Why I’m campaigning for Labour this election

by James Marsh |

James Marsh is the Secretary of the Falmouth & Exeter Students’ Union Labour society.

James Marsh (right) holds a banner at the “March for the Many” in Truro, 30th Nov 2019 | photo by Truro & Falmouth Labour

Why am I spending hours every week campaigning for the Labour Party despite impending deadlines? The answer is simple. We need real change in this country and the best way to do that is a Labour Government. We’re fortunate to live in a marginal seat where our votes matter. If Labour doesn’t win the two seats the Universities cover then there’s a good chance that there won’t be a Labour Government for at least five more years.

That means five more years of crippling austerity. It means families like mine will continue to suffer and bear the brunt of ideologically driven cuts. Whether it’s cuts to benefits, cuts to the NHS or to public transport, it’s the most vulnerable in society who will continue to suffer.

In 2008, David Cameron claimed “We’re all in this together”. Since then the wealthiest 1000 have doubled their wealth. For most their real income is still below 2008 levels. When the Tories say they’re the party of the working class, they’re lying. They’re still the party of the wealthy and the privileged. They certainly don’t care about students.

Under Labour, we could see a Government that treats everyone with the respect they deserve

Under Labour, we could see a Government that treats everyone with the respect they deserve. Teachers and nurses will get the pay rises denied to them year after year. Those working for the minimum wage will see an increase. Public services will be properly funded for the first time in almost a decade. We will see the end of benefits cuts and inhumane Work Capability Assessments. Life-long education will be open to all, irrespective of background.

Whilst the final manifesto hasn’t been released, we’re already seeing the announcement of policies which reshape Britain into a fairer society. From the Green New Deal which commits a Labour Government to net-zero emissions by 2030 whilst investing in new long-term green jobs, investing in green social housing and investing in public transport services. Labour will not be bound by the vested interests of fossil fuel companies and big business.

The announcement that Labour will nationalise Openreach and make superfast fibre broadband free for all offers radical potential. The internet is a core service that will drive Britain’s growth whilst saving consumers money. The current market offers little genuine choice for consumers whilst operators have little incentive to upgrade services. Companies take huge Government subsidies despite paying out equally large dividends to shareholders. This nationalised roll out will, according to the Government’s own report, work out £12 billion cheaper than the Tories’ plan.

Ultimately, either Labour or the Conservative will get to shape Britain in their moulds. One is a vision of a Green Britain where the vulnerable get the help they need, where public services and infrastructure are properly funded and where growth is driven by high tech and environmentally conscious jobs. The other is a Britain of hard Brexit and the ‘hostile environment’ of services cuts and low pay, zero-hours contract jobs.

That’s why I’ll be out knocking on doors this month.