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You Should Vote Labour: Here is Why

November 28, 2019

I will be voting for the Labour Party and I hope that you will be too, although for some it will not be an option as the seats you live in are adamantly not going to go that way!  I’m guessing it will be Lib Dem or Green, possibly an Independent, who will be your only viable choice.  Until we have proportional representation, you are right.vote

However, if you are in a marginal seat, or if you do have a viable Labour Party candidate, please vote Labour and encourage as many people as you can to do so.  I’ve read the costed manifesto and it makes sense and added up.  However, I have noticed some obfuscation, misunderstanding and ignorance being bandied about in the mainstream media (“MSM” – in print and online), so here goes my attempt at clearing matters up.  Please bear in mind that approximately 75% of stories about Jeremy Corbyn and the Labour Party are essentially untrue.

This is a long blog, so I’ve put links to all party websites at the end of this blog post, so if it is TL/DR, skip to that, or go to the headers you are interested in most.

The NHS
Labour pledges to not only retain the NHS but to invest in it; at the moment PFIs (private finance initiatives) leaves NHS Foundation Trusts in debt to private investment companies and has led to bankruptcies and consequent loss of services.  Further, much of the work that used to be undertaken within the NHS such as cleaning and maintenance is now outsourced to private companies.  Bringing this back under NHS purview makes it no longer profit-based and dependent on paying agency fees, and those workers will become NHS employees instead of privately-employed agency workers.

Even the MSM has called the Conservatives on their creative maths in their calculations of what will be achieved if they are elected; 50,000 promised nurses turned out to be 31,000 hoped for over 10 years (the election is to govern for a maximum of five years), plus a pinky-swear to retain as many as 19,000 nurses already working in the NHS, many of whom are immigrants and who are leaving because of the toxic racism and ethnicism which has arisen since Brexit.  The 40 new hospitals turned out to be funding for 6 by 2025 and a hope for pinky-swear for the rest.  It’s the Brexit bus all over again.

Moreover, over the last two years six rounds of talks have been held by the Conservatives with the USA about sales of parts of the NHS.  The NHS is not safe with the Conservatives.  The United States has the worst healthcare system in the developed world.  That terrifies me and it should terrify you.

Anti-Semitism/Anti-Racism
There is racism and antisemitism in every system that exists in the UK and to deny that is to deny the lived experience of a large amount of people and the quantifiable evidence collected and collated over many, many years.  Those of us with the privilege of living beyond the boundaries of judgement by our skin colour or perceived religion/ethnicity can never know what it is like to be judged overtly and covertly.  If we have discriminated against identities ourselves (I am a disabled woman) we may be able to empathise but we cannot know.

There have been incidences of horrific antisemitism in the Labour Party, and in the Conservative Party too lest we forget the disgraceful pieces in the Daily Mail supported by the Conservatives against Ed Milliband’s father.

It is not acceptable no matter where it comes from, but don’t let your perceptions led by MSM make your decision.  Speak to and search out the voices of those who experience the discrimination in all parties, and let them lead the way.

Sadly and shamefully it is unlikely that any of the parties are free from discrimination.  What is essential is what they are doing about it, and the Chakrabarti Report into the problem by Labour was a great start, and that is what it was, a start.

I don’t ask that anti-semitism and racism are ignored, absolutely not.  I ask that all voters weigh up each party in what it is doing to combat them, put them against the policies in place to fight discrimination in all areas of society, and vote for the one which is fighting hardest and proving most effective, as a whole.  I believe that is the Labour Party.  Based on their record it is certainly not the Conservative Party.

Equality Policies
There are many groups of people who are discriminated against due to their perceived and acknowledged identity; for me it’s being a woman (albeit with cisgender privilege) and disabled, and I have written about the Conservative’s recent shameful record in disability issues here.   Pick the party that identifies the problems and seeks to find effective, long-term solutions, and who work with and are led by those who actually experience the discrimination.

It is absolutely right that party members fight within for reform and equality as well as without.  A general election is about what policy promises are made and the party’s history in keeping those promises within the social, economic, political and environmental spheres outside the party itself.

The record for 2010-2015 (Conservative/Lib Dem coalition, and Conservative/DUP teaming) policies can be found here.  Compare to the manifesto promises, compare to Labour’s record, and then decide.

Income Taxation

How Tax Works

@mona_chalabi, twitter, source HMRC/Labour Party

Income tax is the hot topic for the majority of us.  However, many seem to misunderstand how tax works.

Under £12,500 there is no tax to be paid on your collective income (money earned through paid work).

Between £12,500 and £50,000 you are taxed at a rate of 20% – that means on the amount that is left when you subtract £12,500 from £50,000.  The first £12,500 remains untaxed.

