Vote Anna Smith – the strongest voice to stick up for Romsey (6-7-15).
I am standing for election to the City Council so that I can represent your views. I am committed to doing everything I can to listen to you and ensure that you are heard.
We in Romsey Labour knock on doors all year (and not just at election time) to make sure we are aware of the issues that matter most to you. I knocked on some doors five times or more before I got to meet some people. Some of you I have yet to meet, but every conversation I have had has given me real insight into the issues you care about.
If elected, I will:
- Continue to make every effort to speak regularly with residents and represent their views.
- Support Labour City Council’s campaign to build more family homes in Romsey.
- Support Labour City Council’s actions to protect tenants in the private rental sector.
- Continue to support cycling campaigns.
- Challenge over-development in Romsey, for example at Ridgeons, Mill Road and Romsey Terrace.
- Put pressure on the County Council to repair our roads and pavements, and to give an answer as to why so many local children did not get their first choice of primary school this year.
- Prioritise projects and policies that support those who need our help the most.
I trained as a teacher here in Cambridge, and have worked locally ever since. Living close to Mill Road, many of you will have seen me out and about in the community. The issues that matter to Romsey matter to me. I want to work alongside local residents, be a voice for you on the City Council and work with you to lobby other local and national authorities when needed.
I have already worked with local residents on a number of issues, such as the traffic problems outside St Philip’s school, the Ridgeons Development, and rental housing. I will work tirelessly with Romsey’s Cllr Dave Baigent and other Labour colleagues to continue to run the City Council so that it best serves the people of Cambridge and ensure that Romsey issues stay high on the agenda.
Vote for what really matters in Romsey on Thursday, 7th May
Daniel Zeichner says – 48 hours remaining to change history (5-5-15)
It’s the final countdown and what is clearer than ever is that it’s neck and neck in Cambridge.
My Lib Dem opponent voted with the Tories again and again – on the Bedroom Tax, to sell off our forests, to lift the cap on private patients in NHS hospitals. By propping up the Tories it was the Lib Dems who allowed them to change Britain for the worse – crippling our NHS, with people queuing at food banks, “go home” ad vans targeting immigrants and sleepwalking towards exiting the EU.
We need to let people know about Labour’s radical plans for government, to save our NHS, to make our electricity carbon-free, to abolish the House of Lords and scrap the Bedroom Tax.
Labour’s plan to give Generation Rent a better and more secure future (26-4-15)
Ed Miliband has today announced Labour’s plan to help working people who rent privately.
Generation Rent are the young, families with children and middle income earners who being are priced out of the housing market.
Labour will build the homes which local people want to buy. But we will never turn our backs on Generation Rent. And we want to encourage all those responsible landlords who provide decent homes for people and stable income for themselves.
Too many people are struggling to meet the costs of putting a roof over their head. Some are saving for a deposit year after year, decade after decade, while the dream of owning their own home seems further and further away. Others are having to move all the time, ripping up the roots they have laid down at work or with friends, even having to change their kids’ schools.
Labour has a better plan. The security of three year tenancies for all who want them with rents capped, so they can fall but not rise by more than inflation. The rights they need to negotiate a decent deal with landlords and stop rip-off letting fees. And the protection for taxpayers and tenants against bad landlords who are being subsidised for providing accommodation that fails to meet basic standards.
This is a plan for a stable, decent, prosperous private rental market where landlords and tenants can succeed together.
The next Labour government will introduce legislation in its first Queen’s speech to:
- Cap rents so they cannot rise by more than the rate of inflation (CPI) during secure three-year tenancies.
- Require landlords and letting agents to disclose the rent levels charged to previous tenants so that householders can negotiate the best possible deal at the start of their contract.
- Penalise rogue landlords by reducing buy-to-let tax relief for those who own hundreds of thousands of properties which do not meet basic standards.
These new announcements follow previous measures which Labour has already set out to help people who rent including a plan for:
- Secure three-year tenancies for all people who want them so landlords will no longer be able to terminate rental agreements simply to put rents up.
