Screen Shot 2015-05-01 at 09.37.54WITH only days to go until the nation heads to the polls, the North East Chamber of Commerce (NECC) has been using its General Election Ten Commandments to remind contenders who is at the middle of this election – the voters.

The region’s largest membership organisation has been asking the North East’s candidates not to use North East as an example of what’s gone wrong in the past, but to use this valuable time to shout about growing opportunities in the region.

NECC Director of Policy Ross Smith explains: “On the run up to the Election our region is sometimes used as a political football, with our hard-working business being criticised rather than credited.

“Rather than talking down the North East to score political points, we are using our Ten Commandments to urge our politicians to make the most of this opportunity and show the huge potential our region offers to future investors.

“We are reminding our politicians that if you are going to criticise your opponent and their policies, you better be ready to offer an alternative.

“This is meant as a bit of fun, but hopefully raises some serious points about the opportunity the election creates to drive power to the North East and its businesses.”

The 10 Commandments:

  1. Honour thy region. Thou shalt not talk down the North East in order to score political points. Bear witness to the challenges we wish to smite, but testify loud and clear of the bountiful opportunity awaiting potential investors. You have an important role to play in spreading the word.
  2. Thou shalt not claim an absence of good jobs in the North East without acknowledging that many businesses doth seek a multitude of skilled candidates, which is holding them back from expansion.
  3. Thou shalt not spout slogans or Twitter hashtags dreamed up by Westminster false prophets when asked for considered comment about specific issues affecting the North East.
  4. Thou shalt not take the name of thy constituency in vain – inserting it into whatever your party leader said yesterday either.
  5. Thou shalt not worship economic falsehoods and be cast out for implying a simple equation between the performance of the economy and the performance of Government. Businesses deliver growth, though government actions can either help or hinder them.
  6. Thou shalt not deride thine opponent’s commitments on infrastructure investment unless your party guarantees to do more.
  7. Thou shalt not incite a ‘battle of the NIMBYs’ with thine opponent. More housing and business development is needed in the North East and some of it will need to go in your constituency. If you consider some sites inappropriate, you must help identify others, recognising it is legitimate for developers to make a profit.
  8. Thou shalt not expect us to indulge you in discussions about the moral failings of thine opponents. We know many candidates personally; we don’t always agree with them, but rarely doubt their motives.
  9. Thou shalt be specific if need arises to criticise the actions of businesses, not imply everyone in the private sector is the same. Bad practice exists, but is not the norm. Our members take a highly responsible approach as employers and corporate citizens.
  1. Thou shalt brief thy frontbenchers when visiting the North East to observe these commandments. And to remember where they are.

The NECC has been using #NECC10C to tweet any transgressions of the Commandments and are urging others to do the same. For more information please follow @nechamber or get in touch.