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Peter's Perspective - An Exciting Year`

January 6, 2006 12:00 AM
By Peter Carroll, Lib Dem Parliamentary Spokesman for Folkestone & Hythe in Update Members Newsletter - January 2006

2006 promises to be an exciting year in politics both locally and nationally. Locally, our group of Lib Dem Cllrs on Shepway District Council has a new leader to lead their work through to the local elections in May 2007.

Nationally, we have a new leader of the Conservatives to face and it is at least a strong possibility that Tony Blair will step down to pave the way for a New Labour Government lead by Gordon Brown.

At local level, we have to build up the momentum of our grass roots campaigning. The local Conservative administration, supported by People First, are facing very considerable difficulties.

The new Conservative Leader has received all sorts of amazing plaudits from the press. In typical media style, they have declared that he has transformed the Conservatives! I have no doubt that Mr Cameron is a very highly skilled performer on the media.

However, I question whether it is possible for the election of a leader to mean that the culture and feeling of a Party can be changed 'overnight'. There is something instinctively off putting about a person who tries to change artificially so that people like them. I think the same is true of Political Parties. It is also begs the question - if the Tories are so outdated and are the dreadful 'nasty' Party - why did the likes of Mr Cameron join them? Surely, if he had a strong sense of social justice, wanted to reduce inequality, champion the vulnerable he would have joined us.

Once again, Can I thank you for all your support and kindness during 2005 and I wish you all well during 2006.