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Queen's Speech - Time to turn talk into action


25th November 2004

Jonathan Djanogly called on the Government to 'stop talking and start acting' after Tony Blair's eighth Queen's Speech was used to kick-start the Labour Party's campaign for the General Election.

Jonathan Djanogly, Member of Parliament for the Huntingdon Constituency and Mr Shailesh Vara, Conservative Candidate for the North West Cambridgeshire Constituency have called on the Government to 'stop talking and start acting' after Tony Blair's eighth Queen's Speech was used to kick-start the Labour Party's campaign for the General Election.

With an election expected in around five month's time, Tony Blair used the Speech to ask people to trust him to deliver after 7 and a half years spent focusing on the wrong priorities.

Mr Djanogly and Mr Vara suggested it was no surprise that Tony Blair has finally started talking about the issues that matter to people just five months before a possible general election, but argued that people shouldn't put their trust in a man who has shown he will forget about them once the election is over.

Mr Djanogly said:

"Empty promises are this Government's hallmark. We are sure this offering will be no different. Tony Blair has had more than seven years to address the things that matter to people, but instead his Government has spent that time fighting the wrong battles.

After 7 and a half years in power, 66 tax rises and record increases in spending, many people we speak to across Huntingdonshire still want to know when Tony Blair's Government will deliver on the things that matter to them.

Increasingly, people tell us that the Conservative Party is talking about the right things. We are committed to an extra 432 police for Cambridgeshire, and we will also deliver cleaner hospitals, school discipline, controlled immigration and lower taxes.

We will also be accountable for our actions. Our specific Timetable for Action has set out very clearly how and when we'll deliver these things so that people can judge us by our record."

Mr Vara added:

"As the election gets closer people also know that the only way to stop four more years of Blair is to support the Conservative alternative. The Liberal Democrats are actually losing support as people focus on their plans for 40 new taxes and a softer approach to burglars and drug-dealers.

All we get from Labour is talk when we need action and action when we don't. They tell us what to eat, how to raise our children and how to spend our spare time. But this Government can't turn talk into action when it matters. It's time for a Conservative Government that will."

 

Notes:

1. The Labour Government is failing to tackle what matters to people.

On the five key measures of school discipline, more police, lower taxes, cleaner hospitals and controlled immigration, the Government is all talk.

School Discipline

In the Queen's Speech, Labour promised that it 'attaches the highest importance to extending educational opportunity so that all individuals can realise their full potential'.

But Labour has promised this before. They promised 'education, education, education' would be their priority.

What has happened?

  • One in three eleven-year-olds leaves school unable to write properly.
  • A million children play truant every year.
  • There is an assault on a teacher every seven minutes.

More Police

In the Queen's Speech, Labour promised 'powers the police and others have to fight crime will be strengthened'.

But Labour has promised this before. They promised that they would be 'tough on crime, tough on the causes of crime'.

What has happened?

  • Gun crime has doubled under Labour. In 2003, a gun crime was committed every hour in Britain.
  • For the first time ever, more than a million violent crimes were committed last year. That is more than the combined populations of Manchester and Liverpool.
  • Police officers spend almost half of their time at their desks instead of being on the streets fighting crime

Lower Taxes

In the Queen's Speech, Labour promised 'policies which entrench economic stability and promote growth and prosperity'.

But Labour has promised this before. They promised that they had 'no plans to increase tax at all'.

What has happened?

  • Labour have increased taxes 66 times.
  • Tax has gone up by the equivalent of £5,000 for every household in the UK.
  • The number of tax collectors has increased almost twice as fast as the number of new doctors and nurses.

Cleaner Hospitals

In the Queen's Speech, Labour promised to 'continue its reform of the National Health Service, offering more information, power and choice to patients'

But Labour has promised this before. They said that they would 'save the NHS'.

What has happened?

  • 5,000 people a year die from infections they picked up in hospital - more than the numbers who die on Britain's roads.
  • Almost a million people are still waiting in pain for treatment on the NHS.
  • The number of managers in the NHS is increasing three times as fast as the number of doctors and nurses.
  • Controlled Immigration

    Labour had nothing to say about immigration in the Queen's Speech. In the past Labour promised that they would make the asylum system 'fairer, faster and firmer'.

    What has happened?

    • Only one in five failed asylum seekers is ever removed.
    • There are now 250,000 failed asylum seekers, equivalent to a town the size of Brighton, living in Britain who have no right to be here.
    • In the last 3 years there have been only 17 prosecutions and 6 convictions for employing illegal immigrants.

    2. Seven Years of Promises from Labour:

    • 1997: Labour promised in 1997 that 'Britain does deserve better' (Labour Party manifesto, 1997).
    • 1998: The Government was entering the 'post-euphoria, pre-delivery' stage (Financial Times, 12 January 1998). 'There is much more to do' (Tony Blair, Labour Party Conference Speech, 1998).
    • 1999: '1999 will be the year of delivery on promises we made to win the election' (Tony Blair's New Year Message, 30 December 1998, quoted in The Daily Telegraph, 5 July 2003).
    • 2000: 'We are in a fight - and it's a fight I relish. For it is a fight for the future, the heart and soul of our country' (Tony Blair, Labour Party Conference Speech, 30 September 2000).
    • 2001: We have 'an instruction to deliver' (Tony Blair, statement outside Downing Street, 8 June 2001).
    • 2002: It is time to 'see through ... our journey of modernisation' (Tony Blair, Labour Party Conference Speech, 2002).
    • 2003: 'After six years of a Labour government we stand poised to tackle some of the deep-seated problems that have bedevilled our country' (Tony Blair, Big Conversation document, November 2003).
    • 2004: We want to 'give everyone the chance to make the most of themselves. Deliver better lives for working families' (Tony Blair, Labour Party Conference Speech, 2004).

    Resource: Conservative plans for additional full-time police officers

    The table below shows the additional full-time police officers each force in England & Wales will get under Conservative proposals for 40,000 more police across Britain.

    Police Force Additional police planned
    Avon and Somerset 963
    Bedfordshire 335
    Cambridgeshire 432
    Cheshire 641
    Cleveland 460
    Cumbria 343
    Derbyshire 609
    Devon and Cornwall 971
    Dorset 433
    Durham 511
    Essex 923
    Gloucestershire 362
    Greater Manchester 2271
    Hampshire 1110
    Hertfordshire 588
    Humberside 653
    Kent 1061
    Lancashire 1043
    Leicestershire 644
    Lincolnshire 375
    London (City of & Met) 8539
    Merseyside 1272
    Norfolk 457
    Northamptonshire 371
    Northumbria 1237
    North Yorkshire 434
    Nottinghamshire 740
    South Yorkshire 994
    Staffordshire 670
    Suffolk 379
    Surrey 613
    Sussex 906
    Thames Valley 1183
    Warwickshire 311
    West Mercia 633
    West Midlands 2426
    West Yorkshire 1544
    Wiltshire 360
    Dyfed-Powys 353
    Gwent 410
    North Wales 462
    South Wales 974
    England & Wales 40000"



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