Yesterday, Teresa May threw down the gauntlet in quite a bold move by calling a general election. There are possibly many reasons for this, she may not have the votes within the conservative party to deliver Brexit without votes from outside, she may be trying to head off the fallout from the expenses scandal and the might be making the most of the current poll situation. In reality, it doesn’t matter, the Labour party now have the opportunity to offer something different. We can give hope to people who have seen the gap between the “have” and the “have nots” widen, those rising numbers of people who have been suffering at the hands of ideologically driven cuts. It is now that the Labour Party must come together, turn and face the right “as one” and take the fight to the Tories.
In the Labour Party, we have been having a serious internal debate about the leadership of the party. We are like a family that has its internal family issues and have been passionately doing what we think is for the best of the party. However we are now being directly attacked from the outside, and, like a family, we need to come together and stand up for what we all believe in. We all, regardless of positioning in the past months, believe in the Labour values of Equality, Fairness and Co-operation, and have the opportunity to promote these values and show how more people will be better off under Labour MPs than Tory ones.
In Gloucestershire, we have a challenge, with all seats having a Tory majority of between 4k and 22k. Stroud is the smallest at 4,866 followed by Gloucester on 7,241. These are big numbers, and the Tories will be more complacent about these than others, but they are not unassailable with a strong message that offers hope and a future for all, fundamentally one built upon Labour Values. We are ideally placed with the County Elections going on at the moment, as we clearly have the strongest manifesto that is built upon Labour Values, and the General Election will be a natural extension of this.
So I believe this is a great opportunity, for us as a party to show that we are a political movement that exists to win power in Westminster, not only for the sake of winning, but to be able to make decisions that are fundamentally founded in Labour Values of Equality, Fairness and Co-operation and aims help the many not just the few.