Dear Sir, Mr Bronstein's letter (01.08.00) in reference to mine of the 30.07.00 deserves an answer, if only to better inform him, and if he is not just politically biased, for him to be able to consider and form a more balanced viewpoint.

It may come as a surprise to Mr Bronstein, but I do not “believe blindly” in one party or another, in fact if he is a regular reader of the Bulletin, he would have seen other articles/letters I have written, bitterly received by conservatives, who “thought they knew” my political affiliations. What I would like to see, from any politician, what ever party, is simply, efficiency. I happen to believe this can only be realised through experience, competence and professionalism. All are missing or in short supply with the present Blair administration, but do not take my word for it, let's look at the record.

Since coming to power Labour have managed to alienate a pretty large section of the public. Farmers are the worst off they have been in living memory, with 22'000 jobs lost in farming last year alone.

Old age pensioners felt totally insulted with the much publicised 75 pence per week increase recently given, and rightly so then crime is on the increase, with it just reported that about one million more crimes are not even officially recorded as such each year.

The national health service is an absolute disgrace, not arriving at this state just over the last 3-4 years of Labour government of course, but with all the billions being pumped into it of late, the downward spiral continues; why? Education standards/results in Britain fall well below most of Europe, - politicians are know to enjoy swanning around on trips abroad, so why do they not visit and learn from more successful countries what they are doing that works? If they do not have any productive ideas of their own in Britain, “copy the best” it has always helped anyone without initiative and expertise.

The soft target, motorists, will easily see that whilst paying at one time 30% -40% more for identical cars on sale elsewhere in Europe, the chancellor still gets his VAT on the rip off prices, that were, and are, being allowed to continue for so long. With the price of petrol approaching the double of what we pay here, all tax related, in this will alienate yet again another large section of society.

The dithering on the Euro only shows more foreign based Companies reducing or pulling out altogether from British industry, resulting in more job losses, and who knows how many new prospective inward investors do not choose to “put their toe in the water?” The list could go on and on, recent fiasco at the Women's Institute through Tony Blair's speech, an example but with this present trend, farmers, old age pensioners, schooling, health and policing standards/results falling, people losing their jobs, and motorists, all angry and turned off, I would tentatively suggest the decline in the Blair Government is taking place. Is there a better alternative? I hope so, and if not to be found in a future Tory government, then Mr Blair should get his act together and show the country better and more efficient administration of its affairs. Not much to ask; from professional, that is.

Regarding Mr Bronstein's reference to “young voters”, of course the future belongs to them, and they deserve a better “first team” than the last Tory administration, and the present Labour one. Mr Blair and company would do well to note that young people have enquiring minds, and are all too aware of the highest house mortgage rates in Europe being paid in the UK, the cost of living, job availability, failing but expensive public transport, and all the other things that make up their daily lives. Many do not choose to vote at elections, probably feeling one party is much the same as another, but those that do, will be looking at Blair's present track record very closely, as should all voters.

On opinion polls and popularity ratings, whilst Labour still have a lead over the Tories, it has fallen since they first came to power and the difference that exists may be more to do with the Tories having to get their house in order rather than achievements of Labour. A couple of real examples this year, was the 500 seats gained in local elections by the Conservatives, and the just managed third place in the London Mayorial elections by Labour's candidate, Frank Dobson.

The resignation minutes before being voted out, of Blair's choice as leader of the Welsh assembly, - by Labour members. These are real, not fancied examples of voters views.

Yours sincerely
Graham Phillips

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