From £50,000 to £100,000 you would be taxed at a rate of 40%.  Again, that is on the amount once £50,000 is subtracted from £100,000.  The rate for £12,500 and below remains 0% and the rate for up to £50,000 remains 20%.

Labour is proposing to up the tax on £80,000 and above.  That means upping the tax paid on any amount earned above £80,000, everything else remains the same, including on that amount between £50,000 and £80,000 under the new proposal.

At the moment those earning £150,000 or above have a further tax rate of 45%.  Bear in mind that is only applied on anything from £150,000 upwards, and below that the tax rate stays the same.  Labour wants to lower the threshold to £80,000 for the 45% tax rate, and would add a 50% tax rate for £125,000 and above.

That does not mean that rate would apply to all income earned, only on the amount that a person earns that is above the limit.  That effects, according to the Institute of Fiscal Studies, only the top 3% of income tax earners.  That means they may have to budget on luxury goods, maybe one less holiday a year, or a bottle of wine less per month.  But by raising more taxation that means more funding for education, the NHS, housing, everything people need to live, and that benefits everyone.  How anyone can vote against that is beyond me!

Minimum Wage
The Labour Party wants to raise the minimum wage to a living wage of £10 per hour per person, for everyone, and hopefully stop people having to work two jobs per person, or having to receive benefit whilst in full-time work.  This also recognises that all workers do the same job regardless of the age of the worker and will stop the discrimination against the younger worker.  This will give people more money in their pocket to spend and will boost the economy, a model now recommended by 163 internationally respected economists and academics.

minimum wage 2019Social media posts have myriad complaints from people who state this will mean their employer will lay staff off, and will force those already employed to work longer hours to cover this.  That is a problem with working for an exploitative employer – if they are not earning enough profit to pay such wages then they have a very poor business model and will probably fail at any rate.  If they are earning sufficient profit and refuse to do so they then are exploiting their workforce.  Both are reasons why Trade Unions were created.  Neither are reasons to vote against the Labour Party but are very good reasons to vote for the Labour Party.  Protect your worker’s rights and don’t allow yourself Party but are very to be exploited.  It’s not just you who suffers, but your entire social circle and environment.  Vote for the best collectively and you will benefit.

If you still vote against your rights, then you are voting to be exploited and paid insufficiently to meet living needs.  Remember, you will still have the right to complain but you will be partially responsible for the problem.

Benefit System
This used to be known as Social Security and that is what it should be; a safety net there for all of us should we find ourselves in need at any point in our lives.  Far too much has been reported in the MSM, claiming abuse of the system and implying it is a waste of taxpayer’s money (forgetting that even people on benefit pay tax).  The last 9 years have seen horrific cuts particularly affecting the most vulnerable; families in poverty, disabled people and the elderly.

There is so much misinformation it’s very hard to know what is actually true.  Here are four simple graphs which should help summarise the position:

DWP statistical summary of benefits

DWP statistical summary of benefits 2019

How benefits have changed 1978-2017

How benefits have changed 1978-2017

You will note the huge increase in tax credit payments – that is benefit paid to people who are in work.  That is the government propping up profitable businesses because they do not pay their staff sufficient wages.

where your tax goes

where your tax goes

comparison - tax fraud and benefit fraud

comparison – tax fraud and benefit fraud

Education
The Labour Party policy is very much based on equality.  Education should be free for all from cradle to grave, allowing for greater social movement and learning opportunities.  They will also reduce primary-school class sizes and reintroduce free school meals to all primary-school children.  At present, teachers are reporting that children are coming to school starving, and that during school holidays many do not receive the midday meal as their families simply cannot afford it.  This is shown in the massive increase of people applying to food banks.  Some of those applying are in work, but are not paid sufficient wages to meet their family costs.

Those children who are undernourished have reduced concentration and their education suffers, having a massive effect on their ability to achieve and therefore affecting their future, denying their potential.  As a society, we all lose the potential that each individual could gift to us.

Labour will also the charitable status of private schools who receive massive funds from private tuition, and from subsidies via government grants that state schools do not have access to.

There is also an intention to introduce 320,000 new apprenticeships in the first elected term (i.e. by 2024) to meet the worries of the business world that we have insufficiently skilled new workers entering the workforce upon leaving school.  80,000 of these apprenticeships will be in climate and environmental areas.  By 2030 it is hoped this will be 860,000 new apprenticeships.

Legal Aid
It is every citizen’s right to have equal access to justice in this country.  Unfortunately the swingeing cuts to the Legal Aid system over the last twenty years mean it is a lottery whether a person can access legal aid, and if you having civil legal problems as opposed to criminal legal problems, such as housing or family, then it is nigh on impossible to access the legal system.

