I would like to formally announce that I will be seeking re-election as Member of the House of Keys for Ramsey in the 2021 general election on September 23rd this year.
It has been my honour and privilege to represent the people of Ramsey over the last 9 years, first as a Commissioner and now as a Member of the House of Keys.
When I asked you to trust me with your vote back in 2016 I told you my reason for standing was that I could not sit by and ignore the scale of the challenges we faced. At the time my thoughts were on Brexit and the financial challenges facing the Island. No one could have predicted that in 2021 we would still only be dealing with the initial aftermath of the Brexit vote and for sure no one could have predicted the coronavirus pandemic and the devastating impact it has had around the world.
My reasons for seeking re-election are very much the same. Whilst there have been many successes over the last 5 years, the scale of the challenge now before us is almost unprecedented and will no doubt bring significant changes as we continue to face the unknown. Whether it be the continuing developments of Brexit, tackling climate change or recovering from Covid, each of these challenges will need to be overcome – but each also presents us with opportunities which we shouldn’t be afraid to grasp.
As I’ve said time and time again, whatever challenges we face our government cannot lose sight of the people that it is empowered to govern. Too often decisions can be made, often with the best of intentions, that unfairly impact on those least able to bear the burden.
This is why I, along with my Liberal Vannin colleagues, will be asking the next government to focus on four core principles – Jobs, Fairness, Open Government and Freedom.
Jobs – Coronavirus has hit the Island hard, and we must ensure that our economic recovery and economic strategy going forward are just and fair and that as we build a new, green, digital economy that the benefits of this are felt by all of us, not just a few. This means we need to focus on high quality high wage work, with a living wage being the new standard for the Isle of Man
Fairness – Whether it is through taxation, benefits, business support, housing opportunities or more strategic aims like tackling climate change – ultimately we all expect to be treated fairly, to all have the same opportunities and the same rules applied to us all whenever we interact with government. The Island should be a place where we all have the opportunity to flourish.
Open Government – Government actions have a huge influence on all our lives and people have a right to know how decisions are made and how taxpayer money is being spent. I believe that the best way of government building trust with people is to be more open with how these decisions are made.
Freedom – Being able to exercise personal choice is an important part of our democracy. Whether it is the ability to choose what sort of home we want or the ability to choose whether to work from home, choose when (or if) to have children, how we choose to access government services or choose how those services are delivered to us. I believe firmly that we can improve government to make sure that services are delivered in partnership with people, instead of being delivered to them.
Thanks for taking the time to read this initial announcement, more detail on my thoughts and views will follow over the coming months, but if anyone wants to chat or share ideas please get in touch!