Shaun Bailey is on the Conservative Party List for the London Assembly elections, and is a former Government Adviser and PPC for Hammersmith.
My family came to this country from Jamaica in the 1950s. They came here to continue our tradition of work and self-determination. When I was a boy, and through my work with poor communities, I saw that working hard stacks the cards far more in a family’s favour than welfare.
I have seen first hand that poor communities prosper when they have access to experience which most other communities would consider normal; ownership, social engagement and business experience to name but a few. The future of a family, and by extension that of a nation, is stunted if encouraged to survive on welfare. We must foster an environment where communities can live independently. Achieving this aim is why I am a Conservative.
Unlike our opponents in the Labour Party, I believe struggling families are best served if they can be encouraged to stand on their own feet instead of subsisting on welfare. To be clear: I believe there is a role for the state, just not the one espoused by the Labour Party. The path out of poverty is a long one; it takes the collective effort of a family over generations. This effort involves a determined and hopeful attitude combined with an enterprising outlook on life, none of which is generated by the dread of believing you will be endlessly reliant on welfare.
The Labour Party has long used the tactic of pushing families onto welfare, then terrifying them with the rhetoric that the Conservatives will take it away. We need to disrupt this conversation by showing people that we want to replace their dependency on the state by giving them a stake in the jobs market and a future in which they can make independent choices for their nearest and dearest.
This Government has a good record on helping workers and promoting these Conservative values. Policies such as raising the personal allowance and the introduction of the National Living Wage are examples of this. Policies such as this show that the Conservatives are the party to support working people and those looking for work. But we must go further.
As a List Candidate for the London Assembly elections, I am campaigning to ensure as many people as possible hear our party’s message on work, jobs and personal responsibility. My priorities are based on the factors I believe are important to build a strong safe London for all; education, employment, housing and regeneration.
I am campaigning for Zac Goldsmith, our candidate for Mayor of London. I know Zac as a man of principle and I know he will make a fantastic Mayor of London. In office, Zac will build on Boris Johnson’s legacy by boosting housing; making London’s streets safer; and by continuing to invest in the Capital’s transport infrastructure.
The Conservative Party and Zac Goldsmith are overtly pro-business. Sometimes as a working Londoner, businesses seem like a million miles away from the daily grind, but we must not forget that all businesses, big and small, provide the biggest social benefit of all: employment.
For me, the question on the 5th May is this; do we want to elect a mayor who will make the less fortunate communities fearful of their future for political gain, and like the previous Labour mayor, favour the inner over outer London, which faces just as many challenges? Or do we want a mayor who has a proven track record of delivering for all those he represents?
Sadiq Khan’s fantasy finances are damaging to all Londoners. Business needs a stable environment based on fully costed policies: ordinary working Londoners require the same. Khan has already said he would freeze tube fares in cash terms, not in real terms as Boris has repeatedly done. Transport for London, an independent and non-partisan body, has said that this would cost the body £1.9bn in lost fares by 2020. With no means of filling this black hole, this folly would lead to swingeing cuts in transport investment and infrastructure. It would also jeopardise the extension of Crossrail 1 to Ebbsfleet and delay the completion of Crossrail 2, ensuring that North/South rail services remain overly congested.
The threat of a Labour victory is a real one, which is why I implore all those who can, to get out and spread the Conservative message of prosperity and security to Londoners. This is an absolutely vital election, as the Conservative Party must not lose any more of its presence in our capital city.