting a pay rise?  Some may say why target the sick but sadly too many people have been seen to abuse this benefit and ATOS has failed to provide a service fit for purpose
  • Income Support the argument here is that if you are working you should be supported but the government does not appear to have looked at this as a separate issue
  • Elements of housing benefit, here the rise in benefits only goes to benefit the landlords, if there is no extra money they either reduce the rent or get no rent at all.  Something or nothing, it is easy to guess which greedy landlords will go for.
  • Maternity allowance, this is a more difficult one but it could be argued that if you are planning on having a child then you should have considered can you afford it.  If not then you have to choose 50inch plasma TV and your monthly Sky costs or a child?
  • Sick Pay, Maternity Pay, Paternity Pay, Adoption Pay, many in the NHS are about to have their sick pay cut; in some cases by up to 30%; so again why should some-one working feel the pain whilst some-one not working does not?
  • Couple and lone parent elements of working tax credits and the child element of the child tax credit at this point one might consider that the government has gone a little too far.  If you are working then tax credits should have been left out of the equation.  We have to ensure that any plans for childcare will particularly help the working poor, rather than just offer relief to the middle class.

As Nick Clegg said Labour has to explain why it had content to support the two-year freeze in public sector pay, but is not willing to endorse a three-year 1% rise in tax credits and other benefits. Nick Clegg said “It is not a decision I relish but it is one of the decisions we need to take to fill the black hole in our public finances. That decision alone saves this country just over £5bn over the next three years. That is the equivalent of employing 140,000 classroom teachers,” Further he added “We have done that to protect the money for the NHS and for schools. Asking the question where would Labour look to find that five billion pounds?  Would Labour target our children in their schools, the country as a whole through defence cuts, the vulnerable through cuts in social care and local government or the health of nation by cutting the NHS?

No-one likes to see the amount of money they have increasing by less than the rate of inflation but it was not the unemployed, or the teachers, or the nurses, or the military and the list goes on who caused the problems we are in.  The group of people who caused it are sitting comfortably on their yachts, in their large houses by their swimming pools in the knowledge that Labour let them get away with it and now the Coalition has to clear up the mess without being able to get at the money squandered by the casino bankers.

Vince Cable is right when he points out that the welfare budget could not be insulated from the spending cuts that were needed to rebalance the public finances.

Like many I would love a large modern flashy car, three holidays in the sun, a 50 inch plasma TV – well perhaps not the 50 inch TV because most of the stuff on it is rubbish – but I like everyone have to live within my means.  The government has to do this and now so do those who get benefits paid for by the working taxpayers of the country.

7th January 2013

7th January 2013

So the Government is just over half way through its first term as a modern coalition.  In 2010 the people decided that they had had enough of the extremes of government swinging from the right to the left and back again.  Each time either Labour Party or the Conservatives got into power they blamed the other party for the mess and spent the next parliament trying to undo what the previous one had done.  But now we have a real chance of a Parliament that will not have swung so far to the right that at the next election people will not have to vote Labour back in to redress the balance.  In the Coalition there are some good things that have happened, the deficit down by 25%, exports up to growing global markets, the triple lock for pensions and income tax being cut so now 2 million of lowest paid not paying any tax.  There are social and public reforms that will be in place for years to come and should stand the test of time.  However, there are others that one has to question why the politicians took that route.

The NHS is an example of that.  Over the past 30 years politicians have changed some major aspect of the NHS every year bar one, in that year they changed two aspects.  The government says there are 6,500 less managers but the reality is that many held both a clinical and managerial role and have been given new titles without the word manager in them or have been made redundant.  The number of senior managers has not fallen and many have seen their pay rising whilst clinical staff have faced pay freezes and a rise in their pay deductions.  Continually we hear in the media of the bad nursing care but no-one talks about how there are less nurses in the NHS than in 2010 or that bed occupancy has risen, both of which increase workloads on the clinical nurses left.  No-one reports the positive care that 95+% of patients receive from nurses.  It does not sell media space or airtime.  However, if some of the senior managers were got rid of and replaced by clinical nurses then we may well see even more improvements in patient care and this would lead to less opportunity for the media to attack nurses.  During my career I continually pointed that managers needs nurses to do their job but nurses do not need managers to do their job.  Today we hear how in Staffordshire the senior managers failed to monitor what was going on the wards and the results were fatal.  In the days of Matron’s round such situations would not have arisen.

