Yesterday I voted for an early election and I am already enjoying the campaign, even if it is going to be a pretty gruelling seven weeks.
have been re-selected as the Labour candidate for Hammersmith and
cleared my diary so I can spend every day out talking and listening to
people in Shepherds Bush, Hammersmith and Fulham.
You don’t have to wait until I knock on your door, though. Let me know the issues that matter to you here.
I am shocked by the cynicism and dishonesty that Theresa May exhibited
in manufacturing an election on false grounds and in contradiction to
her often repeated promise.
weeks ago she was telling journalists and her own MPs to their faces
that there would be no poll under 2020, while planning the current
campaign with her closest advisers.
excuse – the threat to Brexit – is palpably untrue. She triggered
Article 50 by a majority of 5 to 1. She, a Remain voter, has embraced
not just Brexit but the hardest and most damaging type of Brexit, partly
because she is in thrall to her own extremists and the anti-European
press, and partly because she thinks she can use it to divide her
Nothing of this makes her a suitable candidate to be Prime Minister.
I am happy to fight this as a Brexit election, if she wants. As I’ve written before I
think Brexit and in particular May’s hard Brexit – out of the single
market, out of the customs union, cosying up to dictatorships in a
desperate effort to replace lost European trade – is a disaster for our
country on social, economic, cultural and security terms.
if we let Brexit be the only issue, we let this Government off the
hook. Brexit is Britain’s downhill path, and the harder it is, the
steeper the decline. But it is also a distraction from the more urgent
and more dramatic collapse of our public services and quality of life.
Let me highlight just three immediate crises that affect people in H&F every day.
Charing Cross – disaster delayed but not avoided
Cross Hospital was zoned for demolition and downgrading from a major
emergency hospital to a glorified clinic and treatment centre in 2012.
That scheme should now be underway, with the bulldozers on site.
pressure on services has only grown in the last five years, leading to
longer waiting times, and a redoubtable campaign by the Save our
Hospitals group and H&F council has forced the demolition plans to
be put off until 2021.
good news, except the threat still hangs over the Hospital, and as a
result it is in slow decline from failure to attract staff and a lack of
I want Charing Cross to have its future as a major, world class hospital guaranteed.
Schools out – of money
single school in H&F is seeing its budget cut for the first
time in two decades. Starting in 2013 the cuts have accelerated and by
2020, if this government is re-elected, will amount to 15% or even 25%
for some schools.
These are huge and unsustainable cuts, meaning basic supplies, like books and stationery, and teaching jobs will go.
just seven years of Tory government we are again seeing scenes from the
1990s when, after four terms in office, school roofs leaked and
patients were backed up on trolleys in hospital corridors, or died on
has risen 130% since 2010. That was not inevitable. In the previous
ten years under Labour it fell by three quarters. But this is only the
worst symptom of the housing crisis, which sees developers building
luxury blocks for sale overseas, while local people cannot afford to
rent or buy anything in the borough.
Conservative government will not build affordable homes, will not help
people onto the housing ladder and will not tackle the high rents and
low standards in the private rented sector.
These are the issues on which I will be campaigning in this election. See you on the road.
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