Mytholmroyd residents found the Labour Party knocking on their doors on Saturday 11th January.
Calder Valley Labour Parliamentary Candidate Josh Fenton Glynn and Charlotte Brady, who’s standing for election to Calderdale Council, mustered a posse of Labour party members to knock on people’s doors and tell them about Labour Party plans for helping people to deal with what the party is calling the Cost of Cameron.
Amarjit Rayat, the Calder Valley Labour Party organiser, said,
“We’re knocking on doors to reach out to the local community and say we’re here to help.”
Josh Fenton Glynn said,
“No one really needs telling that over the past three years while the Coalition have been in government, prices are going up and people’s wages are staying the same. People are getting poorer and finding it more difficult to get by and that’s something that Labour really want to address. Every time I hear a Conservative MP tell me there’s a recovery, I kind of wonder what world they’re in and whose recovery that is. And that’s why it’s important to me that we’re highlighting this issue.”
Josh’s message is that a Labour government would improve people’s money situation by taking action such as:
- the energy bill freeze, which would make it impossible for utilities to hike people’s energy bills for a year
- providing mothers with 25 hours of childcare/week to help make it more possible to return to work
- giving employers a National Insurance break for the first year that they change to paying their employees a living wage
Grow the economy to cut the deficit
Despite Ed Ball’s recent statement that a Labour government would continue the Coalition government’s policy of cutting public spending, Josh said Labour wants to protect services and jobs and bring in investment. Josh added,
“The fact is that we don’t want the deficit to go up, but the best way is to grow out of the economic problems we’re having at the moment.”
The costs of justice
Dan Jarvis, the Shadow Justice Minister and MP for Central Barnsley was also out with Josh Fenton Glynn and Charlotte Brady, campaigning about the Cost of Cameron.
I asked Dan Jarvis what he would do, as Justice Minister in a Labour government, about Coalition government cuts to legal aid. Legal aid cuts have radically reduced the ability of ordinary people to access legal advice. Last week the cuts brought lawyers out on the streets.
Dan Jarvis said,
“We’re looking very carefully at the impact that those cuts are having. Sadly, I’m not going to be able to talk you through what a future Labour government would do in terms of the very difficult spending decisions that we would have to do, but I think if you look at the industrial action that’s taken place recently, it’s a strong indication of the level of concern that people have across the country. Our team’s looking very carefully at that. But the reality is, sadly, that we’ll have to make these judgments based on the state of the economy that we inherit in 2015. But I understand people’s concerns.”
Asked about his views of the Coalition government’s plans to privatise the probation service, Dan Jarvis said:
“Let me be very clear. We oppose very strongly the government’s plans to privatise the probation service. We’ve opposed them in Parliament. Next Tuesday we are tabling an amendment to the Offender Rehabilitation Bill, which we hope will cause the government to look again at their proposals. But I haven’t met a single probation officer who thinks this is a good idea. There’s no public support for it and I think the potential consequences of doing it are very serious for the public.”
Orgreave Truth and Justice Campaign
As the Orgreave Truth and Justice Campaign and the National Union of Miners have a gig at the Trades Club on 12th March, I asked Dan Jarvis, as MP for a former coal mining constituency, what he thought of the Campaign.
Dan Jarvis said,
“I think it’s very important that we get to the bottom of what happened at Orgreave in 1984. There are strong similarities between the justice campaign for Orgreave and for Hillsborough. And similarly, where there has been such public concern for events such as Hillsborough and Orgreave, it’s right that governments seek to get to the truth and that’s what should happen and is happening with Hillsborough. And I believe very strongly that’s what should happen with Orgreave as well.”
You can hear more of Dan Jarvis’s comments here:
Josh Fenton Glynn outlines what a Labour government would do about the Cost of Cameron (in a noisy carpark with lots of background chatter).