Britain keeps its promises, particularly to those most in need. For 10 years, our commitment to spend 0.7% of our national income on aid has been testament to that, and featured in all the major political party manifestos running up to the last General Election.
I am proud of the UK’s history of providing life-saving aid to the world’s most vulnerable children. As the first major economy to reach this spending target, the UK has shown how a transparent, independent and accountable approach to aid funding can change the world.
It is the right thing to do, and it shows the world that we are bigger than just ourselves. Immunising millions of children against preventable diseases makes us a bigger Britain. Supporting our doctors and nurses to lead the fight against Ebola makes us a bigger Britain. Creating jobs and trade opportunities in developing countries makes us a bigger Britain.
This election must be an opportunity for all parties to reaffirm that commitment. We are big enough to help people both at home and abroad. Let us all call on our future politicians to show their commitment to the most vulnerable by protecting UK aid.
David Ward, Caterham
Whilst the UK is in for several weeks of overkill regarding the general election, let us not forget we have a Surrey County Council election on 4 May.
This is an appeal to those who normally automatically vote Conservative to think very carefully before putting a X next to the name of whichever candidate the party is fielding in your ward.
Perhaps think about those tyres damaged by unrepaired potholes that can’t even be seen at night because the County Council have switched off the lights, whilst the Chief Executive and other senior staff rake in hundreds of thousands of pounds a year in salaries and benefits.
Consider the lack of new books at your local library, and the use of private facilities for Council meetings, condoned by senior SCC councillors whilst they enjoy huge rises in expenses.
Think carefully about what Surrey County Council has done for its residents during years of financial mismanagement by those with their snouts in the trough of the gravy train. Just because this is Surrey it doesn’t mean we have to be ruled by the Conservatives. Most Tory candidates will be complacently assuming they will be elected. This is our chance to wipe those smug looks off their faces.
I would make an extra special appeal to those in the Warlingham ward held by the Leader of SCC, David Hodge, aka Teflon Dave (because nothing seems to stick to him). Even the most dyed (blue of course) in the wool Tory must realise what an embarrassing liability he is, not only to the Conservative Party but, more importantly, the residents of Surrey. For goodness sake, end his disastrous political career on 4 May and put him out of our misery....