This week i was asked by the leader of the Yorkshire Party, Stewart Arnold, why i joined the Yorkshire Party, having previously been a member of the Liberal Democrats. Below is my response:
I was brought up with a strong Labour identity (my family includes Labour councillors) but some years ago I began to question the policies of Labour and ask why my community was still one of the most deprived, despite having been a Labour constituency with a Labour Parish council and Labour district council my entire lifetime. I sought out a party that better represented my views, that party then was the Liberal Democrats. Whilst we should never forget the role of the Conservatives in decimating communities like my own, it has been three decades of Labour control and a period of Labour national control and my community (like many others in Yorkshire) has still not recovered, this needs to be questioned. My support for the Liberal Democrats was tested by the tuition fee rises implemented by the coalition government. I was not able to turn a blind eye and in March 2011 I joined protestors in Sheffield to march on the party conference. This month I noticed that former Liberal Democrat, Diana Wallis, was a member of the Yorkshire Party. Diana is someone I have always held a deep respect for. This prompted me to look properly at what the Yorkshire Party stood for and I saw that I shared many values with the party. Transport is a key issue for me; I am consistently dismayed by the lack of funding on our local rail structure, particularly between our major cities. Education is also important to me, as are many other areas of policy which could be better controlled locally by a Yorkshire assembly. It is time to make London listen, and make Labour realise that the people of Yorkshire deserve to emerge from the grey cloud of Conservative destruction which still hangs over many Yorkshire communities to this day.