I remember a Chief Executive once saying to me I regularly go around my wards and departments and all my staff know me.  Then one day when he was passing through a ward one of my union members asked me who that was.  I said it was the Chief Executive; “oh” came the reply “I have never seen him before”.  When matron patrolled the wards no nurse would ever have not know who she was.  In hospitals suits are worn by the money people and politicians all clinical staff are designated by their professional uniform from porter to consultant.  The same applies in the police, military, fire brigade even in private companies, take for example Stobarts.

The Secretary of State for Health says “It is tough and often thankless being an NHS manager …” but he misses the point that they are paid in excess of £50,000 a year.  Nurses at the bedside earn half that and are doing and the equally tough and now often thankless task of trying to hold the NHS together.  If the Secretary of State really wants to make a difference he would not have voted for the Health & Social Care Bill last year and would be looking to reduce the wages of senior managers so the money could be used to employ more clinical staff at the bedside.

The Health & Social Care Act has allowed private companies to come in a cream off NHS money for their already trough like boardrooms.  I cannot see how if you are pumping £100billion into the NHS by allowing private companies to get involved it will lead to more money for patient care.  The figures are very simple.  £100 billion of tax payers money goes to NHS.  NHS then provides private company with access to £100 billion.  Private company need profits; around 20%; to feed share holders  so now £100 billion is £80 billion.  The Tories also want a £20billion budget cut in the NHS.  So now the figures read £100bn minus £20bin minus a further £20bn equals £60bn.  So in reality by allowing the private sector in and using the NHS to help offset the bankers greed we have reduced the NHS budget to £60billion and further feathered the nest of the Tory Boardrooms.  Then Ministers say it is the fault of the nurses that the NHS is failing.  But hang on whilst nurses currently make up 70% of the work force the total nurse bill for the NHS is only £7.9bn; or 7.9% of the current NHS budget; so where is the rest going?

The 105 private firms that have gained “any qualified provider” status are not doing this for altruistic reasons and they will be looking to cut corners or make further profits wherever they can.  The likes of Specsavers may slowly increase the price of their products not covered by the NHS but having had an NHS examination you have to purchase.  We already are hearing of problems with Virgin Care GP surgeries where patients cannot get access to a doctor or a nurse or where serves are continually provided by locums.  How is the latter a provision of continuity of care?

I like the idea of coalition government because it stops the extreme swing of the political pendulum but it does require that both parties talk and listen to each other and that the zealots in either party are reigned in by the leaders when they push their crazy extremist ideas.

The National Health Service; providing healthcare to all British citizens free at the point of delivery; is the envy of every country in the world.  Without the NHS the United Kingdom cannot remain fit and healthy ready to work to put the Great back into Great Britain.

6th January 2013

6th January 2013

Sunday’s newspapers headline with the effect Tory cuts in benefits will have on soldiers, nurses and teachers.  Well no real surprise there, it has long been known that the Conservative Party supports business and sees those in the public sectors who protect business, be that directly (soldiers/police), or indirectly through good health (nurses/midwives) or by educating potential and future workforces (teachers) as being easy targets when they need to make cuts.  While boardrooms have been giving themselves pay rises, senior managers in the NHS have done likewise and even the MPs put in for a £30,000 plus pay rise, the working man and woman has been punished.  Today I heard some-one from the private sector suggest that nurses and the like should not suffer under the benefit curbs but that those who are reluctant to work should be just given vouchers for the basics, bread, milk, some gas or electric but not able to spend these on cigarettes, alcohol or in the bookie.  Here here.  This is not the first time I have heard this.  One does have to wonder if such a move would be the best way forward if Britain is to become Great again.  One nurse I was talking to said that if a criminal; on benefits; broke into her house the criminal probably would take pity on her and rather than steal the little she has would give her some money, because she does not have 42” plasma screen TV, Xbox, iphone or any of the other modern gadgets many on benefits appear to have.  Yet she works 40 hours a week looking after frail and vulnerable people for a take home of less than £500 a week.

It is all well and good Tories saying that those on benefits must feel the pain but most nurses, teachers, police officers and the like have been feeling the pain for some years now.  No pay rise for three years and an increase in the deductions from their wages along with a rise in the cost of living has resulted in all staff at the public sector “coalface” suffering a pay cut.  For those who are forced to rely on tax credits and child benefit to maintain any semblance of a decent life after a hard day’s work to have this cut by a government of millionaires and in some case career politicians who do not know what a hard day’s graft is appalling.

