I DON’T think anyone can take any more of this Downing Street psychodrama.
It’s all a game for the Tories; a game wrought with infighting and bullying. The Tory Party at war with itself, clinging to ever more extreme policies benefiting bankers and not the rest of Britain.
They should be fighting for you, but are incapable of looking beyond their scheming to anoint their next king.
Within the last week, the disastrous budget was ripped up, the Prime Minister gave notice and Boris was back and then backed out.
Now we have a new Prime Minister, supported by half the Tory MPs, and rejected by his Party over the summer. The country has had no say, and this is why Labour are calling for a General Election. The PM needs a mandate, not a coronation.
Austerity 2.0 has been announced with inflation running at 10.1 per cent. Daily costs are running away, while we have to pay. There’s another budget on Monday. The costs are rising. The cuts are coming. The consequences are frightening.
Over the summer, the new Prime Minister proudly announced how he instigated moving money from areas of deprivation to the leafy Tory heartlands, as if they needed it; those with everything are still the winners.
It’s not right, and I’ve used every opportunity to speak out for you.
Take the last four months where I’ve served on the Levelling Up and Regeneration Bill Committee; concluded last Thursday. This Bill, 325 pages long, was meant to make planning better, housing more accessible and communities more sustainable, and of course ‘level up’. Twenty-seven sessions later, and seven ministers and three Secretaries of State on, such has been the chaos in Government, no progress has been made.
This is the cost of a dysfunctional Government.
Without a grasp of the brief, ministers have been caretaking the Bill, not shaping it, despite hundreds of amendments and 83 proposed new clauses.
Even my amendment on ‘airbnbs’, supported across the House, was rebuffed by the latest minister. Don’t worry, I will bring this back at the next stage: the Report Stage.
But the Cabinet ‘Levelling Up’ Minister is threatening to gut the Bill, after this detailed scrutiny stage, so the developers, including Tory donors, are the winners.
Contrast this with Labour, setting out a vision of building the affordable homes you long for, starting with a new generation of council houses.
Or take Great British Railways. OK, the timetable had slipped a bit, frustrating, yes, but something of a norm for this Government.
Then last week, without notice, the Secretary of State for Transport let it slip that she’d shelved this project for this Parliamentary session, despite the Queen’s Speech announcing a new Bill.
I immediately raised this in the House of Commons, since 42 towns and cities had bid for the GBR HQ, and six, including York, were on the shortlist.
Having worked extensively on bringing GBR to York over the last year, and after a public vote and Ministerial visit, the plans were casually dropped.
So, I raised it again. This time as an Urgent Question in the Commons, dragging the Rail Minister of the day to Parliament to give account and justify why he is dumping this central plan for the railways.
Now our beleaguered railways will be left to the whims of the market and private operators. I’ve written to the new Prime Minister to ask for the GBR project to get back on track, the HQ to come home to York, our proud rail city. Labour has made it clear, we will nationalise rail.
The same goes to fixing the NHS, investment in a future generation of jobs, addressing the climate challenge and tackling the sharp rise in poverty.
The Tories fiddle while Britain burns. While they continue to squabble, the economy remains in tatters and the world looks away.
So after 12 years, are you thriving and better off?
Or is it stressful, worrying, frightening?
I don’t mind who you have voted for in the past, but I promise you this: I and my party, the Labour Party, are 100 per cent committed to putting this country back together and serving you. We can’t agree on everything, but one thing we can, is that voting Labour will get things back on track and bring an end to this Downing Street drama.