- A ban on letting agent fees charged to tenants, saving the average household £625 over the next parliament.
- A national register of landlords which will enable rogue landlords to be identified and judge whether their proper meet basic standards.
Labour has set out a better plan for Britain’s future, a plan that works for working families, rewarding the hard work they do and saving the NHS they rely on.
The Tories can’t build a better future for working people because they stand up only for a privileged few. With the NHS going backwards and a recovery which works just for a few, working families can’t afford five more years of David Cameron.
You can’t trust Nick Clegg and the Liberal Democrats. They broke their promises and have been too weak to stand up to the Tories.
UKIP can’t stand for working people: they’re more Tory than the Tories, a party made up of Tory people, promoting Tory policies, bankrolled by Tory donors.
Today it’s going to be the NHS (21-4-15)
- The Tories’ extreme spending plans, doubling the pace of cuts next year, will put the NHS at risk.
- Despite their promises, they cannot say where a penny of extra spending will come from.
- Over 20 million people waiting a week or more for a GP appointment
- Over two million a year waiting over four hours in A&E
When Ed met the hen party follow the link to the video (18-4-15)
Cometh the hour – Cometh the man
This week felt like a crucial moment in this campaign so far. In last night’s debate, Ed Miliband showed he is the only alternative Prime Minister to David Cameron. And earlier this week, at Labour’s manifesto launch, he showed that only Labour has a plan to change this country. But at that launch, with the Shadow Cabinet sat behind him on stage and political journalists asking questions from the floor, Ed said something else that really struck me. He said “politics is too important to be left to politicians.” He was right.
On a personal level, this is one of the most important lessons I have taken from this campaign so far. But it is also one of the hardest to get your head around — especially during a national campaign when you are watching candidates for Prime Minister battle it out on TV, camera crews following MPs campaigning across the country or policy-heavy discussions about national manifesto launches.
But if politicians are the TV-face of this campaign, it is members, supporters and activists that are the literal face of the campaign in communities across the country. That is why the ground campaign we are running is not separate to our election strategy — it is an integral part of it. And since the start of the year, you have helped us achieve a campaigning record that we can all be proud of.
There is a chart on the wall of Labour HQ that I walk past every day that tracks our progress towards talking face-to-face to 4 million people before polling day. Since January, we have had nearly 3 million conversations and knocked on over 8 million doors — which means we are on course to meet our targets by the 7th May.
But we can’t for a moment think this election is already over. In 2010, around 35% of the electorate made up their mind in the last week of the campaign and nearly 20% were still undecided in the final 24 hours. But if back in 2010 our activists spoke to around half a million voters in those final weeks of the campaign, this time we are expecting to at least double that. I’ve worked on many general elections and we’ve never come close to achieving this scale of campaigning before.
Our campaigning advantage is driven by a strong message but it is delivered on the back (sometimes literally) of our growing, energetic and passionate activist base. Our membership has been growing since 2010 and is way up on our original internal projections.
Since January our activist base has grown by around 2,500 a month and we have had over 10k new members join — double what we had in the same period in 2010. Our digital campaign is breaking new records with more than 91,000 volunteers recruited online since last April, with a daily average of 335 people this month alone, around half of whom are non-members.
At the same time, it is becoming clear that while the Tory party may have the cash, it just doesn’t have the campaigners. Since David Cameron took over, their party membership has halved and now has an average age of about 68.
But this is not just about a campaigning advantage, it is also a political dividing line. Because as Labour, we understand something the Tories never will. We know that progressive politics is about enabling voters to harness the power to deliver local and national change. It is about politicians working together with local people to show that when we come together, we can deliver real change for our communities. That is what will drive the next Labour government in the coming years — but it is also what is driving the Labour campaign over the coming weeks.
Winning the air campaign
In the heat of a general election as tight as this, you can see why some political parties get sucked into believing that the more radical you are in what you say, the more chance you have of getting your voice heard.
But as important as what you say, is what the voters actually hear. And being heard is not the same as being believed.
