Unlike some of the Mayoral candidates, I have not produced a 50 page manifesto for the 2021 election.
Time and time again manifestos have proven to be “not worth the paper they are written on”.
We now live in a world where we can’t be sure what will happen in three weeks’ time, producing a highly detailed plan for the next three years, I believe, is an exercise in pointlessness.
As a country we need to be adaptable and flexible, and make decisions on a day to day basis. Your Metro Mayor needs to do the same.
When making your choice as to who will be the next West Midlands Metro Mayor, I would suggest the most important thing you need to know is what drives them, and on what basis they will make these decisions,
– not what long list of detailed promises they are making, most of which you can be fairly certain they will not keep.
The following text explains, if elected, the kind of Metro Mayor that I would be, “my guiding principles and beliefs”.
I would be extremely grateful if you could take a few minutes to read it, and if what I outline is what you would like to see in your Metro Mayor,
– then please go out and vote for me on May 6th.
Who Am I?
I have lived, studied and worked all my life in the West Midlands. I am incredibly passionate about it.
I spent my career working as an analyst and IT Manager, for a variety of blue chip companies.
My strengths are in organising people and solving problems.
Why am I standing in this election?
I am standing for Metro Mayor because for many decades the region has been underfunded and allowed to decline. If elected I will simply not accept this continuing.
This great region desperately needs a strong mayor to lead it out of the pandemic, to repair the damage that repeated and lengthy lockdowns have caused to our economy, and to help it return to being the “engine of the UK”, as it used to be, and can be again.
It also needs a mayor who has no paymasters.
No unions to placate, no big businesses who want favours returning for having made large donations to party funds.
My national party, Reform UK, would be available to provide resources to me if I needed them, but would otherwise leave me free to make every decision based on one question only:
“What would be best for the West Midlands region, and the people who live and work here?”
If I am elected the next West Midlands Metro Mayor,
- I will use the power and influence of the office to fight against any attempts to force West Midlanders to have to provide their “Covid status papers” …in order to enter a restaurant, pub, cinema, sports venue, or even a high street shop.
I will fight it every day.
And until my very last breath.
“Lockdowns should only be implemented when national health systems are on the point of being overwhelmed, to prevent this from happening”
- not my words, the words of the World Health Organisation.
Why do they say this?
- because Lockdowns cause a huge amount of damage, predominantly to the youngest and poorest in our society.
They widen the poverty gap. The longer they run for, the more they widen it.
Essentially “the rich get richer, and the poor get poorer”.
Yet we are not only still very much in Lockdown in England, despite our national health system being nowhere near overwhelmed,
- we are going to continue to be “locked down”, continue to have many of our hard won personal freedoms denied to us, for another two months.
The pandemic is officially over, yet it remains illegal to meet any of your family or friends who you do not live with indoors.
Does this seem reasonable, fair, or proportionate to you? Of course it doesn’t, because very clearly it is none of these things.
If we continue to put up with outrageous and obviously unnecessary restrictions on our personal freedoms, our politicians will continue to impose them upon us.
I don’t believe the scientists who are “in Boris’s ear” …have any idea how much damage Lockdowns have caused, and are continuing to cause to ordinary people.
Their jobs are not in any danger, their businesses, that they have built up for a decade, are not about to fail, they are not about to lose their houses because they have re-mortgaged them to support that business.
Continuing to withhold our personal freedoms is causing a huge amount of damage to both our mental health and physical health,
- a year long government sponsored Campaign of Fear has left huge numbers of people too scared to see their GP or go to hospital…. resulting in many not getting the early treatment they need, and needlessly dying.
There can be little doubt that we are going to see an explosion in deaths from cancer, heart disease, diabetes etc over the next few years.
Most members of this Conservative government also appear to have little or no idea how much damage this extremely long Lockdown is causing.
All our vulnerable groups have been vaccinated. All the experts say that the pandemic is over.
It makes no sense for Lockdown, and all the damage it inflicts on the most vulnerable in our society, to continue for one day longer.
Only one party recognises this, and is fighting for it to happen. Reform UK.
Only one candidate for West Midlands Metro Mayor will stand up and fight to get our freedoms, and our lives back now.
If I am elected your next metro mayor, I will make sure the Prime Minister fully understands just what damage this latest extremely long Lockdowns is causing.
And I won’t stop telling him until he does.
Campaign of Fear?
I will use the power and influence of my office to end the year long, government-sponsored Campaign of Fear immediately in the West Midlands, and replace it with one of Hope and Positivity.
Prolonged exposure to intense fear damages our immune systems, and has led to a large number of people being too scared to see their GP, and to go to hospital, with horrendous consequences.
Personally I have never supported HS2. It’s a massive vanity project, and clearly not the best way to spend £100bn.
