The Norwich Radical editorial team has asked candidates for the constituencies of Norwich South, Norwich North, and Broadland, Norfolk to contribute a short piece regarding the upcoming General Election on 12th December 2019. We have contacted all candidates belonging to parties that reflect or adhere to our values as seen in our Founding Statement, highlighting what role they see their candidacy playing in the coming years in a changing political landscape, their vision of what Norwich’s role should be, and how they will approach that in practice. These are the responses from the candidates who replied.
People are fed up with career politicians who’ve never had to struggle to get by. I know exactly what that’s like and will never forget where I’ve come from. I believe the place and the people who put you in Parliament should always come first. I grew up in Norfolk and have lived in Norwich for 20 years. Most of my jobs have been insecure and low paid and I did my teaching degree at UEA juggling childcare and studies.
I’ve already got a record of action on the issues that matter in Norwich and Broadland. I’ve stood with local NHS campaigners, protesting against feared bed closures at the N&N hospital. With so many others I spent months trying to save our Children’s Centres. In the end, Tory councillors axed almost all of them after raising their own allowances three times but every Labour county councillor refused the increase and instead donated it to charity. But of course there is a much bigger picture too. The election on December 12th is a once-in-a-generation chance to make the real change of direction our country needs. Our country has been held back for too long by the establishment that the Tories represent.
The problem with an unfair economy isn’t just the imbalance of wealth; it’s the imbalance of power. Labour will give working people more power to win better wages and have security at work. We’ll run our economy in the interests of the millions, not the multi-millionaires. And we’ll turn the climate crisis into an opportunity with a Green Industrial Revolution creating 400,000 well-paid high-skilled jobs in renewable energy and green technology.
Labour will give you the final say on Brexit in another public vote. And I will campaign to remain. If the Tories win the election, they’ll use their Trump-deal Brexit to tear up vital employment and environment protections and parcel out our NHS to American private health corporations. Or Boris Johnson’s Brextremists will get their way and crash us out of the EU with No Deal.
We know now what a Tory Brexit and the possibility of No Deal with Boris Johnson means: vital rights and protections torn up and our country isolated at the precise moment we most need cross border action to defeat climate breakdown and the environmental crisis. The only way to prevent that is to get rid of the Tories. And the only realistic chance we have now of completely stopping Brexit is to elect a Labour government which will put remain on the ballot paper in another public vote. In the widest sense, the climate and environmental crisis is the most profound threat to the young people’s futures so I am delighted that Labour’s manifesto tops Friends of the Earth’s climate and nature league table. And we’ve got young people’s backs in so many other ways too.
Surging housing prices, stagnating wages, rising student debt, escalating knife crime and a mental health crisis are just some of the challenges facing young people after a decade of austerity and disregard so Labour’s offer for young people includes: An end to tuition fees and bringing back maintenance grants; Free bus travel for under 25s; Banning unpaid internships; reforming Help to Buy to focus it on first-time buyers on ordinary incomes.
Young people starting out in life are too often the victims of dodgy landlords who have been given free rein for too long and who charge eye-watering rents for substandard accommodation. We will put power in the hands of tenants with our new charter of renters’ rights, a cap on private rents and funding for renters unions to support tenants to organise and defend their right to safe and secure housing.
From ending tuition fees to tackling the climate crisis, the next Labour government will take radical steps, to ensure that every young person has the support they need to fulfil their potential and feel secure in their future.
Featured image by Sara Harrington
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