So, we go to the polls and it really matters how we vote in December. 5 more years of Boris Johnson as Prime Minister will see fundamental negative and regressive change that will spell the end of some of our most important public services as public services.
First things first… I would have preferred to sort Brexit out as a standalone issue, but the Prime Minister has never had any intention of seriously offering a deal to Parliament that could then come back out to us, the people, for a public vote. I am in full support of Labour’s policy of a public vote on any Brexit deal agreed with the EU, including one that we negotiate in government. This is the only fair and reasonable way to end the 3 and a half years of painful bluster and impasse under the Conservatives.
Let me be really clear: a win for the Tories in December will ensure this latest Brexit deal goes through Parliament unamended, relegating workers’ rights, environmental protections and consumer standards to non-binding aspirations, and leaving the door wide open to a very damaging no deal Brexit at the end of next year. Any future trade deal with other countries with lower standards will see us lower ours, and these discussions are already underway with the USA, home of minimal rights and some very dubious standards. The NHS has already been discussed between this government and the US.
Most importantly, this is a real opportunity, a really positive opportunity to make a choice about the future of this country. A vote for Labour is a choice for us to have public services that are paid for out of public money that goes directly into the provision and improvement of those services, and remains in local economies. Labour will stop and reverse the creeping privatisation of the NHS (at one third already!), bring our vital natural monopolies (water and electricity), and our rail franchises back into public ownership. We will double size of the co-operative economy and turbo-charge the fight against climate change.
Schools will no longer be pushed into vast academy chains where public money is siphoned away, and real reform of our social security arrangements (and the much-needed abolition of Universal Credit) can happen to make sure that people can get back into work with affordable childcare and no fear of zero hours contracts.
Make sure you, your family and friends are registered to vote, and get yourself a postal vote while you’re at it. It’s all easy to do via this link: https://www.gov.uk/register-to-vote