Great Britain is broken down into 650 parliamentary areas, also known as “seats.” Each one of those 650 seats has an MP, elected representatives who are employed to represent their local areas in the House of Commons.
Here in the Ribble Valley, our MP is Nigel Evans, and I have to say, he was a very good MP for the area, whilst in opposition to the Labour Party’s governments between 1997 and 2010. But since the Tories limped to power in the 2010 coalition government, I’m shocked by just how much Nigel Evans has given up on his work as an MP. I can only assume that his appointment as Deputy Speaker of the House of Commons in 2010, and the fact that the Tories were then, finally in government, which led to his decision to do the bare minimum of work for the constituents of the Ribble Valley.
Nigel’s record for voicing local concerns in recent years is dismal. There have been major issues happening here, from excessive house-building, significant job losses at major employers, crisis after crisis at the local hospital. Which one has he championed the most? Re-opening Whalley Library (which was forced to close due to Tory cuts.) Of course, the familiar answer to that issue is “Labour wrecked the economy.” Well, they didn’t. There was a global economic crash in 2008, and George Osborne, the former Treasurer recently admitted that it wasn’t Labour’s fault. It was just another Tory lie. What did your mother always say, “don’t tell lies or you’ll grow up to be a Conservative.”
We live in one of the best areas in Great Britain, but in recent times, this is an area which is facing major issues that affect ordinary people’s lives. However, Nigel Evans is becoming increasingly well known, if not “famous” for ignoring his constituent’s enquiries. He spends his time campaigning for a hard-Brexit, and his dream of having an “independence day bank holiday” to celebrate the very divisive decision to leave the EU. Most bizarrely, he spends much of his time defending the American President’s unsavoury views around homophobia, racism and misogyny. Most incredibly of all, Nigel Evans has invited Donald Trump to come and visit the Ribble Valley! I know he’s out of touch… but flipping heck. I often think that Nigel Evans is trying to turn himself into a ridiculous, pound-shop Alan Partridge. And he does nothing to discourage me from thinking it.
Nigel can be seen or heard most days on some TV channel or other, trying to make his name as a political pundit, all the while earning extra money on top of his handsome salary. Good luck to him if that’s his ambition. I wish him well. North Norfolk Digital would probably love to have him on their station.
But, wait a sec. Who is actually doing the MP work whilst all this self-centred silliness is going on? Because it certainly isn’t Nigel Evans.
I am really disappointed that Nigel Evans has given up on his interest in the Ribble Valley, because no matter how important his own career is to him, the Ribble Valley needs, and deserves an MP who is looking out for the people in this constituency. At the very least, pretending to be interested would be a start.
Clitheroe Interchange is facing closure (cuts again) but a quick look on Nigel’s website shows no mention of this. Why not? Why isn’t he campaigning to keep this excellent facility open? Why isn’t he campaigning for the staff’s jobs? Why isn’t he trying his level best to make a case for keeping Clitheroe police station open? Why isn’t he campaigning for all those who are losing their jobs at Calderstones, and at BAE? Why isn’t he campaigning to slow down the excessive house-building until better infrastructure to support these new homes and families is secured? Why isn’t he demanding that the house-builders down tools and go and fill in the thousands of pot-holes caused by their heavy wagons?
In fact, what is he doing?
Because whatever it is, he is not serving his constituents. The argument Nigel Evans’ apologists put forward is that “these are local issues for RVBC and LCC.” Well, my response to that is simple. If all of these issues were happening under a Labour administration, you could bet your lunch that Nigel Evans would have the loudest voice, he would be deafening in protest. And rightly so.
But because he knows that most of the issues affecting our area are caused by the Tories idiotic fiscal policy, he has nothing to say. It’s embarrassing.
The Ribble Valley is a Conservative safe-seat, I get that. But if I went into work tomorrow, and didn’t do my job, my boss would very quickly call me in for a chat. Are the local Conservatives not concerned about Nigel’s complete and utter disregard for his constituency? Are they not annoyed by the sheer arrogance of the man simply ignoring his constituents? Are they not in the slightest bit embarrassed?
It’s time for Nigel to buck his ideas up, or step aside and let somebody else in the Conservative party have a chance, somebody who cares about the area, the people, and its issues.
Then again, maybe the people of the Ribble Valley could do better than the self-serving Conservatives, after all, how much has your life improved under these disasterous plutocrats over the past seven years? Think about it. How much better is life in your community, from schools, to health, to public services, to welfare, policing and social care, not to mention pot-holes you could have a bath in?
“But there’s no money.” (Except the 56 billion for HS2, 20 billion for Hinkley Point, 205 billion for Trident, 1.5 billion for the dodgy deal with the DUP when Theresa May screwed up the first Tory majority in 23 years.)
The Tories are useless at everything they do, there’s no getting away from the fact. But sadly, here in the Ribble Valley, people just keep voting them back in like it’s the night of the living dead.
There are several other political parties out there, and I’d bet my dinner that any one of their candidates would love the chance to stand up in Parliament and fight for the people here. And you can guarantee that they would appreciate the vote, not just take it for granted. If this was a voluntary position, then maybe it wouldn’t be so insulting. But Nigel Evans is taking away £75,000 basic pay for his dismal work.
Blatantly stealing an old Conservative election slogan… “We can’t go on like this.”