This was the second visit to Medway for David Cameron, the man who will, I hope, be our next Prime Minister, in as many years. For me the most noticeable thing about David Cameron’s visit this time, setting aside the speech for one second, was the manner in which David was able to communicate the Conservative message to those present.
It certainly seems that the 50+ Cameron Direct meetings David has undertaken up and down the country over the past couple of years have certainly put him in good stead for the forthcoming live television debates between the party leaders. I certainly can’t see Gordon Brown being able to communicate so effectively, let alone give a straight answer.
Following David’s poignant speech on social recession in which he cited the absolutely shocking case in Doncaster, members of the audience were invited to take part in a Q&A session.
One of the most frequent complaints I hear through my work as a councillor in the Rochester West ward is the level of anti-social behaviour and rowdiness on Rochester High Street caused by alcohol. As a High Street resident myself I am only too well aware of the misery this causes to local residents on, mainly, Friday and Saturday nights. Despite the best efforts of our local Police to ensure people are able to enjoy the many and varied pubs, bars and restaurants in Rochester in a friendly and sensible manner, and the sterling effort of all the volunteers who man the SOS Bus, there is still, unfortunately, a small element who seem hell-bent on inflicting misery on the decent, law-abiding majority.
So I was glad to hear David Cameron confirm, in response to my question, that, if the Conservatives are elected to power, we will take the necessary action to amend the licensing law, giving the Police more power to intervene, more power to local authorities to clamp down on irresponsible establishments, and, if necessary, to tackle the growing problem of shops selling alcohol at less than cost price.
Of course, no-one should be under the illusion that merely changing the licensing law will somehow miraculously repair the damage caused through Labour’s sustained assault on the moral fabric of our society. Unfortunately there is no silver bullet.
It will take a lot of hard work and sweat to undo 13 years of rampant social engineering, but, as with all things, we have to start somewhere. I am however confident that, thanks to the great work that has been done behind the scenes by the likes of former Conservative leader Ian Duncan-Smith, we are the only party ready to tackle head-on the problems that are blighting our society, and the future hopes of all our children.
With the general election now looming on the horizon, the choice for residents of Rochester and Strood is becoming increasingly stark. Vote for more of the same, or vote for the real change our constituency needs.
As David Cameron said in his own words, “The Government won’t do it but we will.”