Voters today are listening out for the party that can offer real radicalism, but matched by genuine credibility. Because they know, even if not all the other parties seem willing to admit it, that in difficult financial circumstances your policies are only as strong as your plan for delivering them. And when trust is low and cynicism is high, your promises are worth only as much as your ability to stick to them.
So when we saw that the Tories had decided to use this crucial campaign week to put out what the FT described as a spending spree “large enough to raise concerns about the Tories’ commitment to their economic plan”, the mood in Labour HQ was genuinely incredulous.
It is a dramatic turn for a party of government to give up one of their most important, and unique, campaigning assets — to set the tax and spend baseline. Thinking back over all the campaigns I can remember, regardless of which party was in government, this has been a key advantage that no governing party has dared to squander.
And yet, when George Osborne took to the airwaves last weekend he was asked 18 times where the money will come from and 18 times he could not explain. The IFS dealt a further blow this week when they said the Tory manifesto launch showed the Tories “are going to have to do an enormous amount over the next three or four years, but almost no sense at all about actually how they are going to do it”.
Clearly the Tories feel under pressure and they can’t decide whether they want to be the party of the deficit or the party of sunny uplands and unfunded tax cuts. This week, they seemed to have settled on sacrificing credibility on the altar of opportunism in the hope it will give them the much promised ‘cross-over’ moment in the polls that has so far failed to materialise. I suspect not even Tory strategists know what next week will bring.
I think this goes to the heart of a deep strategic confusion that bedevilled the Tory campaign in 2010, and is doing so again this time around. At its root is the inherent tension that has always existed in Cameron’s leadership — a leader caught between what he believes and what he thinks he can say.
Labour has taken a different approach — and I believe our campaign has been strengthened because of it. Instead of a shopping list of new spending commitments, the very first page of our manifesto sets out our plan to secure the nation’s finances — with a Budget Responsibility Lock guaranteeing that every manifesto policy is paid for without a single penny of extra borrowing.
In these final weeks, days or hours of this campaign, we mustn’t let up, sit back or slow down. Instead, we have to work like our country’s future depends on it, because in these last weeks, it really does.
A note from Ed Miliband (13-4-15)
I take a simple view. We are a great country, but we can be even better.
The fundamental truth that runs through this manifesto is that Britain will only succeed when working people succeed. It is an idea at the heart of my beliefs. And it drives our better plan for a better future.
It means a country where hard work is rewarded, with high-skill, high-wage jobs. An economy built on strong and secure foundations, where we balance the books.
It means building a future for all our young people, so they can get world-class apprenticeships and access to affordable, higher education.
It means strong public services, rescuing our NHS.
It means strong communities, where power is shared by people in every part of the country and where we respond to people’s concerns about immigration, with proper controls.
It means a Britain where everyone plays by the same rules, including those at the very top of our society. And it means an outward looking country, engaged in the world for our national interest.
For me, the privilege of serving as Prime Minister in our country would be for one purpose alone: to work every day to help build a country that works again for working people.
This manifesto is our plan to achieve that goal.
Labour’s Manifesto Budget Responsibility Lock
Our manifesto begins with the Budget Responsibility Lock we offer the British people. It is the basis for all our plans in this manifesto, because it is by securing our national finances that we are able to secure the family finances of the working people of Britain.
The Budget Responsibility Lock guarantees that:
- Every policy in this manifesto is paid for. Not one commitment requires additional borrowing. We are the first party to make that pledge, and with this manifesto it is delivered. We will legislate to require all major parties to have their manifesto commitments independently audited by the Office for Budget Responsibility.
- A Labour government will cut the deficit every year. The first line of Labour’s first Budget will be: “This Budget cuts the deficit every year.” This manifesto sets out that we will only lay a Budget before the House of Commons that cuts the deficit every year, which the OBR will independently verify.
- We will get national debt falling and a surplus on the current budget as soon as possible in the next parliament. This manifesto sets out that we will not compromise on this commitment.
Part of our plan to build an economy that works for working people
The next Labour government will reduce the deficit fairly and sensibly, and without extreme spending cuts that would put our National Health Service at risk.
