WE ARE LIVING in a political age where anything can happen. Everyone, including the pollsters predicted, predicted that Britain would vote “remain”, thought that Ed Miliband was heading for Downing Street in 2015, and most people believed a Donald Trump Presidency could never happen. Even as I type this, I learn that France’s two largest political parties have just been voted out of the second round of the presidential election. The truth is, that no-one can predict the outcome of any election these days.
Since the general election was called by Theresa May, thousands of people have joined the Labour Party. Many have been inspired by the notion of a genuine battle of ideologies, unseen for over thirty years. It is clear that Labour, which pledges to end austerity and restore social justice, represents the kind of ideology many across the UK think this country needs. It is no coincidence that those that so confidently forecast a Tory landslide are the very people that have a vested interest in such an outcome; the right-wing press, Tory donors, pollsters, and the super-rich who are due to receive around £70 Billion in tax breaks over the coming years.
How oblivious the ruling elite are to the anger of millions of hard working people. The countless people unable to get a mortgage, unable to put money aside, unable to cope with rampant increases in gas and electricity, unable to endure the cost of Britain’s rip-off railways. Consider the chronically disabled who have to fight to keep the financial aid they need to survive, or the million people who have been forced into food bank dependency as a result of further welfare “reforms”. Make no mistake, there are millions of people living in this country who are highly motivated to vote for our Party, but in Tory Britain, these are the forgotten masses.
Our policies are popular (Louise Ridley, 2017). Our pledge to renationalise the railways line by line as franchises come up for renewal is absolutely achievable (Robert Jupe & Warwick Funnell, 2017)! Our policy of providing free school meals to primary school children is compassionate. The family-friendly pledge to introduce four new bank holidays; one for each of the countries of the UK, will strengthen our national ties and support work-life balance.
And of course, there’s Brexit. The Tories are desperate to make this election all about our departure from the European Union because they want to distract attention away from the other major issues referred to above that they have helped to create; and for which they have no answers.
The Tories, along with the right wing media like to accuse Labour of having no Brexit strategy but this is of course untrue. Labour is in a unique position in that we have supporters in both camps, meaning that our strategy has had to take into account the views of both “leavers” and “remainers”. We therefore accept that this country will leave the EU, but we pledge that Labour will vote against the final deal if it fails to satisfy all six of our “tests”. This is a clear and reasonable position to take.
As Jeremy Corbyn said when he launched our national campaign, “We’re bigger than we’ve ever been, we’re stronger than we’ve ever been and we’re more determined than we’ve ever been.” We have everything we need to get our message out; values, policies, activists, technology, and talent. We have a deep love of our country, of fairness, justice and equality and this is a winning formula.
There are obstacles that lie in the way of progress, but with teamwork and solidarity we can win for Britain and bring seven years of Tory hurt to an end.