It is right that those who do not work should feel the financial pain, arguably they should have felt it last year when they got 5% rise and working people in both public and private sector got nothing or very little.  Any attacks on benefits should be targeted at those who are not working.  But the politicians tend to wield a Long Sword rather than a Rapier to deal with the problems caused by the financial orks.  Brandishing heavy blunder weapons may destroy much of the area it covers but it does not get to the heart of the problem.  If the Government wants to sort out the financial mess then it needs to use a scalpel so as to get to the heart without breaking the ribs.  Then it can perform heart surgery and the body will recover.

What the Government appears to be ignoring is that the financial orks are only a subspecies of the wider Capitalist Roaming Oligopoly Omnivorous Reptilian Sect.  The Crooks; lets call them Greedskins; are a savage, warlike, financially greedy race of androids who are spreading all across the world.  They share many features with other capitalists but will destroy them to achieve their omnipotence.  They are seen by their enemies (pretty much everyone else in the world) as savage, warlike and greedy, but they are the most successful species in the world, outnumbering possibly every other intelligent race, even humans.  However, this massive population of Crooks is split into hundreds of tiny empires, often warring between themselves to gain financial control.  It has been speculated that were the Crooks ever to unite as a single financial entity, they would undoubtedly crush any government that would dare to stand against such a tsunami of greed muscle.  Luckily, the Crooks enjoy killing each other financially every bit as much as they savour stealing the pecuniary blood of the world’s hardworking peoples.

Whilst it may be time that the Greedskins are brought to heel making the hardworking people of the world suffering the process is wrong.  There are plenty of people who contributed to the situation we are in who have to date got off scott free.  If a nurse makes a life threatening error he/she can expect to be in front of their regulator.  Yet for the many in the financial world who cause the financial meltdown they have got off with no punishment and simply passed the buck down the line to an expendable junior and walked away with massive payouts and pensions.  It just goes to show how the morale compass of many of the bank Boardrooms has been broken or lost.  Whilst the Mayan prediction for the 21st of December 2012 did not come about, it may be that we all misread the runes.  Perhaps it was not the end of the world but we should read their prediction as the end of the world for the Greedskins and the beginning of a new world era for people with a soul and a working morale compass.

Cutting the small amount of extra money paid to soldiers, teachers and nurses to try and stave off a crisis caused by people who earn more in a year than most nurses, teachers and soldiers will earning in their life time is not only wrong but morally unjustifiable, even for millionaire politicians.


As we enter 2013 I ask myself the question “will things be better this year or are we just going to continue as we have been doing?”  It becomes a difficult question to answer if you consider it from the perspective of some-one who has a job.  The question becomes more involved, “will I keep it”, “can I afford it” and one that increasingly appears to be raised “why should I work to keep others on the dole”.  I remember a conversation recently with a young girl in a shop.  She said she did not like her job and was thinking of quitting but would not get dole money for a few weeks if she did.  When I pointed out to her that whilst she had a job she was a) a productive member of society, b) occupied and so not bored and getting in to trouble; idle hands and all that;  and c) I was not seeing my tax being given to her for doing nothing.  However, she replied she wanted a better job.  I said I could not disagree with that but quitting was not the answer, after all would she give me money to stay at home, whilst she continued in her current job?  No she said.  I can understand her frustration when increasingly the shops are switching to machines at the check out and customer service is not something Boardrooms are bothered about, all they want is your money.  But having a job and providing people with the skills and knowledge to gain and hold down a job has to be the bed rock of any society.

So will things get better?

Well there are a number of things the government could do.  For example we have recently seen a number of fatal accidents at railway crossings why not employ some of the unemployed as railway crossing keepers. I had a colleague some years ago who prior to becoming a nurse was a railway crossing keeper and he said the job was simple it entailed “beating the train to the gates”.  Even if paid such people were paid a living rather than the minimum wage it would be cheaper than keeping them on the dole, bored, unproductive and importantly for taxpayers would save lives.  It is pretty difficult to drive through a solid wooden gate. 

