I find myself chatting about political conferences, yet soon move onto the subject of just why people join political parties.
It doesn’t take long to spot that, although I am in a discussion with a young entrepreneur, they are a fan of Jeremy Corbyn.
Desperate not to pay ‘exorbitant’ taxes, a healthy distrust in Big Government, and with many other liberal views, I point out that they are a natural Conservative. Outrage: Corbyn is their hero, whatever his faults. Could ‘Prime Minister Corbyn’ be a reality? A tingle traverses my spine at the very thought, but I owe it to start the analysis of what it would mean for us in Brighton and Hove. Corbyn, a renowned ‘Brexiteer’, would surely not allow us to remain in the EU.
The next ‘given’ is that Labour always overspend, bribing voters with their own money, and this, locally, would probably mean a drive by Labour to hike up council tax to levels most residents would not accept let alone afford. The uncertainty that this would sadly create is that of a city in chaos: what businesses would invest under these circumstances?
Another concern is the Labour pledge to ‘insource’ local council services.
Brighton and Hove council has been described by the Local Government Association as ‘dysfunctional’, and to trust the majority of our public services to be delivered by the council would not, I would suggest, lead to the most ‘optimum of outcomes’. Rather, a disaster for our city.
In education, Labour has also stated that they ‘will require joined-up admissions policies across local schools, enabling councils to fulfil their responsibilities on child places’. We know what this really means – faith, academy and free schools will be taken under council control. For instance, Portslade Academy, now rated ‘Good’, could even revert to being Portslade Community College and, I am guessing, that the new King’s School would not find support in a hard-left Labour council. Cardinal Newman beware.
Going forward, the real danger for Brighton and Hove is that young, natural Conservatives, will ignore Labour’s potential to ruin our economy and vote for a hard-left Labour council.
Cllr Tony Janio is the leader of the Conservatives on Brighton & Hove City Council.