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The Coalition’s Last Stand

Black RodDennis Skinner summed up the country’s mood when he declared the recent Queen’s speech to be the “Coalition’s last stand.” The Government set out their agenda for the next 12 months leading up to the general election. It was a missed opportunity, lacking the ideas, policy and ambition that is required to meet the challenges we face, neither did it address the clear concerns and disconnect that was present during the local and European election.

We must face facts, our politics is broken when people no longer believe voting can make a difference to their lives. We needed a Queen’s Speech that set a new direction and offered hope but instead there was no policy to tackle the cost of living crisis, make work pay, or rebalancing the economy to allow every to share the benefits of growth. Unfortunately, we got more of the same from a rudderless Government who are planning when it is best to break up the Coalition in order to maximise their electoral chances.

The austerity of the last four years has seen our public services decimated, the NHS put on the road to privatisation, and the most vulnerable in society left paying for an economic crisis created in the heart of the city and financial intuitions across the globe.

No one has been spared: the young, old, sick or disabled, those in work or looking for work. All but a very few wealthy individuals have suffered under years of austerity. The City has been left unreformed and has returned to business as usual with excessive pay, bumper bonuses and tax cuts from Government. For everyone else the promise of “making work pay” has proven itself to be empty rhetoric as wage freezes and stagnation have left people on average £1,600 worse off annually.

Over five million workers are on low pay and the increase in zero hour contracts has caused job insecurity with families struggling to make ends meet.

The Government has done nothing to tackle to root causes of poverty and will leave office with soaring demand for food banks and in work poverty exceeding out of work poverty for the first time. We should be ashamed that such poverty can exist in the world’s fourth richest nation.

We needed an alternative Queen’s Speech that gave hope to those who have given up on politics. A renewed promise, guaranteeing work for the long term unemployed, new efforts to increase the minimum wages closers to average earning, and a commitment to end the scandal of low pay by ensuring companies who can afford to pay a living wage do so. End job insecurity and deliver dignity in the workplace, with those working regular hours receive a regular contract, not a zero hour contract.

An ambitious house building programme and real protections for those in the private rented sector through introducing new long term and secure tenancy allowing families to plan with certainty.

We need a real alternative, however, the Coalition’s last stand has shown they are unable to deliver the change we need.

3 Comments

  1. Robert says:

    Sadly if your waiting for an alternative to the Tories you will be waiting a long time most of what labour are doing is basically a copy of Cameron, band wagons and caps, caps on wages benefits and people .

    I’m getting more and more angry with Miliband the bloke is now holding up the sun News paper and does not see the issue.

    God almighty he’s weaker and weaker by the day.

  2. Glen says:

    People who do not see the behind the scenes machinations of Ed holding that paper have to be pretty stupid. Can you imagine the next day’s headlines if he had refused? He would have been unpatriotic, against the England football team and any other unwarranted allegations that scummy rag felt it could level against him. Wake up you people. He did the only thing he possibly could. I have no doubt he was dying inside whilst doing it. I believe Ed to be the best party leader since John Smith. He also has near 100% of the country’s media against him. His worst enemy right now is idiots failing to understand the bigger picture. I can’t believe the amount of so-called Labour supporters I have seen pledging not to give Labour their vote because of this set up. We have a first past the post voting system which means not giving Ed your vote will give us 5 more years of Cameron. You may be happy with that Rob. I am not.

    1. Robert says:

      The bigger picture is him now apologizing, if you want to back England wear the tee shirt or buy a flag not the bloody Tory rag the sun. The problem is Labour are now a middle class party and the sun is about the standard of Newer labour.

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