David Cameron claims the economy is fixed, but the recovery hasn’t reached most working families. At the same time, he has failed to eliminate the deficit as promised — it currently stands at over £75 billion.
But our ambition is to do more than eliminate the deficit: we will build an economy that works for working families, where hard work is rewarded and we all have the opportunity to share in the prosperity of our country.
To secure the long-term health of our economy, we will support the creation of high-skill, high-wage jobs that will allow our communities to thrive. Here is how a Labour government will deliver a strong economic foundation for BritaiN
We will balance the books without extreme spending cuts
- We will cut the deficit every year with a surplus on the current budget and get the national debt falling as soon as possible in the next Parliament.
- We will make fair and sensible spending decisions, including capping social security spending so that it is properly controlled, stopping the payment of the winter fuel allowance to the wealthiest five per cent of pensioners and capping child benefit rises for the next two years.
- There is not a single policy in this manifesto that is funded by additional borrowing. There are tough decisions to be taken and we haven’t made any commitments that we can’t keep.
We will create a fairer tax system
- We will reverse the Government’s top-rate tax cut, so that those with incomes over £150,000 contribute a little more to help get the deficit down.
- We will abolish the non-dom rules so that those who live permanently in the UK pay tax in the same way as the rest of us.
- We will close tax loopholes that cost the public billions of pounds a year, and we will bring in tough penalties for those who abuse the tax system. This will include ending unfair tax breaks used by hedge funds, and cracking down on disguised employment. We will make it harder for tax dodgers to hide their identities by making country-by-country reporting information publicly available.
- We will introduce a lower 10p starting tax rate to help those on middle and lower incomes,which will be funded by ending the Conservatives’ Marriage Tax Allowance. We will not increase the basic or higher rates of income tax or national insurance.
- We will not raise VAT, nor extend it to food, children’s clothes, books, newspapers or public transport fares. This is the tax that hits pensioners and the poorest hardest.
We will make sure hard work is fairly rewarded
- We will increase the National Minimum Wage to more than £8 an hour by October 2019 to help ensure that those doing a hard day’s work are rewarded for doing so.
- We will ban exploitative zero-hours contracts so that anyone working regular hours for 12 weeks or more will have the right to a regular contract. This sort of job insecurity creates an unnecessary strain on family life.
- We will promote the Living Wage by giving a tax rebate to companies that sign up to become Living Wage employers in the first year of the next Parliament. We will also require listed companies to report on whether or not they pay the Living Wage and use government procurement to encourage more employers to pay it, following the lead of Labour councils across the country.
We will fix the broken markets that fail the millions of families who rely on them
- We will freeze gas and electricity prices until 2017 and give the regulator the power to cut bills this winter. We will reform the broken energy market so that families and businesses get a fair deal.
- We will introduce a fairer deal for renters, including a ceiling on excessive rent rises, and we will make stable three-year tenancies the rule, not the exception. We will ban rip-off letting fees.
We will back our entrepreneurs and businesses
- We will build a strong economic foundation, cutting the deficit every year with a surplus on the current budget and national debt falling as soon as possible in the next Parliament.
- We will tackle rising business costs, by maintaining the most competitive corporation tax rate in the G7, cutting and then freezing business rates for more than 1.5 million small business properties and freezing their energy bills.
- We will make it easier for firms to get the finance they need to grow and create jobs, by establishing a British Investment Bank with a mission to lend money to small- and medium-sized businesses and support a network of regional banks.
- We will meet Britain’s long-term infrastructure needs by setting up an independent National Infrastructure Commission to plan for those needs and hold government to account.
- We will tackle skills shortages, ensuring all young people study English and maths to 18 and introducing a gold standard vocational route, including a plan to create thousands of new apprenticeships.
- We will support access to international markets by returning Britain to a leadership role in a reformed European Union.
In your area
70,000 people are working on a zero-hours contract in the Eastern Region, that’s up 21.50 per cent in the last year alone. We will ban exploitative zero-hours contracts, so anyone working regular hours for 12 weeks or more will get a regular contract.
