Today marks 100 days to go until the General Election and our chance to make the biggest, most significant impact on Westminster in history.
A Sky News poll of polls shows a minority Labour government with the SNP on 53 seats and holding the balance of power. It’s a precious, valuable and influential power, and we must hold it with integrity, passion, compassion and an understanding that it must be used for good.
I was asked to write an article for Business for Scotland today on that power and the priorities I believe the SNP MPs should focus on post May 7 – you can read it here: http://www.businessforscotland.co.uk/100-days-to-go/
I believe a strong, prosperous economy is essential to create a fairer, more equal society, and to lift families – both employed and unemployed – out of poverty. Austerity damages the economy, it keeps the poor poor and it hurts families. Currently women, mostly mothers, are affected the most by benefit cuts: women in Scotland are suffering 68% of all Westminster welfare cuts which, over a five-year period of 2010-11 to 2015-16, amounts to a cut of £4.1bn.
My role in representing you in Paisley and Renfrewshire North is to tackle inequality and austerity, to prioritise policies that will care for and protect the vulnerable in our society at the same time as creating jobs – good, well-paid jobs – and growing our economy.
We’re lucky to have three strong candidates with differing experiences in this selection process, and that makes it a difficult choice. But it’s important to remember you’re not selecting a campaigner, you’re selecting the person you want to be your MP, the one you think best represents you. You’re choosing the person you think has the commitment, drive, skills and life experience necessary to take on Jim Sheridan and win, the person you can see standing in Westminster fighting for this constituency. It’s the person you want to come to talk to at a local surgery to raise an issue or ask for help, knowing they’ll do what they can to help you. You’re choosing the person who will be welcome for a chat on doorsteps around the constituency, as well as communicate effectively in Westminster.
Do have a look at my video from the hustings before you make up your mind – http://youtu.be/6OkGF2bQiXs – have a look at the testimonials on my website – http://www.michellerodger.com – and please get in touch if you have any questions.
The polls are in our favour, but we mustn’t be complacent. We need to work hard to ensure that these predictions become reality and we can start to change our country – and the rest of the UK – for the better.
I’d be honoured if you chose me to be your candidate to fight Jim Sheridan in the general election.