We go to the polls on June 8 and that Tory lead has already been cut by fifteen percentage points in a couple of weeks. The Tories know by now that they have blundered. May will suffer the consequences after the Election. The knives are already being sharpened. When Tories rid themselves of a leader who has reached their sell-by date, they are ruthless. Meanwhile, they will be gnashing their teeth at having gifted Jeremy Corbyn the space and time to tell the country about his vision - Labour's vision - of socialism for the 21st century. And the people are not fools. Despite the media's best efforts, the message that there is a better way of running the country - in the interests of the many, not the few - is getting through. A political meme has formed that can take Jeremy Corbyn and the Labour party into government.
|The leader on the roll ... Jeremy Corbyn - May 2017|
I was struck by the pro-Corbyn tone of so many of the letters published in last Saturday's 'Guardian' and intended to focus on one letter in particular in a post soon after. The Manchester atrocity has delayed that action until now but sharing this particular letter with you still seems an important thing to do. I have already cancelled my subscription to the Guardian with effect from September because I cannot stand the anti-Corbyn bias in this supposedly left-of-centre newspaper. The Morning Star now graces our table each day. But there will be aspects of the paper I will miss, not least the Letters pages.
And so to the letter. It's from Sheila Spencer in Newcastle and contains fifteen bullet points. It appears under the headline: Why poorer people should vote Labour. She begins by agreeing with a
Guardian columnist who said that many people living with poverty say they won't vote. (Although that may be changing even as you read this post.) But Sheila Spencer continues with a strong refutation of the idea that Labour has said little to appeal to people on benefits. She then provides these fifteen bullet points as 'just a few examples' of what Labour's manifesto offers them. Here they are:
- Scrapping the bedroom tax immediately (the draft law was ready before the 2015 General election.)
- Scrapping the sanctions regime.
- Reinstating housing benefit for unemployed 18- to 21- year-olds.
- Scrapping cuts to bereavement benefits.
- Increasing employment and support allowance (ESA) by £30 per week.
|Labour Party activists in Penzance in 2016 - I'm holding one of the banner poles.|
- Ending the six-week delay in paying out to new universal credit (UC) claimants.
- Ending the "rape clause" for mothers claiming UC for more than two children.
- Replacing the work capability and personal independence payment assessments with a humane and personalised service.
- Ending the constant reassessments for people with severe long-term conditions.
- Keeping the pensionable age at 66.
- Building a large volume of council and housing association homes - at least 100,00- a year, at truly affordable rents.
- New private tenancies will be for three years, with limits on rent rises.
- Keeping tax and national insurance payments as they are unless you are pretty well off.
- Increasing the minimum wage to £10 an hour, for everyone aged 18 and over.
- Giving more money to local authorities, protecting libraries, post-offices, pubs and local shops.