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Sunday
21  July

COLUMN: “Fighting for community, equality and freedom”

 
26/06/2024 @ 01:01

 

In his latest column, Glyn Preston (LibDems candidate) says volunteers are the backbone of campaign...

“Anything but Tory is a phrase politicians across the UK will have heard over the six weeks of campaigning in reaction to the staggering incompetence and sleaze of the recent UK government.

After almost a century of Liberal MPs in Montgomeryshire, Tories and Lib Dems have been battling it out here election after election.

But being pigeon-holed as the anti-Tory protest vote is to ignore the reasons our volunteers strive for their neighbours year-round.

You read that right – volunteers. Without big corporations and unions to write our pay cheques, most of our people are volunteers.

So why do ordinary people put their kids to bed and write press releases, take a break from caring for relatives to fill out the party’s election expenses or finish a week’s work to spend Saturday putting in 30,000 steps delivering our leaflets?

Simply put: we’re fighting for community, equality and freedom. That’s all about fairness and a balance between the state and the individual.

Spreading political and economic power as widely as possible matters, because we believe you know what your community needs better than civil servants hundreds of miles away.

That’s why we are known for strong local government, why we send you those surveys asking what you think and why we support community assemblies. 

It’s why we’re passionate about small businesses, entrepreneurs and community energy cooperatives - supporting a change in business rates to allow local businesses to flourish and keeping money where its earned during this cost of living crisis.

We believe everyone should be treated equally and with equal respect, regardless of religion, ethnicity or sexual orientation – open, welcoming communities look after each other in good times and bad, as we did during Covid.

Every individual should be free to decide how to live their lives, free from a controlling, intrusive state  - as long as we don’t negatively effect others.

But we do need a responsible state to create the conditions for us all to flourish.

Cold, hungry, sick people aren’t free to live their best lives. 

This is why the NHS has to be a major priority now. We need to campaign for as many services as possible at the new Newtown community hospital to reduce the long journeys across the border, at the same time as lobbying for shorter waiting lists when we do have to go to England.

It’s why Jane Dodds MS has been shining a light on the crises in GP and dentistry to put an end to people – literally – pulling their own teeth out over the appointments shortages.

Since we believe future generations have the same rights as we do, the environment is a huge focus for us.

We all know what we need to do to protect nature and to create warm homes and clean transport without fossil fuels – with the Tories out of government the UK can stop kowtowing to their donors and get on with the job.

Finally, we’re internationalists. Cooperation - globally, nationally and locally - brings peace, stability, prosperity and the hope of a better future."