Jonathan Reynolds

Campaigning for the communities of Stalybridge, Hyde, Mossley, Longdendale, and Dukinfield
labour and coop candidate jonathan reynolds

Blog: Britain can do better than this

Party conference season is once again coming to an end, and I think everyone in the Labour Party will agree with me when I say that it has been a good one for us.  

Ed Miliband’s speech on Tuesday has already shifted the political debate on to our territory and began to lay the foundations for the next Labour manifesto.  

As well as bringing forward the first few policies that will form the basis of our offer to the country in 2015, he has also sharpened our attack on David Cameron and the Conservatives, and made clear to the public that the next election will be a very clear choice between two competing visions for our country.  

Now I know that political slogans and sound bites can sometimes make politics seem a little superficial, but Ed’s latest addition to the political lexicon is brutal in its sincerity: Britain cando better than this.  

This is not about denigrating the country we all cherish; it is about acknowledging we have not had the leadership we deserve, and offering the hope of a brighter future.

In 1997 we didn’t win by relying solely on the public’s rejection of the legacy of Thatcherism, we won with optimism, and it is in that spirit that Ed addressed conference on Tuesday.  

Freezing energy prices; building a million new homes; raising the minimum wage; increasing access to childcare for working families; and, of course, repealing the horrific bedroom tax.

These are not just policies that will please the party faithful - they are thoughtful solutions to the nation’s problems, and they are rooted in mainstream concerns.  

They are a statement of intent as opposed to a full manifesto.

They give a flavour of what the priorities of a Labour Government would be and, most importantly, they tell the public whose side we are on.

They say that we are standing up for ordinary people - who are suffering the effects of an economic crisis they had no part in creating - against a right wing Government that is too busy worrying about those at the top.  

As soon as Ed had left the stage in Brighton the Conservative Party wasted no time in trying to tell the public that Ed’s plan to reduce their energy bills would be a disaster for the economy.  

Whilst I’m sure the energy companies will be very pleased to know they have a Government willing to defend their profits, I think that most people will be wondering why David Cameron is more concerned with helping the Big Six than he is about helping the millions of people struggling to pay their gas and electricity bills.  

The answer is simple: it’s the job of the Conservative Party to stand up for those at the top and its Labours job to stand up for everyone else.

In Brighton, we started to set out how we would do that, and now it is up to all of us to make sure we get back to Government so we can start to deliver for the people we serve.  

The next election is going to be one of the most important of our time and the Tories have already made it clear that they are willing to fight dirty to hang on to power.

Returning to Government after just one term is a big task, but I am confident that Ed Miliband and the Labour team are up to it, and after this week we have been given the first bit of ammo we need to get it done.


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