Editor’s Comment: Now is the time to start talking politics

Roger Hawes
Roger Hawes

With 87 days to go before the General Election and our very own important district council elections, I feel the time is right to start the political ball rolling.

Usually at this stage of the proceedings everyone would be talking about whether the Government will call an early vote or not. But with the date set for Thursday, May 7, that is one bit of the unknown already taken away.

No doubt my observations below will be scrutinised by the political pundits and I am sure to be put right on a few things.

And that’s OK because that’s what goes with the job and I welcome comments and sensible debate.

So far this new year I have been accused of supporting UKIP, being in the pocket of the Tories, bordering on the politically correct left and sitting on the fence with the Liberal Democrats.

Not bad for the first 30 days of the new year, I would say. But the very fact that the political way forward is unclear suggests election day, both local and national, is going to be interesting.

As the big day draws closer I will, of course, face those who think they will be able to cajole me into giving over more column inches to their party’s cause and others who think the paper should print everything they throw into the ring.

Oh yes, and there will be those who, at every election I can remember throughout my career, quote Purdah at me when they feel hard done, even though the convention to ensure fair play has no legal standing and is only there to put checks on government – not the free press.

Aylesbury Vale has had a Tory MP in situ for 110 years with all other political parties confined to the sidelines.

In my view on election day Labour will not make a dent in the big majorities both MPs enjoy.

The Lib Dems, previously in second place, may well drop off the agenda. As for UKIP... well who knows?

For me, though, the local AVDC elections are the ones to watch, particularly out in the countryside where angry voters feel their way of life has been put under threat by developers, where the perception is that politicians don’t care and their voice is being ignored. Here, I believe, people are looking for change and it’s here I predict results will be surprising as the protest vote gathers momentum.

So let’s ‘belt up’ and get ready for a political roller coaster.

I think it is going to be the best for a very long time.

It’s time to stand up and be counted – so make sure you vote.