General Election 2015: The Conservative voter

General Election 2015: The Conservative voter


David J Gallagher, 80

Cheshire, originally from Cork Retired father-of three

THE BIG ISSUE: The economy

David Gallagher, from Co. Cork, lives in the marginal constituency of Cheadle in Cheshire. He has been a Conservative voter all his adult life.

“I came to England in 1953 and began working in the textile trade, mainly in the Jewish community. I saw how they started out with nothing, then worked hard and thrived — and I realised that was the Tory philosophy. And it worked for everyone. If you can do the job, you can progress.”

David, like so many of our older readers, came to England during an era when Irish people were, in some cases, discriminated against and the victims of racial abuse. It seems not to have bothered him.

“I saw how the Jewish people I worked with would have anti-Semitic insults slung at them regularly. But it didn’t bother them, or at least they didn’t show it. They just got on with their work, and succeeded. OK, I heard many anti-Irish jokes, but I kept my head down, worked hard and got on. I’ve brought up three sons here, and of course times are much better now than they were in the 1950s.”

David has no time for the parties on either ideological side of the Conservatives.

“I don’t hold with UKIP at all. I’m an immigrant myself, when all’s said and done. So is the Jewish community. And look at their achievements.”

David is similarly scathing of the Labour Party.

“They’re for people who won’t do anything but want everything.” He remains convinced that the Labour Party became the natural home for the Irish vote in Britain “largely through brain-washing”. He remains very critical of the left wing in general, and the unions in particular.

“The unions brain-washed the Irish people into thinking they had to vote Labour. They promised them everything, pulled strokes — then did nothing.”

As regards the NHS not being safe with the Conservatives, David is adamant.

“That’s a load of codswallop. I think that Labour are to blame for so much of the mismanagement of funds —from the chaotic way they funded building works to the appointment of nonsense such as bed-managers. It was Labour who over-staffed the NHS with too many managers.”

David is also a supporter of the Conservatives on one of their ‘big’ issues — the nuclear deterrent. “We should definitely keep that. It’s vital, and it’s probably more important now than ever.”

David, in general, believes that, unlike most other political parties, with the Conservatives “you know where you are with them”.

In the Cheadle constituency, the sitting MP is the Lib Dem Mark Hunter, defending a slender majority of just over 3,000. “He’s a good constituency MP, but I’ll be voting Conservative. It’s a straight fight here between the Conservatives and the Lib Dems — UKIP, Labour etc will all lose their deposits.”

On balance, David thinks the coalition government has been a good thing for Britain. But he will be voting this week in the hope of a Conservative government being returned with a majority.