My voters don’t care about COP26… just their gas bills, says Tory MP LEE ANDERSON
I have been on a political journey shared with the five million Labour voters who switched to the Conservatives at the 2019 General Election.
Like them, I had been alienated by Jeremy Corbyn’s hard-Left cabal and by the party’s failure to heed the message sent from its heartlands by the Brexit vote.
In early 2018 I was still a Labour councillor in Ashfield – but within 18 months I was representing the area in the Commons, having played my part in the destruction of the so-called ‘Red Wall’ seats.
It was the first time I had voted Conservative; many of my friends and family with whom I’d worked down the mines all voted Tory for the first time as well.
I have been on a political journey shared with the five million Labour voters who switched to the Conservatives at the 2019 General Election
The Prime Minister won his majority on the back of these votes, which he admits have only been ‘lent’ to him.
My fear now is that some of the first-time Tory voters are beginning to have doubts.
But I would say hang in there because we have new Tory MPs in the Red Wall that actually know the area and people they represent. We get you.
We must never forget the trust these people put in us by voting Conservative – people such as my dad, a 75-year-old ex-miner, a veteran of the strikes of the 1970s and 1980s who had voted Labour all his life.
The Government has achieved so many great things – despite the challenges presented by Covid, such as its record investment in the NHS and the billions being pumped into the North and Midlands as part of the levelling-up agenda.
We have helped families on low pay by raising the income tax threshold, and we now have record employment, which should feed through to a higher-wage economy.
This is stark contrast to what would have happened under the Labour Party. I know as I have been there.
But these achievements are being outweighed by the huge rises in the cost of living coming down the track, through higher energy bills, which my voters care far more about than the platitudes spouted about the ‘green agenda’ by the wealthy elite who flew into the COP26 summit in private planes.
No one disagrees that we must do more to protect the Earth. But mention the Net Zero journey to people in Ashfield and they will look at you as if you have just arrived from another planet.
Many of them are only just managing to make ends meet. They want to be able to switch on the heating without worrying about the next bill.
Like them, I had been alienated by Jeremy Corbyn’s hard-Left cabal and by the party’s failure to heed the message sent from its heartlands by the Brexit vote
I was born in this area and lived and worked here all my life, so I know what my voters want – a government tough on law and order, tighter immigration controls and an end to illegal crossings in the Channel.
The new Borders Bill should address this, but these pieces of legislation take time and our voters want to see results soon.
Politics is becoming like the Premier League: if voters don’t see immediate success, they demand the manager is sacked.
I know from conversations with the Prime Minister that he gets it –but I am not convinced everyone in his inner circle does.
The loss of the North Shropshire by-election was a blow but don’t forget that before that we took another Red Wall seat in the Hartlepool by-election.
If we deliver on people’s priorities – rather than what we think are people’s priorities – then there is no reason why we cannot make further gains in the next Election.
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