We will raise the National Minimum Wage, boosting pay for 115,600 low paid jobs in the Eastern Region.
Part of our plan for world-class public services
The NHS, one of our great national institutions and one of Labour’s proudest achievements, faces its greatest threat for a generation.
Labour will rescue our NHS, invest in its future and join up services from home to hospital.
Here’s how we will make sure our NHS has the time to care for you and your family:
We will tackle long waits and staff shortages, and put patients first
- We will recruit 8,000 more GPs and 20,000 more nurses so we can provide what patients need most: an NHS with time to care.
- We will pay for this much-needed investment through a Mansion Tax on properties worth more than £2 million, tackling tax avoidance and a levy on tobacco companies.
- We will guarantee a GP appointment within 48 hours, and on the same day for those who need it, to end the scandal of patients having to wait days, even weeks, for a GP appointment.
- We will guarantee that patients wait no longer than one week for vital cancer tests and results by 2020. We will also create a Cancer Treatments Fund so patients have access to the latest drugs, surgery and radiotherapy.
- We will repeal the Tories’ Health and Social Care Act to put the right values back at the heart of the health service: co-operation and collaboration, not competition and privatisation.
- We will stop the drive towards privatisation, and where private companies are involved in providing clinical services we will cap their profits to ensure resources are spent on patient care.
We will create a 21st-century health & care service
- We will integrate health & care services into a seamless system of whole-person care. This will bring together three fragmented services into a single service to meet all of a person’s care needs — physical, mental and social.
- We will make sure vulnerable older people, disabled people and those with complex needs get a single point of contact for their care and a personal care plan, designed with them and shaped around their needs.
- We will radically improve mental health support, especially for young people, by prioritising new investment in under 18s and ensuring teachers have training so they can identify problems early and link children up with support.
A quick question for you
Do you agree that we should hire more doctors and nurses for our NHS funded by a tax on properties worth £2 millon or more?
In your area
We will recruit 1,800 more nurses and 900 more doctors in the East Of England to make sure the NHS has the time to care for you and your family.
Part of our plan to help our families and communities to thrive
For our country to stay strong, with the confidence to look outwards rather than inwards, people need to feel secure in the strength of our borders, our communities and in the workplace.
Labour will never cut Britain off from the rest of the world. Our economy and our society benefit from the talent and investment of people who come here, but the system needs to be controlled and managed so that it is fair. Low-skilled migration has been too high and needs to come down. We need much stronger action to stop illegal immigration.
We will strengthen our borders and social integration to ensure migrants can play their part in British society
- We will enforce fair rules so those who come here won’t be able to claim benefits for at least two years, and we will stop child benefit being sent to families living abroad.
- We will make it illegal for employers to undercut wages by exploiting workers.
- We will ban recruitment agencies from hiring only from overseas, and, where there is evidence of abuse, we will crack down on rogue agencies by extending the remit of the Gangmasters Licensing Authority.
- We will strengthen our borders, recruiting an additional 1,000 border staff paid for by a small charge on non-visa visitors to the UK.
- We will introduce full exit checks, which will enable us to count people in and out of the country.
- We will require people working in public-facing roles in public services to speak English.
- We will bring in stronger controls to prevent those who have committed serious crimes coming to Britain and to deport those who commit crimes while they are here.
- We will tighten the system for short-term student visitor visas to prevent abuse, while welcoming university students who bring billions of pounds into Britain.
- We will keep the cap on workers from outside the EU.
- We will end the indefinite detention of people in the asylum and immigration system, ending detention entirely for pregnant women and those who have been the victims of sexual abuse or trafficking.
- We will ensure Britain continues its proud history of providing refuge for those fleeing persecution by upholding our international obligations, including working with the UN to support vulnerable refugees from Syria.
