Thank you to everyone who attended the MK Spring Conference yesterday. I hope you all enjoyed the day.
In my address, I called for an end to the “politics as usual” of the “Westminster circus” which “if not challenged – will fail Cornwall in the future – just as it has failed us all in the past.”
I made the important argument that MK is a “political party with a difference,” and I called on people in Cornwall to “reject their habitual association with Westminster parties and back a new progressive politics with MK.”
· Repeated my call for a new democratic settlement for Cornwall, with the meaningful devolution of significant powers to a National Assembly.
· Demanded a geographical re-balancing of the UK economy away from London and the South East, at the same time securing greater investment in public works to boost local economic activity.
· Condemned the Coalition’s National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF), which he said had turned Cornwall into a “developers’ paradise.” I called for all decisions relating to planning to be made in Cornwall.
· Condemned the under-funding of public services in Cornwall and the failure of the Westminster parties to properly address the issue. I demanded a binding Commission to investigate the full extent of under-funding in Cornwall and to guarantee Cornish communities their fair share of funding in the future.
· Re-affirmed MK’s opposition to the privatisation of our National Health Service.
· Demanded concerted action to tackle tax avoidance and tax evasion.
· Condemned the Westminster parties’ focus on austerity, stating clearly that I was proud that MK is part of a wider movement, challenging the consensus around austerity, championing alternatives ways to balance the books of the state, which do not impact on the vulnerable and the less-well-off, through welfare cuts and privatisations.