Tomorrow the country will vote for a new Government, and I couldn’t be clearer on who people should vote for.
Jeremy Corbyn offers a chance for our country to avoid another destructive period of flawed ideological austerity, which has not only caused huge amounts of damage to the city of Liverpool but, as we are seeing in the national headlines, is eroding our national sense of stability.
For seven years, I have campaigned against the cuts imposed on our council – a loss of 68% of our funding. I have written letters, led marches, travelled to parliament and harangued ministers by phone. At every opportunity I have pointed out to Government that the work we do in a local authority should be cherished, that people depend on our services; the old, the frail, the helpless, the vulnerable, the poor and others.
I am proud to have run a socialist council that has a focus on protecting the most vulnerable in our society. But this Government has made it year-on-year more and more difficult to deliver on our values.
But finally, the country is beginning to see the dangers that we have been predicting for all those years. Think back two months and Theresa May’s 20 point lead over Labour. The Conservatives looked untouchable and a landslide in Parliament was predicted. And then, they launch their manifesto and their promises for Social Care became unstuck.
2017 for local government has been the year of adult social care. Finally the government’s plans to remove all – yes all – of our revenue Grant has revealed the devastating impact that would have on the social care which most people expected to be able to depend on. The NHS has often been described as a “cradle to grave” service. The reality however is that for most people the final years of their lives will be spent being cared for by their local council. And we don’t have the money anymore to pay for it.
Theresa May’s government had to provide an answer to the problems their own ideological approach to austerity had created, and in their manifesto got it badly, very badly wrong.
Now in the last two weeks we have seen another austerity agenda unsettle the nation, after terrorist attacks in Manchester and London. After seven years of cuts to police forces across the country the former Home Secretary and now Prime Minister has uncovered her own Achilles heels. For me, nothing will represent this election better than a member of the police Federation unequivocally, on camera, calling the prime minister a liar for saying there are more armed officers in our country. It’s a simple requirement of our Government to make our country safe for the people who live here and they have shown they can’t be trusted to do that.
Labour’s manifesto is a strong platform for the growth we need and an end to austerity. That’s why tomorrow you should vote Labour.