Wednesday, 7 June 2017

Why I'm voting Labour tomorrow

Hi everyone, my name’s Jamie- I’m a first time voter and I’d like to tell you about why I’ll be using this to Vote for The Labour Party. a lot of people have had one main concern with Labour over the last couple of years, in terms of seeing them as a serious alternative in government, and that is their leader, Jeremy Corbyn. Many people might say he is unstable, lacks basic leadership and simply cannot see him as our prime minister. I actually think one of the main reasons for this, is not because people don’t support his principles- we’ve seen the support for this rise and rise, particularly since the manifesto was launched- but just think about this- have we ever had a genuine anti-establishment, socialist MP with 30 years experience under his or her belt as our prime minister? No we haven’t. So as a society, I believe we are so used to this almost subconscious vision of what a powerful and mightily leader looks like, often evolving around aggression and support from a very tight-nit allied political elite- that I think many of us have yet to stop and think…hang on this man is the man of the people. And surely that is who we want to tackle the huge problems and inequality our society faces right now--- a leader who listens and responds to them, a leader who has been listening and responding throughout his life.

This is a man with integrity, this is a man with compassion, a man with principle, a man who is driven by social justice and the vision that we should all be given a free choice to do the fundamental things in our lives, no matter our class or wealth, that makes us feel fulfilled, dignified and happy. Come on - this is one of the first political leaders in our history that offers all of this.

I urge you, first and foremost to go out and vote tomorrow- it is your democratic duty. I also urge you to stop and think and reflect before you put that pen to paper- brush all of the scaremongering and the peer pressure aside- simply think about what kind of society you want to live in and what free choices you want in life.

Our country’s been in a political bubble over the past half a century or so, as the old order has faded away and society has begun to realise the potential powers a full democracy actually gives them. We’ve started to forcefully disagree with politicians, go on demonstrations, talk to them in our towns and cities, and by and large telling them that collectively…they do not represent those of us who live everyday lives- fighting to get our kids motivated to learn, fighting for a pay rise, fighting for a mortgage, fighting an addiction, fighting to get by in life. So fundamentally…what have we been asking for all this time? We’ve been asking for politicians and leaders who genuinely care about these issues be it through life experience, or just simple human dignity…and that’s why they should go into politics. Sounds obvious doesn’t it? Then why have we continuously failed to get people like this into our parliament?

Bearing this in mind, for me, we finally have an option to empower a group of people who will do just this – The Labour party and their pioneering leader, Jeremy Corbyn. I’m gonnu talk to you about a few key examples of where the current Tory government has failed, and where I believe a Labour government will succeed:

·         Education is a fundamental part of building an equal society; over the past 7 years, we have seen it’s budget cut by 10%, we’ve seen hundreds of unqualified teachers in our most venerable communities and the legalisation of grammar schools – a system which only the well-off can realistically afford, university tuition fees rising by a third. How the torys can say labour have gone back to the 1970’s, I do not understand. A Labour government will reverse these cuts, ban the exploitation of unqualified teachers, keep the ban on elitist grammar schools, provide free school lunches for every primary school child,  and abolish university tuition fees for all- which DO have a negative effect on the poorest in our society, who are equally as entitled to achieve as the rest of us. This will be achieved by increasing corporation tax rate from the current 19% (one of the lowest in Europe note) to a moderate 26%, and by putting VAT on private school fees (which are currently classed as a charity would you believe).

·         Healthcare is a fundamental part of maintaining a healthy, productive and happy society; NHS funding has been cut and cut over the past 7 years- the torys come out and say they’re investing more than ever before…this simply isn’t true- they have been manovering money from one department to the other, NOT putting more in. The social care system alone has seen £4.6 million cut, despite a rise in demand. There are currently 1.2 million pensioners deemed as having unadeqeute care in this country and we’re the 5th largest economy in the world. Last year ,the boss of NHS England recommended an extra £12 billion be put into NHS services- the Tory’s manoeuvred £8 billion (a proportion of which was taken from mental health by the way). This has happened to the extent that, as I’m sure you will have heard our health and care services are at breaking point, and is being governed by a man named Jeremy Hunt, who in 2005 said in a book he co-authored, and I quote, “Our ambition should be to break down the barriers between private and public provision, in effect denationalising the provision of health care in Britain.” A Labour government would commit an extra £30 billion of funding over the next five years to the NHS, as well as ring-fencing funds for mental health, make it illegal for excess private profits to be made, increase social care funding by £9billion and ensure access to a free counselling service for all secondary school children. This will be achieved by increasing income tax on the richest 5% and increasing tax on private medical insurance.

·         Jobs and our economy are fundamental in providing society with the resources in needs to operate all of the things I’ve just talked about and therefore provide decent standards of living. Over the past 7 years under the tory’s, our wages have fallen by 10%, public sector workers like nurses and the police have had their pay frozen for 5 years, and our public debt has increased by £555 billion since 2010. Yet at the same time, large corporations have paid 9% less in tax and the richest 5% have seen their income tax decline by 5%. In short- you and me- the 95%- have seen our wages fall, our working rights squashed and our general standard of living go downhill with it. Do we really want to continue to grow into a low-tax haven for large multi-national corporations, with 1 million people relying on food banks? It might sound extreme, but that is what is happening! A Labour government would invest our infrastructure and services by creating a £250 billion national transformation fund over 10 years, raising corporation tax by 7% and asking the wealthiest 5% in our society to pay 5% more towards the economy. They would ban the use of exploitative zero hour contracts and insure we maintain tariff-free access to the European single market when negotiating Brexit - which so many different sectors rely on – and therefore our jobs rely on.

·         Finally, when negotiating Brexit, a labour government will protect the rights of EU nationals currently living in the UK to remain here (which I think is the only humane and dignified thing to do), ensure we maintain access to the single market, as I’ve mentioned and most importantly, pioneer, not a low-tax, ruthless economic vision that puts the needs of corporations first, but a fair, equal and tolerant global trading country, that’s puts the needs workers and their communities first.

So those are just a few of the policies that I am voting for. Think about what youn want to vote for.

I wholeheartedly believe that you should vote Labour tomorrow.

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