This may perhaps not be the most popular topic on this blog but I always try to cover all aspects of Islay life and politics is certainly one of them. Readers from the UK know that there will be general elections on the 6th of May and I thought it would be interesting for the other readers outside the UK to publish an article from the Ileach newspaper in which you can meet several of the candidates standing for the Argyll & Bute constituency and hear what their views are for Islay and or the region. The Ileach invited all seven candidates standing for the Argyll & Bute constituency to submit a short piece from which you an find three of them below. The full list of Argyll and Bute candidates is as follows: John Black, Scottish Jacobite Party; George Doyle, Independent; David Graham, Labour; Mike MacKenzie, SNP; Elaine Morrison, Scottish Green Party; Gary Mulvaney, Conservative; Alan Reid, Liberal Democrats.
Liberal Democrats, Alan Reid: I always stand up for Islayâ€™s interests in Parliament. I voted against the recent fuel duty increases which Labour forced through while the Tories abstained. I am campaigning for a reduced rate of fuel duty for islands. I voted against the recent increase in whisky duty which Labour want to increase by two per cent above inflation for the next five years â€“ disastrous for Islay. I had campaigned for the new Islay ferry to be able to use Port Ellen and am delighted at the Scottish Government U-turn which means this will happen. Liberal Democrat tax policies will make the first Â£10,000 you earn tax free â€“ a Â£700 a year boost for most workers. We will clean up our political system following the MPs expenses scandal. My own expenses were given a clean bill of health by the independent auditor. Vote Liberal Democrat. Continue reading....
Labour, David Graham: The Scottish Labour Partyâ€™s pledge to the people of Islay is to deliver a future fair for all. Labour will rebuild our economy, protect and reform our frontline public services and strengthen our society and renew our politics. Scottish Labour will contest every election on our commitment to all those things that matter to families and workers; the economy, jobs, crime, schools and hospitals. Devolution means that many of these issues are decided in the Scottish Parliament, delivered by a Labour Government. Cattle and sheep farming, tourism and the eight working whisky distilleries are the backbone of Islayâ€™s economy, along with the public service jobs with Argyll and Bute Council and the Health Service. Your vote for Scottish Labour will secure the economic recovery, strengthen the Union and further develop Labourâ€™s fairness and opportunity agenda for all.
Conservative, Gary Mulvaney: There are only two outcomes at this election: five more years of this tired Labour government making things worse, or change with the Conservatives. We will cut the deficit â€“ but not the NHS, our number one priority. Weâ€™ll stop Labourâ€™s jobs tax that will kill the recovery, meaning that seven out of ten working people will be better off under the Conservatives. To make these changes, the Conservatives need to gain more seats than we have at any election for 80 years. Argyll & Bute needs to play its part, helping to change Britain and ensure we have a strong local MP at the heart of government â€“ under the Lib Dems weâ€™ve been on the political fringes for too long. Conservatives can win Argyll & Bute. A vote for anyone other than the Conservatives is a vote for five more years of Labour failure. Itâ€™s that simple. You decide.