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David Jack delievers key note address to members

January 31, 2005 8:00 PM
By David Jack in Local Party members

A good choice for a great chance?

Born in Wolverhampton, raised in Wolverhampton, educated in Wolverhampton, living in Wolverhampton and working in Wolverhampton

- 5 reasons why surely, the person fitting that description is the ideal person to be known as the Wolverhampton candidate in the next general election.

You know for years candidates from all parties have pitched up in Wolverhampton and alleged to have a connection, a tenuous connection to our City. - Particularly Tory candidates, predominately London candidates, who profess there great grandfather once brought a loaf of bread from a corner shop in Low Hill on his way to Stafford.

Well I simply say - if your not from Wolverhampton what do you really know about conditions here?

Unemployment - above the national average,

Educational standards - below the national average,

Lack of inward investment and a chronic failure to redevelop and regenerate Wolverhampton, I believe are the key issues which are treated with contempt by the current Labour incumbents and are paid lip service by the Tory wannabes.

Only someone familiar with both the cause and the effects of social deprivation created by years of neglect by the higher powers, can really grasp the nettle with true passion and a commitment to change.

Only someone being raised with and living amongst friends and family who have been subjected to these conditions can be versed in the real issues that many politicians are either blind too or choose to avoid.

I believe Wolverhampton can be changed for the better. I believe that Wolverhampton is worth fighting for, Wolverhampton is not a lost cause.

It just takes the political will to achieve the goals, aims and ambitions that could make Wolverhampton the truly cosmopolitan City it has the potential to become.

It is not just an aim of mine, but a life long ambition to bring real benefits and change to the people of Wolverhampton. Be it through council or through Parliament - there is a way.

To start achieving that ambition, I ask you to support me as your PPC here tonight.

But why should you? Who am I? What do I believe in? What will I champion as your PPC?

Now is the time to set out my stall.

Fundamentally, and at the core of my beliefs, I believe in the principles of the freedom of individuals, social justice and fairness - true Liberal Democracy.

First and foremost there is freedom of the individual.

Freedom to live ones life with as little interference from on overbearing nanny state as possible. The freedom to make your own choices, the freedom to express those choices and the freedom to exercise those choices.

That is the freedom I believe in.

Then there is social justice.

Social justice whereby individuals are not discriminated against what so ever, social justice whereby individuals are encouraged, assisted and supported in achieving their aims and ambitions to the fullest of their potential, and social justice in the manner in which our laws are implemented, prosecuted and compensated against.

That is the social justice that I believe in.

And then there is fairness.

Whether fairness is about taxation, access to benefits, access to services such as hospitals, education or Policing and the judicial process. Fairness must be a hinge pin of policy and decision making.

That's what I believe fairness is about.

There are of course issues of conscious decisions that all Parliamentarians are expected to make on their own, without the interference of party politics.

  • These I call my basic moral yardstick.

IN the current climate of perceived of global terrorism, the question of capital punishment - the death sentence, becomes an obvious starter for clarification.

I DO NOT BELIVE IN THE DEATH SENTENCE -

I do not believe that it works.

I believe that such sentences only exacerbate violence in society - look at the USA.

Criminals faced with the death sentence will go to even further extremes to avoid detection and capture.

I believe violence would become the norm in the execution of crime.

Society as a whole would become the loser if capital punishment was returned to the statue books.

How can we stand in judgement of the sanctity of life on the one hand and call for the price of a life on the other?

It is a moralistic nonsense, nay - even barbaric to call for the death sentence.

I am moved to recall Ghandi, and I quote,

"An eye foe an eye? - surely, we will all go blind!"

I agree.

I turn to the issue of abortion.

I believe this is an issue that is best decided by the situation that the requirement arises in.

I believe that the women's choice should be absolute.

The most important thing to consider is the support and counselling made available to all involved persons is complete and unbiased.

The current legislation, restrictions and freedoms, I feel, are adequate and should not be interfered with.

I would oppose any moves to change the current status quo.

Addressing the issues of gene therapy and stem cell research.

A simple question.

A brave new world?

Or the beginning of Frankenstein's monster?

I passionately believe that such research holds the key to mankind's future and destiny.

A world in which genetic disease can be totally eradicated.

A world in which HIV/AIDS and cancers, not to mention debilitating and degenerative diseases such as MS, Alzhmer's and Parkinson's, who knows, even malaria, would be consigned to the history books of mankind's development.

Wouldn't that be the sort of world to be welcomed by the legacy that such research would leave behind?

I believe so.

However, there has to be balances and checks and I believe that debate and openness are the best ways to balance and check such research. In short, I support both gene therapy and stem cell research.

I finally, but not least, turn to the war in Iraq.

Whilst I agree, support and stand by the party line that the current war in Iraq was wrong, I do believe that a case for military action existed and still exists for intervention in Iraq - but certainly is not, and was not, on the premise of Weapons of Mass Destruction.

Perceived, real or otherwise. -

And haven't we, as Lib Dems, got the moral high ground on that one?!

Lets make no mistake, Iraq should, was and is about human rights.

We have, however, been led into a war because of the Americans need for cheap oil.

On the basis of human rights, I believe a case for military action also exists in many parts of the world today.

When a humanitarian need rises, the world has a duty to respond - when required, when all else has failed.

Whether that be in Iraq, Afghanistan, Rwanda and Zimbabwe - we should not shy away from action.

But we must always get the reasoning right, being consistent, and only as a last resort should military action even be taken.

At this next General Election, believe me when I say this, our metal, as Liberal Democrats, will be tested to the limit.

Tested to the limit like never before.

The electorate will be faced with two stark choices.

On the one hand, theirs a choice of wasted opportunity, squandered chances, a ruinous public fund overspend, a loss of public services, an attack against our civil liberties.

An onslaught of policies that will denigrate the British public to nothing more than puppet citizens of an over zealous and subjugated society.

Tory or Labour - the result will be the same.

In balance, on the other hand, there now exists to the British public, an opportunity to vote for change, a new direction, freedom, fairness -

  • Cut to the bone, prima facie - no bull!!

Honesty, real honesty.

Hope.

Liberal Democracy.

In my own words,

"Lets believe we can do it.

Lets make the electorate, not only believe that we believe,

But most importantly lets make them believe it too!"

I give you, the members, a challenge, - remember - there is no 'I' in team.

Together, (a team), lets all go forward into this next general Election and show the people of Wolverhampton that there is a real and credible alternative to both Labour and the Tories.

Together, as a team, let us dictate the tone and pace of the campaign for Parliament.

Together, as a team, lets start the campaign for not only this coming General Election but also for the next five years of campaigning for both Parliamentary and local elections in a manner that will convince the electorate that we are their choice, that we are their political champions and that we are the party of freedom, justice and fairness.

Quite simply, in one question, one request, tonight I ask you to take that first step into the undiscovered country with me, David Jack. as your PPC for Wolverhampton North East and together, as a team, lets show everyone the benefits of a Liberal Democracy.