Urging people to vote Liberal Democrat in the 2007 May elections, Ming Campbell focused on crime and the environment, the key themes that the Liberal Democrats have been campaigning on:
“Labour has presided over a failing criminal justice system. Less than one in 100 crimes are now punished in court, violent crime has risen, and reoffending rates are now at record levels. Mr Cameron is not prepared to speak plainly about what needs to be done either. But I am.
“We need a new approach to crime. We need to make prison work by rehabilitating prisoners and cutting reoffending. We need more police on the streets. We need to take back our town centres by allowing communities to close the pubs and clubs that cause trouble. We need compulsory work and training to give prisoners the skills and opportunities that make reoffending less likely. We need a Victim Compensation Fund, paid for by prison work. And, to increase public faith in the system, we need honesty in sentencing: sentences should mean what they say.
“On the environment, Labour’s record is wanting too. When Britain most needed a green chancellor, Tony Blair gave them a Brown one. The Chancellor’s record on tackling climate change is one of inaction and delay. He could have raised green taxes but he chose not to.
“But for us concern for the environment is not a passing fashion but a central and longstanding principle.
“That is what our politics is about. An adherence to principles even when the prevailing fashion is ranged against them. That’s why we voted against the Iraq war when the fashion in Parliament and the media was to be for it.
“It’s why nearly two decades ago we adopted radical policy proposals to cut emissions and curb climate change. We didn’t need to wait for a focus group to tell us what to do. The other parties may favour fashion over principle. But we won’t.”
If you need to contact your local council about the elections (e.g. to request a replacement postal ballot paper) you can find details at www.aboutmyvote.co.uk or you can contact the Liberal Democrats on 020 7222 7999.