We are now putting out our post-election leaflet in Whitley, our top story of course is Mike Orton's re-election with 65% of the vote. However we have also gone for a slightly different departure for us by analysing the result and why we think that "coalition" candidates did so badly - in Whitley ward for example the Conservatives were down to 18% while the Libdems could muster just 57 votes (actually coming 6th behind the Greens, Common Sense and an independent who was their candidate last year). That's down from 32% and 16% in 2010. Of course Kelly and I believe that Mike as an effective and popular councillor got a boost but Mike's analysis focused on the national picture and how it's hurting our community locally. Here's what we had to say:
"In the local elections, Labour candidates did very well, Conservative candidates did very badly and Liberal Democrat candidates achieved their worst result for years. It wasn't just in Reading. This was the pattern for the whole country. Why?
Effective candidates and councillors did well but there was, and still is, a clear national mood.
The economy has gone back into recession . Tory ministers are in the majority but seem to have lost all direction about what to do except say we need more of the same austerity. Liberal Democrat ministers try to complain about this but always vote with their Tory coalition partners.
Government out of touch and unfair
The Tories are increasingly unpopular and seen as out of touch with ordinary people and we agree with that. While people on low and middle incomes are made to bear the brunt of the recession that the Government is prolonging , Government policies are benefiting millionaires and very rich people.
The Government’s policies are unfair because they do not have an understanding or seem to care about the problems of ordinary people.
A credible alternative approach is emerging, an approach that will give more priority to growth to benefit the majority.
We know this viewpoint is stronger and more direct than we usually write and a bit longer. But we are angry that the Government is so out of touch and so unfair to so many people.
Standing up for you in difficult times
These are difficult times. The cuts to working and family tax credits, steep fuel prices and inflation higher than increases in wages and salaries for most are making life harder. Continuing economic problems are making good jobs harder to find and housing difficult to afford. We are back in recession.
"As your councillors we will do all we can to reduce the impact of this - by supporting ways of creating jobs locally, pushing for better access to housing, making sure that there is good access to advice and support if you hit tough times and representing your interests".
Rachel Eden, Kelly Edwards and Mike Orton