30 days to go: Michael Howard launches Conservative campaign


Michael Howard has launched the party's 2005 general election campaign with a rousing rally call to the country to abandon the failed policies of Tony Blair's Labour Party and turn to the Conservatives to give the nation a fresh start.

 


Speaking before the Prime Minister travelled from Downing Street to Buckingham Palace to ask the Queen to dissolve Parliament, Mr Howard put his party on the front foot with a promise to "do the best for Britain" with an action programme that would reward the hardworking law abiding majority, while delivering improved school discipline, cleaner hospitals, more police on the streets and controlled immigration.

Kicking off the party campaign in the courtyard of a central London hotel, he declared: "The choice before the voters on May 5 is very clear: they can either reward Mr Blair for eight years of broken promises and vote for another five years of talk; or they can vote Conservative, to support a party that's taken a stand and is committed to action on the issues that matter to hard working Britons."

Insisting that the Labour government has "lost the plot", Mr Howard accused Tony Blair of taking honest hardworking people for granted, and failing to recognise how worried NHS patients are about hospital infections, how pensions are fearful of rising crime, and how parents fear that their children cannot learn in class because of the lack of proper school discipline.

Denouncing the way Labour has frittered away huge tax incomes with little improvement in public services, Mr Howard offered a "better way" which would help those who "do the right thing and play by the rules".

He said the Conservative timetable for action would build a brighter, better future for the country, with more value for money and lower taxes, with discipline restored to schools, with hospital matrons given the power to close wards infected with MRSA; with reduced crime, and an extra 5000 more police officers on the streets each year backed by tougher sentences for burglars and drug dealers; and controlled immigration with an annual limit on the number of people who can settle in Britain.

He declared: "Some people say I shouldn't talk about difficult issues like the abuse of our asylum system and those travellers who stick two fingers up to the law. But we cannot make Britain a better place if we sweep difficult issues under the carpet. Everyone knows you won't fix a problem if you aren't even prepared to discuss it."

Mr Howard said he was not prepared to appease special interest groups, and wanted all Britons to play by the same rules.

Buoyed up by improving opinion poll surveys and a party brimming with confidence and enthusiasm, Mr Howard said that while the Prime Minister was already secretly grinning about the prospect of his third victory, there was no reason why the country had to deliver Labour a third term in Downing Street.

And in a clear message to the electorate he embarked on a vigorous four week nationwide campaign declaring: "If you're thinking what we're thinking, it's time for urgent action on the things that really matter: reward for hardworking Britons; school discipline; cleaner hospitals; more police; and controlled immigration. So I say again, the choice before voters on May the fifth is very clear. They can either reward Mr. Blair for eight years of broken promises and vote for another five years of talk. Or they can vote Conservative, to support a party that's taken a stand and is committed to action on the issues that matter to hard working Britons."

 

story from: www.conservatives.com