I am sad that this is my last column for the Advertiser, which is closing at the end of the month. I hope I can write for its successor again after the election.
The Greens had their conference last weekend, and I agreed with many of their policies, and have voted for those policies in this parliament.
Manchester Friends of the Earth praised me for voting for a Fracking moratorium, and I have voted against the bedroom tax, legal aid cuts and tuition fee rises. For tougher action against bankers and more support for mental health patients. I also want to see more social housing built in south Manchester.
And if I am re-elected I will vote the same way in the next parliament.
I disagree with Green plans to put up child benefit to £50 a week, or give every citizen £72 a week, including football stars and millionaires. These Green party policies would cost well over £200bn, help the rich and I don’t know how the country could afford it. Their leader has had problems explaining it too.
You only have to look at Greece to see what happens when a country keeps living beyond its means. The last Labour Government saddled us with huge debts run up on credit. They piloted a bedroom tax for the private sector and introduced tuition fees. As City minister Ed Balls did nothing to properly regulate the banks.
Labour wasted billions on ID cards, spent billions on an illegal war in Iraq and twice cancelled Metrolink. They introduced Foundation hospitals, huge PFI debts and have cut the NHS in Wales. Remember they promised “Cuts worse than Thatcher” in power.
We have forced the Tories to give free school meals to infants. To give the low paid a £800 tax cut. To give Manchester more powers, a Proton Beam Cancer centre and £37m more in pupil premium. We have brought down unemployment and created 2 million apprenticeships.
You have a choice in May. A Manchester Labour One party state, a Labour MP who is an unknown quantity, who has never spoken out against the Labour line publically ever. Or an MP who has a track record of speaking his mind, working hard, and fighting for south Manchester.