A global financial crisis occurred in 2008 and ever since we as the public have been told that the government must live within its means and that we ourselves must tighten our belts. But isn’t it beginning to feel as if those belts are around our necks? And increasingly so around those of the most vulnerable?
Austerity is fuelled by ideology and we’ve had plenty of ideology blasted at us daily in soundbites. I for one was shocked to see Theresa May ridiculed for “Strong and Stable” as David Cameron and George Osbourne drove me to the brink of breakdown for the incessant repetition of “With a strong economy” without backlash.
The belts around our necks.
Since I became aware of them I have only seen governments who think up to the end of a parliament and absolutely no further.
The New, New, Old, Labour party has set out long-term investments in the most vital of institutions. From education to the NHS all the way down to micro businesses we see a party with the intention to invest for the future of this country’s people. Looking at the manifesto, I’m sure you all have, it’s a litany of widely and wildly popular policies.
The young should rightly see it as a rebalancing of the scale, offering homes, jobs and free tuition. But it extends beyond them; an investment bank ensures that barring a cyclical pulling up of the ladder, generations beyond our current crop of youth can reap the benefits. Borrowing to invest is not a sin. You cannot run a country like a person’s bank account. Personal finances are predicated upon one certainty, death. A country, however, must continue in perpetuity or at least for as long as morons can keep their grubby little mitts off of nuclear launch keys.
The Conservatives have shrunk the state so far that it is only the grit of public sector workers that allow it to exist at all. You name it, they shrunk it.
The state doesn’t need to be all powerful but it must perform at the very least basic functions:
Fully fund, staff and train the police force and National Health Service. Protect and enhance workers’ rights and pay. Ensure charities aren’t a necessity to feed the people. Protect the disabled from poverty and harm (I see you Atos). Hold the market to the national interest. Ensure these services exist for future generations.
On every measure the Conservative party has failed its duty.
Even David Cameron as PM complained about the reduction of provisions following the loss of services due to tax cuts to his own local council. The Prime Minister wrote to Oxfordshire County Council leader Ian Hudspeth to say he is “disappointed” at proposed “cuts to frontline services, from elderly day centres to libraries, to museums”.
Consider what dear old Theresa is offering you. Theresa “MY manifesto for MY vision…” May has offered nothing other than a strong and stable leadership which has been rightly ridiculed. Her performances under pressure have been woeful, akin to a malfunctioning AI, and most often she has been conspicuously absent from proceedings. She pops up now and then to U-turn and clarifies with mud ill-conceived and un-costed policies, incompetent in her preparation for an election she called herself.
When she is done wasting your time with meaningless platitudes all that remain is a grey figure sliding a blank cheque in front of you willing you to sign it, ‘Give me the mandate, and when I have the power I promise to only do lovely things’.
The average citizen who sees money trimmed from wages, in-work/other benefits and services whilst the prices around them skyrocket and the prospects of home ownership float off like so many childhood balloons. The money equally in defiance of gravity moves upwards pushed by a party whose interests do not serve you.
Now for something completely different
What Labour offers is a genuine and costed alternative to a cycle of abusing the average Briton.
The media has been unkind to Jeremy Corbyn, why wouldn’t they be? The owners of media are a very small very rich number of people. Removing a parliament of Conservative politicians, who benefit them greatly, and replacing them with a Labour government, intent on serving the electorate as they are supposed to be; a threatening shift. Implicit bias on their behalf is unavoidable.
This isn’t loony leftism, its barely off centre. Common even around the developed world, our perception of centre ground has been dragged to the right by vested interests.
In Labour, we have a party prepared to take measures in generating green energy to provide the public with services they need that preserve the integrity of the only planet we have. Willing to address the most heinous elephant in the room, the buddying up and arms selling we conduct with a known funder and propagator of Extremist Islam generally and ISIS specifically. Intent on funding, train and employ more of those police officers who keep us safe. And will do the same for the Health service that cares for us from cradle to grave.
Jeremy Corbyn and the Labour party offer something concrete, a manifesto festooned with costed pledges that strive towards a more equal future that aims higher than getting by until the next election.
Corbyn in my view has been bizarrely derided for his ability to meet and engage with people whose views diverge significantly from his own, an ability which is essential for any politician, particularly one that will need to negotiate with 27 member states of the EU.
Corbyn is committed to environmentalism, not for political grandstanding but as a core belief, a core belief that gives him the strength to condemn President Trump for backing out of the Paris climate agreement. He will also keep the insane practice of fox hunting in the past where it belongs. Dedicated to peace (enough to win the Gandhi Foundation International Peace Award), to bringing about a safer world for us all to live in.
The Conservative agenda forcing you to swallow inequality cannot go on; it damages individuals and denigrates the nation.
If you’ve never voted get out on Thursday and do it, don’t give Theresa May your silent consent. Vote Labour who offers us an alternative future well within our grasp. If you do vote Labour you can get Corbyn as your PM, a politician untouchable in his constituency since 1983 with enough principles to listen to yours.
Do you want to feel better?
“Let’s build a fairer Britain where no one is held back. A country where everybody is able to get on in life, to have security at work and at home, to be decently paid for the work they do, and to live their lives with the dignity they deserve” – Jeremy Corbyn, 2017 Manifesto