Many people are seeking to represent themselves in court cases now, meaning Judges are left to explain the legal system in court which causes delays in listing cases in court diaries, which in turn are already massively overburdened due to court closures.  For example, 50% of magistrates (criminal) courts have been closed since 2010, according to government figures.  The criteria given to justify this is that people could access a court within one hour’s driving (not at rush hour).  Those on legal aid are more likely to use public transport, and figures at the time stated this could take up to five hours.

We need legal aid and we need open courts, otherwise there is no equal access to justice.  The Labour Party has addressed this in its full costed manifesto, pledging to fix and re-open courts and restoring legal aid for such things as benefits appeals, housing problems and family court issues.

Immigration
Unlike the scaremongering tactics of the MSM, at no point did the Labour Party state it was going to remove all immigration controls.

The recent and ongoing Windrush scandal has shown how the Conservative Party’s policy of 2014, brought in with the support of the Liberal Democrat Party, is based in racist attitudes, with people who have lived here for at least 50 years and often more, who came here as children, being told they have not right to reside and having their rights to work, to access health services and education removed.  Labour will scrap the 2014 policy.

There will be increased rights for family reunions (those who already live here bringing their families to join them) and less restriction on workers coming to work in the UK, for example Nurses will be welcome and not barred by the minimum wage requirement to be implemented by the Conservative Party.  However, immigration policy is very much tied into the Brexit negotiations and no firm promises can be made, merely promises of what they would wish to achieve.

Group hug!

Ultimately, Labour’s immigration policy is based on equality and human rights, seeking to meet skills and labour shortages in public services and employment.

Brexit
There are Leavers and Remainers in the Labour Party so, unlike all the other parties, Labour has determined a policy that will address the concerns of everyone and provides a pathway to a final resolution.  Seems eminently sensible and completely within the accords of an equality-supporting political party.

I am a remainer but recognise that there are valid reasons for why one might wish to leave the EU.  I also understand that the electorate was lied to by the Leave campaign (by the person standing for Prime Minister for the Conservatives) and a fresh referendum once a deal has been agreed should be made.

We need a vote based on the truth of what we would be voting for if we should leave the EU and this is what the Labour Party is proposing.  Simply put:

  1. Negotiate a Withdrawal Agreement agreed by parliament and the EU.
  2. Put the deal to the public in a Final Say referendum.

If the public then vote to Brexit the deal will be entered into, and there will then start a long, arduous time of negotiating individual trade deals with single countries or smaller blocks.  It will not be done overnight.  But if all this is known and the majority of people still want to leave, I’ll swallow my bile and simmering rage/despair and deal with it.  Leaving on a series of lies is wrong.  Leaving on the basis of an informed, consenting decision is right.

I might not like it if we do end up leaving, but I don’t like the Conservatives either and yet still they ‘won’ the last election!

brexit dice

If you are forced into voting for another party other than Labour, I would ask you to ensure you hold your newly-elected MP to account on everything.  Each decision made must be made for the best of everyone, not just small business, not just corporations, not just the “hardworking taxpayer” which should mean everyone as we ALL pay tax, even those on some form of benefit, through VAT, road tax, council tax and so on.

No policy is an entity on its own, and each has an effect on the other.  For example, immigration policy greatly affects the efficacy of the NHS, which is 40,000 nurses short and haemorrhaging more every day as a vast number are immigrants.

It is very unlikely that anyone will agree entirely with any one party on all its policies.  For me, the Labour Party by far has the majority of policies and ethics that I can stand behind, and that is why they get my vote.

Finally, please remember when voting you are voting on behalf of the entire country; each and every adult and child who resides in the UK.  Make your vote count for everyone.

 

The main party websites can be found (in alphabetical order) here:

Alliance Party of Northern Ireland (NI): http://allianceparty.org/

Conservative Party (E,S,W): https://www.conservatives.com/

Democratic Unionist Party (NI): http://www.mydup.com/

Green Party (E,W): https://www.greenparty.org.uk/

Labour Party (E,S,W): http://www.labour.org.uk/

Liberal Democrat Party (E,S,W): http://www.libdems.org.uk/

Plaid Cymru (W): http://www.plaid.cymru/

Scottish Green Party (S): http://www.scottishgreens.org.uk/

Scottish National Party (S): http://www.snp.org/

Sinn Féin (NI): http://www.sinnfein.ie/

Social Democrat & Labour Party (NI): http://www.sdlp.ie

UKIP (E,S,W): http://www.ukip.org/

Ulster Unionist Party (NI): http://www.uup.org/

NI – Northern Ireland, E – England, S – Scotland, W – Wales

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