Don’t believe the slander: Chamali Fernando is a decent candidate who deserves your vote

The Tories don’t just deserve a chance – they have a chance in Cambridge, argues CHARLES FISHER in part three of the Tab’s new series, ‘Who to vote for in Cambridge and why you should give a shit’

Cameron chamali Chamali Fernando conservatives david cameron election fernando tories

On the basis of what you hear, you’d think Cambridge is a pre-ordained Labour or Lib Dems stronghold – with a third candidate who has some kind of a vendetta against people with mental health issues.

Wrong.  Cambridge is a genuine three-way marginal and a tactical vote is a vote for Chamali Fernando.

The Conservatives held it until 1992 and came second last time round, beating Labour. With the Lib Dems suffering rock bottom national ratings, Labour fielding a clapped-out career politician, and the Green surge in full effect, the result on Thursday could come down to the wire.

Cambridge Tories out in force.  Chief tactic is holding a sausage dog to attract the attention of passers by.

I met Chamali Fernando for the first time last week. I don’t think you should vote for her because she is approachable and has bags of energy, nor because Parliament currently has a disgraceful number of female and ethnic minority MPs – she is the only one of either to be standing here.

I think you should vote for her because she has a record of action and I know she’ll stick up for Cambridge. Chamali will fight damn hard and deliver for our city.

She was a barrister in England for 12 years, is a licensed New York Attorney, and has been a leading campaigner for an International Court of the Environment. Chamali has actually done stuff.

She won’t take crap from people, as shown by her no-nonsense response to the wristband controversy, when her views on mental health were twisted and distorted by journalistic coverage showing a disgraceful lack of integrity.  Journalists spun a story out of a tweet that turned out to be inaccurate when the transcript for the event emerged.

Compare this with the Labour candidate. This is Daniel Zeichner‘s fifth attempt to enter Parliament. He claims a life-long commitment to Cambridge. So Daniel, why did you stand to be MP for Mid-Norfolk three times?

Spot the Mid-Norfolk imposter.

Once is a mistake. Twice is a pattern. Three times is a habit. Zeichner’s standout life-long commitment is to getting a seat on the green benches.

Yes, Julian Huppert’s background inspires me more. But the fact is the Lib Dems haven’t ruled out propping up a minority Labour government. This is staggering considering the note Lib Dem MP David Laws received at his treasury desk – “There is no money”. Let’s not forget it’s the same Labour team in charge now as the one who caused the economy to tank last time round.

And how can the Lib Dems support a party with an appalling record on civil liberties? It was Labour who wanted to introduce ID cards, hold people without trial for 90 days, and create a DNA database. No thanks.

I’m not a tribal Tory. Not everything has been perfect in the past five years. Far from it. There are way too many people using food banks. Salaries aren’t high enough. The legal aid cuts were badly misjudged.

But I still think Britain is moving forward. The deficit has been halved as a share of our economy. Unemployment and crime are falling fast. More people are in work than ever before. More students from poorer backgrounds are going to uni than ever before.  That’s pretty good considering the situation in 2010.

It’s Ed Miliband or David Cameron walking through the door to No. 10 on Friday. You decide.

David Cameron, caught on camera in a fit of passion at the prospect of fighting for the East of England.

In truth, the contest in Cambridge needs to be looked at in national terms. The outcome on Friday could well be an utter mess. The genuine worry for many people is a Labour government reliant on support from a hotchpotch of small, often regional, utopian parties, some of whom would rather break up our country than sort the economy out.  In particular, the SNP.

Miliband has said there will be no deals. But top figures within his party carry on saying the opposite.

This isn’t about denying Scottish people a say in government. Our last PM was Scottish. So was the one before that. This is about refusing to let a party have influence who don’t even believe there should be a United Kingdom.

And let’s be honest – do you think Alex Salmond gives a flying fuck about science funding for Cambridge? I reckon he wouldn’t even be able to find Cambridge on a map.

You don’t change the surgeon halfway through the operation. The recovery is in its infancy. Now isn’t the time to take a gamble.

I’m holding my nose and voting Conservative on Thursday.