This election campaign has felt like an emotional rollercoaster. I have gone from despair when the election was called and it seemed as though the Conservatives were guaranteed to win by a landslide, to anger at some of the things said by the Conservatives, fear at what another five years of this government could mean for our public services, and hope that real change could be possible. I feel privileged to have been actively involved in a campaign that has been like no other. There are many, many reasons to vote Labour tomorrow and it would take up too much valuable campaigning time to go into all of them in depth so here are just a few.
- The NHS This is perhaps the most important issue in the election campaign. Labour are pledging to increase funding for the NHS. They believe strongly in the principle of the NHS whereas the Conservatives believe in privatisation and Jeremy Hunt has said he would like to see it privatised. Theresa May is planning to force NHS trusts to sell off their land and properties cheaply to the rich. Just imagine what a privatised NHS would be like. Receiving a bill for tens of thousands of pounds for a stay in hospital. Having to sell your house because your child needs an operation.
- Schools As a teacher and a parent, education is extremely important to me. Our state schools are being starved of much needed funds by the Conservatives. Labour would give them the funding they need. Check out schoolcuts.org.uk for more details.
- School Dinners Hungry children cannot learn. Making sure every child has a nutritious meal is an important step towards reducing inequality of opportunity between rich and poor.
- Tuition Fees When I went to university I did not have to pay tuition fees and I had a full grant. I left university with a very small overdraft which I quickly paid off as soon as I started working. The prospect of starting out in life with a huge debt is putting off talented young people from entering higher education. This can’t be good for our economy and it is holding young people back and stopping them from reaching their potential. We need to invest in the education of our young people. It is an investment that will pay off in the long run because graduates earn more and therefore pay more tax. With a university education, these young people will make a positive contribution to our economy.
- Nationalisation Labour will bring back services such as energy and Royal Mail into public ownership where they belong. In the long run this will make money for the economy as profits will go to the state rather than private companies. At the moment, when privatised companies make a loss they ask taxpayers to bail them out but when they make a profit they give it to their shareholders. That can’t be right.
- Council Houses Labour have pledged to build more council & housing association homes. These are desperately needed as private rents have been allowed to soar under the Conservatives and are out of reach of many families. Theresa May only a few days ago made a U turn on her pledge to build more council housing.
- Living Wage The Conservatives claim to have brought in the Living Wage. This is a lie. They have slightly increased the minimum wage but it is not a living wage. The living wage is set by the Living Wage Foundation and it currently stands at £8.45 per hour outside of London. Labour would introduce a minimum wage of £10 per hour. This money will be spent in our economy and it will mean that taxpayers no longer have to subsidise employers who don’t pay enough; the tax credit bill will go down.
- Our Leader Jeremy Corbyn is exactly what this country needs at the moment. His honesty, integrity and compassion have really won over people who in the past saw politicians as all being the same. His manifesto is bold. The big surge in support for Labour during this campaign coincided with the release of the manifesto. This manifesto would not have happened without Corbyn. Before Corbyn, Labour were voting with the conservatives in favour of austerity. He is the strong and stable leader that Britain needs.
A different kind of politics is possible. A fairer society is possible. Vote Labour on June 8th. For the many, not the few.