In the battle to attract employers to Weymouth, the one thing that will help win the battle is the one thing that Jane Burnett and her Green Party are opposed to – that is road infrastructure.
Mrs Burnett is keen to point out that neither Labour nor the Tories can deliver new jobs by focusing on education alone, but without road infrastructure (Mrs Burnett, many will remember, is a big advocate of bus travel) any attempts are doomed to fail.
There is a convincing argument that foreign aid to Africa would be ten times more effective if it was spent building road infrastructure.
If you are dealing with famine or epidemics you need access to people, food and raw materials, in volume and quickly.
In many parts of Africa, this is impossible. No coincidence, then, that the African countries that have pulled themselves out of poverty are those that have invested in infrastructure.
We talk about “attracting jobs”, but in reality, we should talk about attracting employers. I’ve heard members of the Green Party claim that commuting will soon be a thing of the past.
Not true: the so called “knowledge economy” is not big enough to employ everybody and in any case, the country needs to refocus on engineering and manufacturing.
Without a wholesale return to a labour-intensive agrarian econ-omy, Weymouth will depend on attracting engineering and manufacturing jobs. Both, sadly, require decent road infra-structure.
Yet the Green Party opposed the Brown Route and continues to oppose other road investments. It is the one issue that prevents me voting for them.
Mrs Burnett, in dismissing the views of Simon Bowkett and David Cameron as vague and simplistic, is surely guilty of the same. The Green Party education policy may well deliver an educated workforce, but it stands in the way of the very investments needed to ensure that our beachfront ice cream kiosks are not manned by engineering graduates.
That, sadly, is the problem with all of our political parties. Too much focus on ideology, not enough on practicality.
Friar Waddon Road