• Paul Wharton

Local Elections May 2021

Next week people here in Sevenoaks go to the polls, and so will almost everyone in England, Wales and Scotland. It’s more like a national election than a series of local ones.

And that makes it a test for our democracy.

The question is: how many avoidable deaths must a government preside over before it is punished by the voters? Is it the tens of thousands who have died unnecessarily over the past year – or is that not enough?

The coronavirus pandemic has affected the whole world. But we’ve suffered more than any comparable country, despite the limits placed on our freedom. Ministers have failed in their primary duty, which is to protect us from harm. Yet not a single one of them has resigned.

Again and again they have been too slow, too lax, too timid, or too hasty. As a result there have been far too many deaths – the equivalent of the entire population of Sevenoaks district.

Voting for the Conservatives this time would be an endorsement of their disastrous policies. Late lockdowns, open borders, inadequate PPE, devastated care homes, the Dominic Cummings scandal, Eat Out to Help Out, a £30bn test-and-trace system that doesn’t work, mixed messages, unsupported isolation, pay cuts for nurses, cronyism and sleaze: it’s a long and shameful list.

Meanwhile our economy has buckled, with many people about to lose their jobs, and the impact of a hard Brexit starting to be felt.

On May 6th, let’s not forget the loved ones who have died because of the government’s incompetence. Vaccines can’t bring them back, and we know where the blame lies.

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So now it is confirmed. The Prime Minister and his Chancellor broke the laws they wrote themselves, and which imposed severe restrictions on the rest of us. Then they repeatedly lied about what they h