Labour is launching its plan for tackling tax avoidance so that we can protect working families and reduce the deficitLabour is today announcing a Ten Point Plan to Tackle Tax Avoidance and a £7.5 billion target to reduce avoidance and evasion. We will do this because we know that Britain will only succeed when working people succeed, which means everyone playing by the same rules.We have seen this week that the Tories refuse to act on tax avoidance:
Labour is giving warning to the Treasury and HMRC that on the first day of a Labour government there must be:
- They have been defending the 200 year-old non-dom rules which allow some wealthy people to avoid paying UK tax.
- They have been refusing to close the loopholes which allow hedge funds to avoid tax.
The tax avoidance plan includes plans to:
- A draft Finance Bill which is an Anti-Tax Avoidance Bill and delivers the legislation needed for the measures set out in Labour’s ten point plan to tackle tax avoidance and evasion.
- A report from HMRC on all current measures and processes for tackling tax avoidance and evasion, so that Labour’s review of culture and practices at HMRC can make an immediate start.
The tax avoidance measures we have set out will mean Labour can fully fund our NHS Time to Care Fund, abolish the bedroom tax and cut tuition fees to £6,000. Additional revenues raised over and above this will be used to help get the deficit down.Today: Inheritance tax announcement the latest panicky promise from the ToriesThe Tories’ announcement on inheritance tax is just the latest panicky promise from the Tories, but we’ve heard it all before. The Tories made a promise on inheritance tax before the last election and they broke it.At a time when our NHS is in crisis and most working people are paying more under the Tories, it cannot be a priority to spend £1 billion on a policy which the Treasury says would not apply to 90 per cent of estates. The Tories would choose to give a £140,000 tax cut for a house worth £2m while they have increased VAT on families and pensioners.Labour has made a different, fairer choice. We will go further on restricting pension tax relief for the very highest earners in order to cut tuition fees and increase grants for the next generation.The big question for the Tories this weekend is how they will pay for the billions of pounds of promises they are racking up. Alongside their extreme plan to double the pace of spending cuts next year, their unfunded promises mean the Tories will end up putting our NHS at risk and raising VAT again.Conservative NHS plans unravelWe have seen a desperate announcement from a Tory campaign that is in chaos.Their NHS promises can’t be trusted because there’s no answer as to how this will be paid for. The truth is the Tories extreme plans to cuts twice as fast in the next year as last year. Their plans would threaten the NHS as we know it.The Tories have taken the NHS backwards. After five years of this Government there’s a crisis in A&E, waiting lists are at a record high and it’s harder to see your GP. The NHS can’t survive five more years of David Cameron.Labour has a better plan for the NHS. Only Labour has a plan to put real money into the NHS from the start of the parliament to meet our commitments to it. We have a fully-funded plan to invest £2.5bn in 20,000 more nurses and 8,000 more doctors so the NHS has time to care.Key messagesLabour has set out a better plan for Britain’s future, a plan that works for working families, rewarding the hard work they do and saving the NHS they rely on.The Tories can’t build a better future for working people because they stand up only for a privileged few. With the NHS going backwards and a recovery which works just for a few, working families can’t afford five more years of David Cameron.You can’t trust Nick Clegg and the Liberal Democrats. They broke their promises and have been too weak to stand up to the Tories.UKIP can’t stand for working people: they’re more Tory than the Tories, a party made up of Tory people, promoting Tory policies, bankrolled by Tory donors.For additional briefing, please contact email@example.com
- Abolish non dom status
- Tackle hedge funds avoiding stamp duty
- Rewrite the rules used by those in private equity firms to pay Capital Gains Tax rather than higher Income tax
- Clamp down on overseas territories that are tax havens
Vote Labour to stop a Lib/Con/UKIP coalition
At the beginning of this week the official General Election campaign finally began. Many of you have been fighting it on the streets of towns and cities across Britain all year. And as we head into the sort campaign, it is clear that this is an election that remains wide open, but more people than ever are now realising that it is winnable for Labour.
THE TV DEBATE helped explain why. Although there were seven party leaders on stage, there was only one alternative Prime Minister. David Cameron seemed liked the invisible man for much of the debate, fading into the background, failing to defend his record but also failing to set out a vision for the future. We know the Tories have said that they wanted to make this election about leadership, but when the post-debate polls came in last night, it was clear that they had lost their trump card.