The £100bn should be spent on developing an integrated transport network, on improving bus services and trains, enabling people in the West Midlands to get around the region easily without needing to use their car,
- in the same way that residents of London and the South East are able to travel around their region.
HS2 wont be complete until 2033, “if all goes well”.
Let’s spend the remaining £91bn earmarked for HS2, on services that the poorest in society need, are crying out for, right now,
- not a single high speed train line that will mostly serve simply to increase London’s commuter belt to the east side of Birmingham.
I do not accept the argument “we’ve already wasted more than £9bn, so we can’t stop, we really have no choice but to go on and waste another £91bn”.
We always have a choice, and I believe we should exercise it immediately.
We should pull the plug on HS2 now.
If am elected I will make the case for this, but also ensure that in the meantime it is not allowed to continue acting “like a schoolyard bully”.
For a long time HS2 has been cheating the owners of the properties that stand in its way, by not paying a fair market price for them.
Now it is proving yet again how little it cares for local people’s sensitivities, by trying to send two hundred lorries through the middle of a small village, Balsall Common.
There is no need for it to do so, there is a viable haulage road that runs alongside the track,
- but it would save the lorries some time if there were able to travel right through the middle of the village instead,
- so HS2 has abandoned all its promises, and put in a planning application to have changes made to roads in the village to facilitate lorries going through the centre of Balsall Common.
“Not on my watch”.
If I am elected Metro Mayor on May 6th, this kind of disgusting behaviour by HS2 will cease.
Birmingham’s Clean Air Zone?
On June 1st Birmingham will implement its Clean Air Zone.
Sound good. I want to breathe clean air as much as anyone else.
Or does it….
What it means in reality is that if you own a diesel car which doesn’t meet government defined emission standards, and you want/need to travel into a large area covering the city centre (anywhere inside the A4540 Middleway)
- from June 1st this year, it will cost you £8 a day to do so.
You may well be on a low wage, have purchased your diesel car at a time when the UK government was still encouraging you to do so,
- no matter, you are now going to have to pay £8 a day to enter the large Clean Air Zone.
The idea is, that the money raised will pay for an integrated transport system, so you can get into the city centre, or across it, without having to use your car.
We do not currently have an integrated transport system in the West Midlands. We are not likely to have one for some considerable time.
It is simply not fair to force people out of their cars, when there is no other sensible option they could utilise in order to get to their work.
It is also not fair to have spent a year installing huge amounts of fear about Covid-19 into people, then expect them to use often crowded public transport.
Many are still too scared to do so, and will remain too scared for a long time to come.
For these two reasons I firmly oppose the introduction of Birmingham’s Clean Air Zone on June 1st, 2021, I will do all I can to stop it.
I will oppose all attempts to build on our precious green space.
Annually our population has been growing by around 400,000 in recent years.
As a result of the Covid-19 pandemic, and restrictions on people coming to the UK, it is likely to remain a small fraction of this for the foreseeable future.
We must take this opportunity to bridge the gap between the need for housing, both to buy and rent, and the number of houses available.
But we DO NOT need to touch our vital green spaces to do this.
Across our region we have a wealth of brown field sites which have still not been developed, and almost unlimited opportunities to convert closed office buildings and shops into living accommodation
(many as a result of Covid-19, and changes in our work and shopping habits, many of which will persist long after the end of the pandemic).
As your Metro Mayor I will press for an increase in the percentage of affordable houses being built or converted by developers, from 20% up to 30%.
Adult Education and Skills?
As your elected Metro Mayor, my number one priority will be to restart the economy and create as many jobs as possible, particularly for young people and the poorest in our society,
– these are the people who have been hardest hit by the series of Lockdowns that we have all endured over the last year.
I will work tirelessly to turn around the drop in apprenticeships available, and set up programs which will bring schools and colleges together with local businesses, of all sizes,
– to ensure that we give our young and socially disadvantaged the best possible skills to enable them to gain employment rapidly and permanently,
– and we return the West Midlands to being “the engine of the UK”, as it used to be in the past, and can be again in the future.
If you like the sound of my outlook and priorities, and would like a West Midland Metro Mayor who is always approachable, who will listen to you, and who:
. uses Common Sense and simply “what is best for the people of the West Midlands” to make every decision, not party dogma,
. is not a career politician, has not had a privileged upbringing, knows what it is like to be made redundant/lose your job,
. has lived, studied and worked all his life in the region,
. is not beholden to unions or big business, who will support small and medium sized businesses in every possible way,
. who recognises getting our lives and jobs back, and our economy running properly again… is the number one priority for the West Midlands,
. is “of the people, for the people”,
<pre class="wp-block-syntaxhighlighter-code">- please lend me your vote on May 6th.<br /><br /></pre>