Election clash: should they stay or should they go?

Over the past five years Design Week has reported the effects of the Conservative Government’s actions on the design industry. In recent issues the parties’ pledges, and the politicians behind them, have been examined. Now, as the nation goes to the polls

Sir Terence Conran

Britain desperately needs a New Labour government.

Why? Because Britain desperately needs a change: a break from sleaze; a break from personal greed at the expense of society; a break from the Little Englanders yapping at John Major’s heels; a break from rose-tinted nostalgia for a country of cricket on the village green and pints of warm beer.

Labour, I believe, is the party of modernity. It is energetic and vigorous, it is young and enthusiastic. The party has been ahead in the opinion polls for so long now that we have already caught the scent of change. That’s one of the reasons, I think, that London is currently such a hotbed of creative activity: there’s optimism, and the cause of that optimism is partly a belief that we are about to throw off years of reactionary cynicism.

Furthermore, a Labour government will be good for the creative economy. The Labour Party recognises the value added by design: that good design gives products a competitive edge, that it improves the quality of life, and that it signifies a belief in the values of modern life.

In the House of Lords, Richard Rogers gives Labour a voice that will speak passionately and intelligently for the causes of architecture and design, as well as for the overdue creation of an elected body to govern London.

Labour listens, and my impression is that Labour wants to learn. The next government will inherit a design community brimful with talent and ideas, innovation and entrepreneurialism. Part of its strength is its diversity and its iconoclasm, but it has suffered at the hands of an old-fashioned government that cannot or will not understand its economic and social value.

I believe New Labour will change all that.

John Mcneece

“Time for a change” is a phrase on the lips of most wavering voters who, surprisingly, do not see the risk they would be taking by voting Labour or, for that matter, Liberal Democrat. Voting for change, just for the sake of it, is a dangerous gamble.

Eighteen years of Conservative government has resulted in a stable economy, low inflation, continually growing investment, low unemployment, a higher standard of living and the stranglehold of trade unions smashed.

Given the chance, Labour would undo all that has been achieved so far. They would pay off deals already struck with their trade union puppet masters. Labour’s avowed adoption of the European Social and Economic Chapters would have a devastating effect on British industry.

The design sector in particular would be one of the first casualties. With such an unstable economic climate, investment would nose-dive, inflation would take off, and unemployment would soar. Design jobs would be lost under a Labour government.

Britain is doing well. The past five years alone have seen privatisation extended and the burden on the taxpayer reduced as a result. Changes in public services, long overdue, have been introduced successfully, while the

Citizens’ Charter and performance accountability have increased pressure to improve standards. The Social Security budget, forever growing uncontrollably, has now been halted.

Conservative policies have resulted in this country experiencing a major and fundamental change for the better. But there is still much to be done.

Someone once said that design is bringing order out of chaos. A vote for Labour is, unquestionably, a vote to return to chaos. A Liberal Democrat vote is a wasted vote as, effectively, it is a vote for Labour by default. Voting Conservative is a vote for order, stability, growth and prosperity.

Think carefully. Gambling with the future of Britain is a serious matter.

If you feel the need for change, go and buy a new pair of curtains!

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