With solidarity and pride, we can defeat the Tories’ divisive and discriminatory agenda – Kate Osborne MP


“Their clear goal is to make the next General Election a distraction culture war to cover up their disastrous 13 years of chaotic rule that has led to this cost of living crisis and rampant inflation.”

By Kate Osborne MP

As a lifelong Trade Unionist,  I will always support and stand up for the rights of working people who are fighting for better pay, terms and conditions.

Throughout this year and beyond, I have joined several picket lines across the country standing in solidarity with teachers, rail workers, posties, junior doctors, nurses, public sector workers and many more.

All of these people are workers who want to live decent lives and improve the services that millions of people rely on every day.

This week the Government announced they would up the pay offer for public sector workers, ranging from 5 to 7 per cent saying they will accept the views of the independent pay review bodies. The fact that the government moved at all in terms of a pay offer is down to the excellent work of all the workers taking strike action and the power of the unions – but any claim these review bodies are independent is laughable – they do what the Government tell them – and whilst this offer is an increase on previous offers – it is no where near pay restoration and is still a real terms pay cut.

To make things worse this increase in pay will not be fully funded, meaning that services will still be cut – Sunak and Hunt confirmed any public sector pay rises will be paid for by cuts in services amounting to at least £2 billion. More services and jobs lost and the staff who remain are unable to cope with the workload.

To add further insult to injury part of the payrise that is funded will be paid for by increasing fees for migrant workers.

This disgusting racist policy is another strand of their incitement to hatred of others, targeting BAME communities, LGBTQ people and migrants. I saw many describing this pay policy as borderline racist – well there is no borderline, it is racist and it’s deliberately divisive.

Deliberately divisive and unworkable, just like their illegal immigration bill, just like their anti-strike bill both of which were in parliament again this week, just like their divisive and unworkable guidance on trans people in the workplace last week and just like their attempt to introduce discriminatory guidance on on transitioning to schools – guidance that has now been ruled unlawful.

Two attempts in as many weeks to breach the equality act, to end the protected characteristic of being trans – not through an attempt to change the law which they know would face huge push back – but by issuing guidance.

Ministers know the impact that their language, policies and guidance has on society – briefing we will give you a pay rise and charge migrants more is just another deliberate attempt to incite hatred as part of the Government’s war on woke.

Their clear goal is to make the next General Election a distraction culture war to cover up their disastrous 13 years of chaotic rule that has led to this cost of living crisis and rampant inflation.

Yet people will not be fooled, they have had enough of a Government that lies to them, that pushes them into poverty whilst their mates continue to get richer.

Our communities are resilient and we will demand better – we deserve better – and we will achieve better by standing up together in solidarity.

Everyone in the Jarrow constituency knows someone who has been pushed into debt, someone who has taken strike action, someone who has suffered at the hands of this Government and they have had enough.

This weekend I will be speaking at Newcastle Pride, the solidarity we show at Pride events and the solidarity shown at picket lines to workers shows our resilience as communities.

This resilience was also displayed proudly at last month’s Jarrow Rebel Festival which brought campaigners together to commemorate the 1832 story of the ‘Seven Men of Jarrow’ who were deported to an Australian penal colony for a crime they almost certainly did not commit and earlier this month at the Durham Miners Gala, which saw over 200,000 people take to the streets to celebrate trade unionism, international solidarity and working class culture.

This appalling Tory Government will never break our community spirit and solidarity.

They will never break us because we will stand together and celebrate the fights that came before us and because we will continue the fight in the days, weeks, months and years ahead. 

Featured image: Kate Osborne takes part in Northern Pride in newcastle on July 22nd, 2023. Photo credit: Kate Osborne MP

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