'Too Far Too Soon' Stephen Pound on Coalition

Ealing North MP fears 'grim' days ahead

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Stephen Pound MP

Ealing North Constituency Result

The Longest Night


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Firstly I have to thank the people of Ealing North who have sent me back to Westminster to speak on their behalf and to fight for what matters to all of us living in the area.

I’ve been paid the greatest possible honour and I’ll do my level best to be worthy of their trust.

Given the choice between a win and a loss I’d obviously go for victory but I can’t ignore the reality that for every winner there is a loser and my heart goes out to Ian Gibb and his family.

Losing can be hard and bit can be cruel. None of us go into politics without accepting that we can suffer a crushing defeat as much as we can swim on a tide of euphoria but it really does take a heart of stone not to feel huge sympathy for Ian and I wish him every happiness and success in the future – if not on the hustings in Ealing North!

Here in Parliament the world has been turned upside down.
Not only are there about 250 new members bumping into each other and walking into cupboards but the political reality of the most bizarre political realignment in recent history takes some getting used to.

Liberals and Tories in the same bed may be extraordinary but the sheer rapacious enthusiasm for slashing public spending that is being shown by some of the yellow fold makes me wonder if I was ever right to characterise them as gentle herbivores in vegan sandals.
It’s like seeing a meerkat ripping shreds off a grazing gazelle and I won’t pretend that I don’t find it hard to accept.

A growing number of Mr.Cleggs troops apparently feel the same way if the conversation in the tea room is representative.
David and Nick do seem to have forged a close alliance and it’s like the opening scenes of Brokeback Mountain to see them strolling through the sunshine in their matching suits and gently contrasting pastel ties.

The cuts have now started and I am convinced that the Coalition has gone too far too soon. Taking money out of the economy risks choking off the recovery and it is economic illiteracy to pretend that the UK situation is analogous to that of Greece.
I dread to imagine the impact on our part of the world and I’ll be doing all that I can to both protect vital public services and to make the case for continuing sustainable economic growth.

We now discover that the economic indicators published just before the election underestimated the national economic growth – especially in the manufacturing sector. If some rascally civil servant was responsible then I wish her or him well with the new Gradgrinds whose hands are on the tiller and round the neck of the public sector.

Much work lies ahead and I won’t have the opportunity to take a break but I’ll never forget that I’ve been trusted to speak up for Ealing North and that is exactly what I will be doing in the grim days ahead.


Reproduced with the kind permission of Stephen Pound from an original article published in the Ealing Gazette


May 25th, 2010


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