Another possibility is to employ people as boarder control staff.    They could check every person and item entering this country, as they do in places like New Zealand and Australia, and by doing so ensure that those who are illegally trying to enter the country or trying to bring in illicit goods could be stopped at the boarder and sent straight back to where they came from.  We are an island and as such should be able to protect ourselves from unwanted guests.  I can hear the cries from the libertarians and as a Liberal Democrat I have some sympathy with those cries.  However, some years ago I suggested to the then Home Secretary that the answer to those looking for asylum was to have centres in their countries where they could start their asylum process.  The system would be simple enough people would report to the centre in their own country; this could be classed as a diplomatic mission and so provide security; and from there they would start the process of proving that they really were at risk and not just looking for a better life on the cheap.  Then if their claim checked out they could be offered asylum either in the enlarged diplomatic mission in their own country or brought to the United Kingdom.  This offers a number of solutions.  1) the diplomatic missions could be large enough to provide accommodation, employment and financial input in to a country that might be struggling to develop.  2) anyone being offered asylum would know from day one that if they failed to abide by British law they would be returned to their own country.  3) it would result in foreign aid being targeted at people in need and provide positive outcomes.  Such developments would also provide examples of how to be seen to be caring without simply just removing the problem.

But what of the original question if you are some-one without a job.  The future continues to look bleak.  The politicians continue to fight rather than come up with solutions.  The bankers continue to make money for themselves and leave small and medium businesses to struggle.  Senior managers in private and public sector continue to give themselves massive pay rises whilst failing to provide more jobs.  In fact in many cases senior managers and company executives are cutting jobs and with it the services people provide.  We see this in the shortage of police officers, nurses, teachers but also in lack of shop assistants, guards on trains and buses, the latter ones being in the private sector.  So there are potential jobs out there for the unemployed if only the politicians would think laterally or even think.  If, as we hear, there is to be a cap of £26,000 net a year on benefits, why not have the person you are paying £26,000 to working.  All the jobs I have mentioned about pay less than £26,000 gross.  So by moving the benefit money to the NHS or police or boarder agency we would be able to provide jobs directly and offer people employment.  It becomes a win win for everyone.  The unemployed get a job, society has more people providing services and the Treasurer saves money because it gets tax and national insurance back from the workers rather than just hand out money, an increasing percentage of which ends up in the hands of the bookies.

So “will things be better this year or are we just going to continue as we have been doing?”  I can only hope they will and that the ideas people have are taken up by the politicians.  But if the politicians and society continue blame each other and fail to work together, then the rich will continue to get richer by keeping their head down and the poor will continue to get poorer and increase in number so their head will continue to hang low.

It is time to make changes but maybe now the only way is for ordinary people to start making their voice heard.

Happy New Year.

3rd July – almost US independence

What a couple of weeks.  I feel as though I have been in training day after training day – oh I have.  Last week started with a clinic day folowed by two days on child protection, which actually was thought provoking.  Followed by a day seeing patients, followed by two days in Leeds at a employment/safety conference.  A day off, well almost, cleared some of the paperwork that had built up, watch first half of England v Germany and gave up deciding the grass needed cutting.   Apparently did not miss much in second half.  Then learnt how to build a nuclear submarine.  Not sure how useful that will be west of the Wolds.  Next off the Nottingham for three days re-accreditation of my safety reps ticket.  That brought me to Thursday of this week.  I still have not sorted out the route for the MattDotCom run at the weekend but I needed some me time.  So went off to band practice.  I may get to play the right note in the right place one day.  Possible chance of dinner with Nick Clegg next week but I am not going to hold out too much hope.  As usual put me second and should have been in touch with Martin sooner.  Oh well I will learn one day, there again maybe not.  Friday patients, students, consultant in that order.  Then home and deal with a problem for a member.  Dinner with Sharon was really pleasant, used up some chopped tomatoes she had opened by mistake earlier in the week, along with some new potatoes and some chicken.  The rebuilt outhouse has become a favoured room for breakfast and dinner when there is just the two of us.  Watching the birds in the garden, we now have three feeders with seed and a bird table, plus an upturned dustbin lid for water.  Visitors include, lots of sparrrow, a collared dove, 2 wrens, 3 wood pidgeons, a number of blackbirds, a thrush or two, a couple of tits but not sure which ones yet and a robin.   Finally got the list out to the teenagers, but Sharon wants to start Sunday not Saturday.  Well it is now 0030 hours and time for bed.  Night night.

