The outgoing Chief Executive of the Countryside Alliance, Simon Hart, gained the Carmarthen West and South Pembrokeshire at the election and of his rural constituency, he said that “it should not be thought that everything is rosy in our particular garden”:
“We have the same economic and social problems as any other constituency, which is why today’s debate is so crucial. I was encouraged when the Deputy Prime Minister nodded in the direction of rurality in the context of constitutional reform.
“People who form just 2% of the electorate cannot help thinking from time to time that their votes may not count for anything at all, and cannot help thinking from time to time that Governments are there to do things to them rather than for them. If we have learned anything at all in rural communities during the election campaign it is that voters have told us that cheaper is not necessarily the same as better in politics, and that quality was raised much more often than cost in our doorstep conversations.”
He summarised the political philosophy of those who sent him to Westminster thus:
“Our voters hope that this new coalition will adopt a less-is-more approach to government and will have at its heart four simple objectives: to keep us safe; to keep us solvent; to keep us healthy; and to keep us free from prejudice and discrimination. Honour and respect for politics and Parliament will be restored only if we apply those simple rules to every single decision we take in this House.”
“The people of the black country and Stourbridge hold on to certain basic truths that are not just old-fashioned notions that can simply be cast aside—for example, that one should never borrow what one cannot pay back, that we should not foster a culture in which people are led to expect something for nothing, and that, in the more elegant prose of Abraham Lincoln:
“You cannot help men permanently by doing for them what they could and should do for themselves.”
“Finally, as a Christian country, and indeed a country of many faiths, we should always look after those who cannot look after themselves. During my time of service in the House, I will work to reflect those enduring values for my constituents in Stourbridge.”