“The public are crying out for a proper change of course, with a government at the helm brave enough to make the radical changes needed to make a real difference in their lives.”
By Ian Lavery MP
Recently while watching some TV, an advert came on that had a lasting impact on me and hit home once again just how difficult things have become for people over the past few years.
The advert from Age UK was quite simple, it showed an elderly lady sitting alone in her house and you can see her breath due to the cold inside. She is on the phone and explains that she worried as she is not sure what to do as she can’t afford to put the heating on.
The advert particularly struck me because I know just how common this is. We have people of all ages and backgrounds around our communities simply unable to put both food on the table and to heat their homes.
Many of these people are pensioners retired after a lifetime of work or are in full-time employment wondering how they will afford the basics such as school uniforms and decent shoes for their children to go to school in.
No matter how distracted the political class stuck in their Westminster bubble may be, this is what people are talking about in our communities. While Northumberland did not have any elections last week I was out and about supporting Labour candidates across the North East, knocking on doors and talking to people on the street about their views and concerns.
Time and time again I was confronted by people worried sick about how they are going to keep up with the bills, which seem to pile higher and higher each month. They look around and see next to no support coming from the government while reading the news about gas and oil giants posting record profits month after month.
It seems we lurch from crisis to crisis and each time, the ordinary hard working man and woman lose out. But what each crisis has in common, from the handling of the pandemic, the handling of our withdrawal from the EU, the cost of living crisis, the massive wave of strike action across the country and many others, is that the Conservative Party are in charge making each one worse than it has to be.
Whatever happens in the future, if we want to be a success and rebuild this country for the better it must be an absolute priority to boot this Conservative government out of power as soon as possible. The local election results last week show promising signs that we are well on the way to doing this. The Conservative’s lost over 1000 seats, even more than there most pessimistic predictions, and suffered unprecedented collapses in some of their true-blue strongholds across the South.
But while it was in many ways a positive night for the Labour Party, winning back councils in key areas in the North and South in places where the Tory vote collapsed, the results require some reflection. Election experts suggest that the vote share would not be enough to translate into an overall majority at the general election and against the backdrop of 4 years of the most incompetent government I’ve ever known this is somewhat concerning.
As is the rise in votes for other minor parties, who are beginning to look more and more like real potential political alternatives. We cannot give too much ground to these alternatives who are more in tune with the British public on issues such as public ownership and tuition fees or else we risk being squeezed by these parties on the left and a Conservative Party with a leader clawing back popularity slowly but surely by the day on the right.
The public are crying out for a proper change of course, with a government at the helm brave enough to make the radical changes needed to make a real difference in their lives. Heading into the next election there will be no room for the faint hearted and we must make sure we are ready to deliver a message of real hope to inspire the landslide the country is crying out for.