Pudsey general election Independent candidate Michael Wharton, answers readers’ questions ahead of the election. A full list of candidates and their responses can be found here.
1. What is your party going to do to make sure my kids have good educational opportunities?
I do not represent a party, but if elected I will work with any party to challenge the Academy programme; which I believe is an affront to education.
Working class children do not need to learn blind obedience to authority and state-approved ‘facts’, which is the principle purpose of the Academy positive discipline model; but how to ask pertinent question and to discern the difference between what is true and what is not.
Academies make subjects, whereas a good education system would produce future citizens.
2. What is your stance on the three million EU citizens living in the UK?
EU citizens in the UK should be accommodated and dealt with fairly. They built their lives here based upon a set of promises and just because we are uncoupling from EU institutions does not absolve us from the responsibility to those who made massive life choices based upon those promises. Whatever the mechanisms developed, they should flow from the principle of fair treatment.
3. What would you do to support Social Care in our area, particularly foster care, in a climate of cuts that are seeing fewer workers caring for more children?
Money should be diverted from vanity projects and non essential services to core services. As a City we spend millions every year on Museums which attract few visitors, whilst we are closing down childrens’ centres.
Halt the 2023 bid, and re-invest the funds into services which actually matter to ordinary people.
4. What will you do to give young people the very best opportunities in life, to help them prepare for uncertain futures in a global world economy?
The spread of corruption affects all citizens in the UK and across the world.
Making public services genuinely publicly accountable will at least ensure that projects which purport to be in the public good deliver some real value.
We need to re-balance the economy, accept that automation is going to affect all areas of life in future and to develop a set of policies that acknowledges that reality.
Getting some honesty into politics will at least help to ensure that we can have an informed national dialogue about the challenges ahead.
When do candidates see austerity coming to an end and living standards and security improving?
Austerity is a policy choice not an inevitability. The Tories choose to place the blame for economic hardship on the poorest in society, but it is a myth. C
onservative policy has massively increased national debt whilst also producing food bank reliance, despair and desperation; whilst revenues for banks and financial institutions has soared.
The Tories are disinterested in improving public services, their primary aim is to open up ways for wealthy individuals to draw ever more money from the public exchequer.
In 200 words or less, tell us why readers should vote for you/your party?
My miserable experience as a Leeds City Council employee, when every system of sc,rutiny and accountability was shut down to me, brought me to the view that Leeds is shackled to a corrupt and broken political system, and I am standing as an MP to:
1. Raise awareness of the corruption and waste I have encountered;
2. Challenge the two main political parties – both of which have serious questions to answer about that corruption;
3. Promote the campaign to improve legal protection and support for whistle blowers, which will strengthen scrutiny and accountability nationally – and that can only be good for our democracy;
4. Put the case for more independent MPs as an antidote to the mafia-like struggles of traditional party politics, and as the only true means of delivering People Power.
5. Break the shackles and free Leeds from the corrupt politics which benefits few but the politicians and their sleazy friends.
6. Try and win back my deposit!