Matthew’s 26th (would have been)

Yesterday would have been Matthew’s 26th birthday had he still been around.  They day was one of those days where one gets to thinking.  Having a small breakfast room off the kitchen allows the wife and I to have breakfast together more now.  However, we got thinking, is this because we have a dedicated room with no television, no radio and only the birds in the garden for distraction or is it because we are getting older and now spend more time sitting cogitating and less time rushing around.  We like to think it is the former but the latter may be also true.  However, those that know me would say the latter would never be the case.

Anyway we were sat in our room our youngest daughter joining us, with the sunshine falling on us and the birds eating the food we had put out – me with my ‘special K and fruit’, she with her ‘start and yoghurt’ and our daughter with a yoghurt and fruit – we started talking, as we now do, and thought about the tranquility of the morning.  Was it tranquil, we asked, because we were lost in thought for our son whose birthday it would have been.  A candle is lit each year on his birthday and slowly burns during the day.  It probably has another four years life in it.  Or was the tranquility because there was no background noise (bar nature’s voice and the odd siren).  We noted that when our daughter worked in a clothing shop there was continual background noise.  I was reminded of a conversation I had with the manager of another clothing store.  It sent something like:-

Me “Is there anywhere I can sit quietly and wait for my wife and daughter whilst they shop?”

Manager “No”

Me “Why not?”

Manager “No need.”

Me “But surely as I am the one who is going to pay for the goods that my wife and daughter may want to purchase you need to keep me 1) in the shop and 2) happy.  A few seats set aside for fathers away from the incessant noise would be a good idea, or just a chair next to a pillar for me to sit on and read my newspaper.”

Manager “No it would not, there is no call for it.”

He clearly did not see the benefits, unlike many of the large shops in the US, where fathers are catered for with arm chairs and free copies of newspapers.  That day I left the shop, telling my family I was leaving, which resulted in them also leaving and buying their clothes in a different shop.

Now-a-days there is an incessant noise pollution everywhere from shops to restaurants, from railway stations to hairdressers, even the doctor’s surgery.  Radios blare out and the television appears to be on permenantly often just running repeats.  The effect is that for many people the art of conversation is lost and the ability to co-habitate with our fellow human beings fails to be a pleasant experience, in many cases fails even to be an experience.  Without the ability to communicate we fail to capitalise on the one thing that makes us different from the animals.  As Pink Floyd pointed out on their Division Bell album using the electronic voice of Stephen Hawkins “For millions of years mankind lived just like the animals, Then something happenend which unleashed the power of our imagination, We learned to talk.”  But the constant cacophony of sounds that bombard our ears mean that this art of communication is being lost.  We need to talk to each other to ask for things, avoid conflict and to reward excellence.  But if there is a unvarying and relentless assult on our brains we will be distracted so forgetting to communicate with our fellow humans. 

As Stephen Hawkins said “It doesn’t have to be like this All we need to do is make sure we keep talking.”  Well the wife and I have found in our little breakfast room that with the only sounds to interupt us being those God intended, the birds, a thunder storm or the dog barking we are able to communicate and it is enjoyable.

As for the manager of store who failed to see the benefits of looking after the fathers we have never been back and now I sit on a bench on the High Street (if sunny) or in a coffee shop with no background music (if not) read my newspaper waiting for the ladies in my life to join me.

Stephen Hawkins once said “Mankind’s greatest achievements have come about by talking, and its greatest failures by not talking.”  Take note you noise burghers.

Post election

Well been back at work for a week.  What a week it has been.  Staff and patients glad to see me back but sad not elected.  A pile of paperwork, e-mails and managerial jobs were waiting for me.  Then Mon/Tues three deaths, they say they come in threes.  The first one of my RCN stewards, the second I hear about in a Trust wide e-mail colleague from work and the third a partner of a work colleague.  She rings me at home and we talk for almost an hour.  So that is three funerals coming up.