Delivering a message vs landing a blow
Throughout the debate, one thing that struck me was how reluctant David Cameron was to talk about his own plans compared to how much he seemed to relish talking about ours.
His performance last night reflected a Tory campaign focused on painting a false picture of Labour, rather than telling a real story about the country. Their minimalist strategy is based on the assumption that they can try to trick voters into getting a Tory government by making every effort to scare people off voting Labour.
That is why they’ve spent millions of pounds on poster campaigns with scare stories about a non-existent coalition between Labour and the SNP and why last week they conjured up a story about Labour’s tax plans which even the IFS called “unhelpful” and of “little value”.
If the Tory campaign seems focused on us, I think that reveals more about them than they intended. It exposes how they have taken a strategic decision to avoid presenting their own election offer. They know that if they did, not only would it risk dividing their own party but it would also alienate the public.
When it comes to David Cameron personally, he has begun the campaign by trying to plant ideas of alternative Tory leaders in voters minds, refusing to take part in debates himself and also wants people to know he won’t be Prime Minister for very long. So much so, that I think people will start to ask, what is it that David Cameron wants to hide?
The truth is, his advisors aren’t hiding David Cameron away from the public because they worry that he’ll become inarticulate during a debate or make a mistake in an interview. He is a formidable performer and runs a slick media operation. No, what Conservative strategists fear is that the more the public see of him, the more the gap between his vision of Britain and the reality of how Britain actually is, risks being exposed.
I think that is precisely what happened when Jeremy Paxman caught him out on food banks and zero-hours contracts last week. And that is what his advisors are so terrified could happen again.
By contrast, this week Ed launched Labour’s campaign by stating that we are the party of the “optimists” and by making clear that we are putting our positive vision for the future of Britain at the heart of our campaign.
This doesn’t mean being naïve about the challenges we face – but it does mean being clear about our positive proposition in this election: that Britain only succeeds when working families succeed.
I choose Labour – it’s as simple as that.
It is always great when you hear someone else express what you feel even better than you could do yourself. That is how I felt when I saw the first take of the Martin Freeman Party Election Broadcast that we launched this week.
When we started work on this first Party Election Broadcast, we decided that what we wanted to convey a sense of the starkness of the choice people face in this election. When you cut away all the commentary, the campaign stunts and the political point scoring…what are you left with?
You are left with a simple choice – between a failing Tory plan and Labour’s better plan. The simplicity of that message is what inspired the simplicity of our Election Broadcast – the white set, the style of production, the single camera angle and Martin’s own words.
Politicians should be humble enough to admit that sometimes the strength of a political message can be improved when someone else delivers it. That certainly seems to have been the case this week. The total online views of Labour’s innovative election broadcast have already topped a million and the film is now thought to be the most-seen party political broadcast ever online.
It is a broadcast we can all be proud of and one that I hope many more people will see – not just because I think it makes the case for voting Labour, but because however they end up voting, I think it also makes the case for politics.
Debates expose David Cameron – and he knows it
Sitting in last night’s spin room made me think back to this same period in 2010. I was involved in the TV debates back then as well and I think the truth is that what we didn’t realise then was that a lot of people had already made up their minds about Gordon Brown. He had been in public life for so long, they wouldn’t change their views based on a few hours of TV. This time around I think the same is true for David Cameron.
But with Labour, because we are in opposition, because Ed Miliband is in a different position to Gordon Brown and David Cameron at this stage in a campaign – the British public are now understandably starting to want to look at Ed again and reach their own judgement.
And I think people tuning in on Thursday were surprised by what they saw of Ed. They were surprised not to see the same caricature that they read about in the papers and they were surprised again last night that last week was not a fluke, but a fair reflection of his character and his approach.
Up for the fight
In politics you don’t always get to be the optimists. Sometimes the circumstances aren’t right. Sometimes the politics won’t allow it. This time it is the right politics, and it is also the right strategy.
So we are fighting to win. We are fighting for a majority. And together I believe we won’t just change the government – we’ll together change our country.