Sarah Wollaston is the Conservative candidate for Totnes, the constituency I live in. She has been our representative in the House of Commons, and it’s time to evaluate what kind of job she’s done. This is not a personal attack, I just don’t feel that her voting record represents her constituents, especially young people like myself.
Not surprisingly Sarah Wollaston has followed the Conservative Party line on austerity. She voted 48 times in support of cutting spending on welfare benefits and also voted in support of the hugely damaging and unnecessary Bedroom tax. Additionally, Wollaston voted against raising welfare benefits in line with inflation, essentially a vote to decrease benefits over time.
In regards to young people, she has voted against a variety of policies that would help young people in long-term unemployment find a job. It’s pretty disgusting any politician would vote against that policy. She voted for the raising of tuition fees to £9000 and also voted to scrap the Education Maintenance Allowance in 2011. Wollaston also supports the privatisation of education, as she voted 11 times in support of more academy schools. The only positive I can find is that she voted in support of lowering the voting age to 16 for the European referendum and Local elections. While she must be applauded for that, it doesn’t even slightly make up for the previously mentioned policies that have had such a detrimental effect on young people across the country.
I know that for many in Totnes, environmental issues are of huge concern as they should be. Sarah Wollaston, on the other hand, doesn’t seem to view that way. She has voted against “financial incentives for low-carbon electricity production” and also voted thirteen times against measures to prevent climate change. The final nail in the coffin is that she voted against a bill that would restrict fracking in “in National Parks, the Broads, areas of outstanding natural beauty, World Heritage sites, and near points where water is abstracted for domestic and food production purposes.” Climate change is the single most pressing issue humanity is facing and Sarah Wollaston, regardless of what she might say or what’s on her campaign material, is not going to prioritise that. She’s voted for policies that are hugely damaging to the environment, she does not have our best interests at heart.
If mass surveillance concerns you then I’m sorry to say that Sarah Wollaston has voted in for Mass Surveillance three times. She has also consistently voted in support of military intervention overseas including authorising airstrikes in Syria which, while achieving very little in terms of eliminating ISIS, have been responsible for huge civilian casualties. She’s also very much in support of renewing Trident, voting five times in support of it. So no great lover of peace.
Like many, if not all, Conservative MPs she voted in favour of privatising Royal Mail during the coalition. She’s also voted several times to restrict legal aid, which has left those who cannot afford legal advice with nobody to turn to, which is a despicable breach of Human rights.
Sarah Wollaston is sometimes portrayed as a rebel Conservative MP who’s not as bad as most Conservative MPs. I can see no evidence of this, she has supported all major Conservative Party policy and voted for some incredibly damaging policies. Her record on foreign policy is disgusting and her voting record on climate issues says that she doesn’t care. She’s also very much in line with the “screw the young people” aspect of the Conservative Party. Don’t vote Conservative in Totnes, Sarah Wollaston doesn’t deserve your vote.