We are now very much in the run-up to the general election. Between now and May 7 you will be hearing much about specific policies.
In this article, however, I want to set out the general context for this election and why this motivates me to stand for re-election.
It’s easy to forget just how close to the brink Britain was five years ago. We had one of the biggest deficits in the world; spending so much more as a country than we earned that we were on the verge of financial ruin.
That meant taking difficult – and also unpopular – decisions for the long-term good. We have come back from the brink and our economy is now growing.
We have made good progress towards living within our means as a country. We are not, however, there yet. It is very tempting to think that the job is done.
I often get frustrated by the short-term nature of politics. Many of the challenges we face in this country are not ones that will be fixed overnight. For example improvements are happening in education and training, but we still have work to do to equip students with the skills and work ethos that employers frequently tell me that they need.
Issues such as these often need a shift in culture as well as in policy.
In the health service there is more investment going in locally, but money is only part of the picture. A growing population, increasing life- expectancy and advances in medical technology and drugs all place ever-increasing demands on our NHS.
So it is right to take time and think through properly what is the best way to organise the NHS locally. I was also delighted, last week, to support the CCG’s and city GPs’ push to attain funding from the Prime Minister’s Challenge Fund that would help practices improve patient access.
I stand for election as your MP because I want to secure the best long-term future for Milton Keynes and the country as a whole. In the coming weeks and months I will argue we are on the right track and that for our long-term good we must stick to that path.