Vote Labour: improve the lives of the majority

In the general election on the 12th December, 5 candidates are vying to become the MP for the City of Durham constituency. The Labour incumbent, Roberta Blackman-Woods, is not standing for re-election, so Mary K Foy is standing for the Labour Party.

argues why you should vote Labour this Election Day.

On Friday the 15th November 2019, a 65-year-old man was found slumped in his chair at Llanelli Job Centre in South Wales. He was waiting for his Jobseeker’s Allowance appointment as, earlier this year, he was declared fit for work despite being “obviously ill” (as one witness told The Mirror) due to diabetes. He died at the scene

This man, unfortunately, is not a unique case. An academic report published by UCL found that 120,000 unnecessary deaths occur every year due to austerity policies. We are faced with the horrific reality that this election is one on which hundreds of thousands of lives depend.

Labour is the only real way to do better for the people of this country

Food bank usage is at a terrifying high. The Trussell Trust (the charity who run foodbanks) found that Universal Credit has had adverse effects – 1,182,954 emergency food supplies were handed out between April 2016 and March 2017. In 2017/8, 11.1 million people were below the poverty line (before housing costs deducted) which was up 700,000 from the year before. A total of 4.1 million children were in poverty. We have to do better for the people of this country and Labour is the only real way.

Labour’s policies would ask the top 5% of earners (over £80,000) to pay 2% more tax to fund public services. They would also reverse cuts to corporation tax. This is not unreasonable when British corporation tax is among the lowest in the developed world. Labour also wish to crack down on tax avoidance, making sure huge companies pay their dues.

There is a very real and dangerous possibility of a Conservative government further privatising the NHS; in fact, documents of the US-UK trade deal negotiations were found to state “full market access” for US products to the NHS. This would be catastrophic to an already very struggling NHS. Labour would never let this happen.

Improving the lives of the majority: surely that is something worth voting for

Labour plans to scrap tuition fees and reinstate the maintenance grant, as part of their National Education Service. Labour aim for the de-privatisation of railways, buses, broadband and energy. This will bring us in line with many other countries in the rest of the world. This process will reverse Thatcherite policy and bring free bus travel to under 25s, affordable train tickets and free fibre broadband for all, to name a few.

The Green Industrial Revolution features first in the manifesto, in accordance with Labour’s insistence that the climate crisis must come before everything else but that only total social reform will ever get us there. They aim to eliminate the majority of emissions by 2030 and to have net zero

Indeed, the manifesto points out how “profit has proved a poor regulator for use of our natural resources”, refusing to ignore the effect of the free- market, with its ideologies of unlimited growth and profit, on a planet of finite resources. They
also wish to prioritise the climate in Brexit negotiations and give us a second referendum where we can have a say on the leave deal or choose to remain.

Labour’s underlying ideology is to ‘tax the rich to feed the poor’, and to improve the lives of the majority. Surely that is something worth voting for.

Image from Garry Knight via Wikimedia Commons

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