David with Andrew Mitchell
I have spent the last couple of days canvassing throughout the Constituency speaking to hundreds of residents, listening to their worries and concerns.
Yesterday, Conservative Party Leader David Cameron held a campaign event in Whitefield but I attended a debate organised by Rethink with the Liberal Democrat and Labour Candidates where we discussed issues regarding mental health.
Today in Bury North we welcomed Andrew Mitchell the Shadow Secretary of State for International Development who joined us canvassing in Elton.
On Tuesday afternoon I was over in Bolton for the Regional Manifesto Launch with William Hague. In the evening I attended Bury’s 3-0 win over Crewe and visited the Stanley Conservative Club.
Today sees the launch of the Conservatives Manifesto for the General Election. This manifesto is unlike any seen from a British political party because the Conservatives are saying no government on its own can solve the big problems we face – everyone is going to have to get involved. That is why it is called an ‘Invitation to join the government of Britain’.
The manifesto brings together all the work done since the last election as the Party has changed into a modern, progressive Party.
The central idea in this manifesto is that we are all in this together, that by working together we can change the country for the better.
We won’t get the economy moving again with a tax on jobs and higher government spending, we need to help businesses create jobs.
We won’t solve our social problems with more big government, we need to build the Big Society where families are strong and communities are safe.
We will never change politics if it is only left to politicians in Westminster, we need to give people real power and control over their lives.
The first full week of campaigning has seen me out spending the whole day canvassing in Ramsbottom and then Bury. We received many pledges of support and, of course, came across residents who plan to vote for other parties. I always find it interesting to listen to peoples views even if they don’t intend to vote Conservative.
I have been out all day campaigning on the issue of the NHS. The Conservatives have pledged to increase spending on the NHS each year. We will stop the top down micro managing of the NHS by politicians and leave it to the healthcare professionals. The response has been generally very good and even with people who are still going to vote Labour our plans to protect and improve the NHS meet with approval.
This evening I joined the Liberal Democrat and Labour Candidates at a special question time event organised by Ramsbottom on line. There were a varied assortment of questions covering the national debt, schools and the problem of anti-social behaviour. The event was chaired by the BBC’s Arif Ansari and as ever with these events the audience did contain several members who could not be described as floating voters! Nevertheless I hope that everyone who took the time and trouble to attend enjoyed the evening.
Earlier today I joined Baroness Sayeeda Warsi on a visit to a small local business in Walshaw.
Today has seen David Cameron launch the National Citizen’s Service. It will be a two month residential course for 16 year olds which will be a form of National Service. This is not a new idea that has just been dreamed up for the purposes of the General Election campaign in fact the Party has been developing these plans for years. In fact I was in Bolton a couple of years ago when David Cameron first made the announcement about the new scheme. Whenever I have discussed it with people it has almost always received overwhelming support and it is yet another positive reason why people want to vote Conservative and have a Conservative Government after May 6th. Read the full story here
Day two of the campaign has brought a first for me. In between campaigning in Ramsbottom and Bury I gave an interview for a foreign newspaper the leading Spanish paper El Mundo fortunately the journalist spoke excellent English because there would be no way my long since forgotten ‘O’ level spanish would have been up to an interview in Spanish!