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Last Updated: Wednesday, 13 April 2005, 15:07 GMT 16:07 UK
UK voters' panel: Ayub Khan

MEET THE PANEL
Ayub Khan
Name: Ayub Khan
Age: 45
Lives: Batley, West Yorkshire
Works: Highways enforcement officer
Current voting intention: Undecided
In 10 words or less:
"Hard working, fair minded, family orientated, proud British Asian Muslim"

I have no doubt that each party will begin their manifesto by boasting about their past achievements whilst at the same time making a mockery of the opposition's policies.

Labour's strong point will be the economy and the prosperity that it has bought to people.

The Tories will push hard on immigration and asylum because of the sensitive nature of this issue.

The Lib Dems will concentrate hard on their anti-Iraq war stance which I think will go down well with a lot of people.

What I want is a strong economy, prosperity and equality for all.

I want more funding for the NHS and education.

I also want more money to be spent on the vulnerable within our society such as young families and pensioners, and less on bureaucracy.

VOTERS' PANEL
Immigration and terrorism need to be tackled sensitively and in conjunction with people whom it affects. I want to see parties being tough on crime because of the misery it brings to people's lives.

I would like to see politicians being honest on the pledges that they make. They must be trustworthy and not be afraid to say sorry if they make a mistake.

Until they do the public will not trust them, their parties or their policies.


Your comments:

'Equality for All' sounds good but in reality will it ever happen?
Tony, Birmingham, UK

The economy is strong under Labour but we can't forget it was Ken Clark of the Tories who sowed the seeds of stabilisation.
Dave Petcher, Bradford

Ayub, if people like you were to vote Lib Dem they would have a better chance. The way I see it, a wasted vote is a vote for a party you see as a lesser of two evils.
Adrian, Wrexham, UK

Ayub, your comments are interesting and revealing. However, on the matter of a wasted vote; if you find Conservative policies to be against your way of thinking, then to vote for them would be the ultimate waste of your vote. A vote for the Lib Dems might not get what you want this time, but if you believe this party speaks for your views, then the more votes that are won this time, the more people will believe the party can win next time; a bandwagon effect is the only way this will be achieved. It is time to show the two parties who have governed in our life time that they can't win your support just by demonising the other. Vote for what you believe in.
Chris, Leeds, UK

My wife is Muslim, and I can say with some confidence all she and most other Muslims want is to be part of British society whilst keeping their religious beliefs. They don't want anyone to bend over backwards to help them out, or single them out in any way. I think the Tories are the best choice. They support honest, hard working people regardless of background.
John, Gravesend

It's a pity these comments get stuck on what Muslims are or are not. The quicker we all understand that this is a UK election the better the result must be good for all citizens. I agree with Ayub, don't make up your mind too soon, in fact the best time is just as you the mark on the Ballot form.
John, Wales

I can sympathise with Ayub's line of reasoning. I do unfortunately intend to vote for Labour because I think Labour is the only party that can repair the damage it has done to the Muslim community, and we must allow it to carry on the good work in progress. But I will be actively calling for Blair to step down and be replaced by perhaps Gordon. Tony cannot redeem my trust, we need a new face in charge of the Labour party, Tony has entirely defied everything Labour stands for.
Rozina Ali, East London

For many of us last 3 years have been a wake up call. It is time we voted for our convictions. Our future as a united country, regardless of our religion depends on a long term vision: a fairer and better educated country; a country that engages fully in an ever-shrinking world. For me the answer is Lib Dems. Let us all think of the long term and choose wisely. Regardless of choice at least go out and vote.
Shahzad, London

My mother grew up in South Africa and she feels very aggrieved when she sees the threat of ID cards, detention without trial and a statement by government minister (Hazel Blears) saying that people from specific racial/religious groups (in this case Muslims) should accept intensified stop and searches and questioning by police. These are the hallmarks of Apartheid! If the British people regardless of faith and ethnic origin want to cast a vote for a party which treats them with dignity, ensures quality free public services (including education) and vows not to prosecute illegal unfounded wars then there can only be one clear choice - the Liberal Democrats. It is not enough to say that this is a wasted vote. If everybody who considered the party actually voted Lib Dem things could be very different.
Simon Green, Leicestershire

I have many Asian Friends and I find it strange how many say that Labour Party policies are more suited to them. Asian Muslims are totally family orientated, some thing Mr Blair and Mr Brown have almost destroyed. Asians are very hard working and enjoy building the business ethos. Again, something Labour has burdened with huge tax increases and endless rules and regulations that is ruining business. Asians want to save and invest for their children and own their own property. Savings are an easy target for a Labour government who do not want you to support yourself but depend on handouts from them. Council taxes are going to go through the roof. Asian Children work hard and do well at school. This government has ruined the education system with ideological experiments forcing many people to pay for private education. More importantly Asians in Britain came to this country to work hard and to become law abiding citizens. They now see their communities torn apart by uncontrolled immigration from nations without their discipline and hard work culture. Asian families are law abiding and non violent. What has this government done to protect you from thugs, criminals and frausters? Nothing - they have created a police force that is next to useless to the ordinary tax payer. It might be the time for British Muslims re-examine why they feel attached to Labour.
Mike Coyle, London

I disagree that Labour's strong point is the economy. Despite the booming economy handed to him by the previous Tory government, Brown has built a house of cards. Labour has been very fortunate to be able to call the election before the true scale of the catastrophe unfolds.
S H, Nottingham

Trust is an issue which I think will hurt the Labour Party's chances. Sleaze still haunts the Conservatives. Our only alternative is the Lib Dems.
Jeffrey Lake, London, UK

Ayub talks about Labour's "strong point" being the economy, but John Major's government didn't exactly leave it in bad shape!
Steve, Northumberland

I think Ayub hits the nail on the head with wanting politicians to be honest with their pledges. Successive governments (not just Blair's) have been all too happy to U-turn on their manifesto promises once elected!
Ian, Edinburgh, UK

I am a 44-year-old, hard working Christian mother of three. You and I want the same things. For me that rules out the Conservatives, I remember all too well their regime from the 80s and 90s. It did not present choice except for the rich and mobile and we will not forget the cuts in health services essential to us all. Likewise they introduced the over-testing of children and league tables in education. I'm not that stuck on Labour either but they appear to be "the least bad". Labour have introduced working families tax credit and support for people with heavy childcare costs. The downside for me on all parties except the Lib Dems is that they don't support young people in higher education.
Lynn, East Yorkshire





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