Just got back in from seeing the work colleague who is presenting her usual persona.  Could be a front or just that she is trying to cope with the situation.  Took flowers and cakes, her work collegaues took somethign a little stronger BUT I was good and resisted.  Just had coffee, lots of it and we talked.  Well joked a lot, things like pads for older ladies and who wears the trousers.  The rest is far too rude for this blog. ;)

Before seeing her I went to my parents to check they were alright.  There I met “Florence”, much to the disgruntlement of my daughters, because they had hoped to see her first.  One really dissappointed because she was in Nottingham, the other was round Grandad’s within 15 minutes.  Never seen her move so fast!!!  “Florence” is my new niece.  Now here we digress for a moment into dreams.  If ever you thought dreams were just that think on this.  I woke up a few weeks ago and told my wife that my sister’s child (she was still pregnant at the time) was going to be a girl and would be called “Florence”.  Well I was 50% right she had a girl.  But it could be argued that I had a 50/50 chance of being right anyway.  But the name “Florence” well that was wide of the mark.  Not that wide of the mark because my sister did not go with the celebrity names of wines, or fruit or animals.  Nor did she go with the more usual names e.g. Paula, Mary, Jane, Susan.  What I do find from the internet is that she has chosen a name of English origin and one that is rising up the popularity stakes.  As for “Florence” well like all babies she is adorable, knows how to cry, but goes to sleep for Uncle David.  And “Florence” as a name well that is Latin in derivation and means ‘in bloom’.  With 34 varient forms I bet mum is glad my dream did not come up with “Fiorenza”

Election 2010 – last few days


I am sat here at 07:16 a.m. having woken about an hour ago unable to sleep.  Thoughts buzzing through my head.  So why not share them with the www.  Good morning – or if you are elsewhere than in the constituency good day.  The last few days have shifted the campaign in Sleaford and North Hykeham from an open competition to a 2 horse race.  A race between me, the local Liberal Democrat and the London Tory.  Sunday night at St. Denys Church set out two clear camps.  The local candidate who, if elected, has committed himself to being a full time Member of Parliament.  I have promised that I will be spending time in both the House of Commons and the constituency.  The other camp is the London Tory who clearly believes he can continue to work and his contacts as a barrister will give him an understanding of the people of Sleaford and North Hykeham.  I totally disagree.

Waiting for a bus in Timberland

For the past 20 years we have had a Tory barrister as our MP and it has not brought funding or prosperity to the constituency.  We have had 13 years of Labour and before that 18 years of Tory rule yet we still have dreadful infrastructure, poor public transport and lack affordable housing.  The average local wage is just over £17,500.  Even at 4 times salary that only gives £70,000 as a mortgage.  So with 2 bedroomed houses starting at around £100,000 that is a £30,000 shortfall.

I have made made my personal promise to the constituency as a whole but in particular to groups that have come up to me in during the campaign including, Bonner House Campaigners, Nocton Dairy campaigners, villagers in the west of constituency affected by lorries, the Scouts in Sleaford, some teachers in both senior and one junior school to be a full time MP.  To be able to work with these people I need people in Sleaford and North Hykeham to take that leap of faith and vote for me on Thursday.  

Being a Member of Parliament must be your full time job.  Keeping up to date with issues and matters is achieved by being in the constituency on a weekly basis, coming home and meeting people not just being a weekend visitor.  The sign of a good MP is not where he lives whether that being a duck house with a moat or semi-detached house with a shared drive but that he is able to related to people of all strata of society on a regular basis.  Living in London does not, in my opinion, meet that criteria.

As we move into the last two full days of campaigning the rising sun gives me hope that I can continue to get out and about meeting people and asking people to support me on Thursday.  I know many have already voted using the postal vote system and it is very heartening to know so many have voted for me.  People came up to me at the Sleaford Market on Saturday to tell me they had voted for me or were going to do so.  The same happened on Monday in the Forum in North Hykeham.  The message they are giving is that they want a positive change and want it locally as well as nationally. 

People are talking about the Liberal Democrats pledges and policies.  Our pledge on fair taxation that will result in many families being better off paying no tax on the first £10,000 of their income.  Our pledge on fair chances so that every child  gets the individual attention they need for by example cutting class sizes.  Our pledge on a fair future whch will create jobs by making Britain greener and will break up the banks and get them lending again so we can build a decent infrastructure here in Sleaford and North Hykeham.  Our last pledge is to clean up politics.  As a nurse I believe I can offer you that.  Moreover as a nurse you already have a level of trust that we together can build on.

I close to the strains of Louis Armstrong’s Wonderful World coming from my cd player.  It really can be if  we move forward together.

On Thursday (6th of May) I hope that the people of Sleaford and North Hykeham will have the confidence in me as the local candidate to support me to become the next Member of Parliament for the constituency.  So that together we can a real positive change.  So take that leap of faith and vote for your future, your children’s future, your grandchildren’s future, vote for the Liberal Demorats.

Thank you.