Members’ Report: November 2020

Dec 8, 2020 | Members Report

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The biggest issue in Parliament over the coming month will invariably be the Government’s eleventh-hour Brexit deal – that’s if they actually do manage to secure one. I’ve launched a survey to consult the people of Streatham to get their thoughts on the best way forward for us. Please take a moment to complete my short questionnaire to share your thoughts.

In more cheerful news, the festive season is now upon us. I would like to take the chance to wish everyone a Merry Christmas and a Happy Hannukah! I would also like to say a special thank you to the many members who have supported the local party, community and myself over a deeply difficult year. The Labour Party’s biggest asset is the people like you who put their time and energy into making the world a better place.

Finally, in this spirit, it’s not too late to enter my Christmas Card competition, which closes tomorrow. If you know any budding young artists, why not get them to have a go: https://bellribeiroaddy.com/streatham-christmas-card-competition/

It would be nice to think that the Government was willing to learn lessons from past failures but with the end of the second England-wide lockdown, we have now returned to the tiers system that led to us locking down again. History repeats itself first as tragedy, then as farce.

Of course, there’s nothing funny about the deadly coronavirus, which has now claimed over 60,000 lives in the UK alone. Once again, people will die because of this Government’s failures. Their record on combating coronavirus is one of abject and deadly failure. We have one of the worst per capita death tolls among advanced industrialised countries and we are already feeling the ill effects of a recession exacerbated by Tory mismanagement.

This is a reminder that there is not and ever was a trade-off between public health and the economy, because people are the most important element of any economy.

I opposed the latest measures not because I am against restrictions, but because the ones the Government keeps coming up with are inconsistent, ineffective and come with wholly inadequate financial support. Because the Government keep getting it wrong, we have become trapped in a cycle of lockdowns. The success of various vaccines comes as good news but with full
immunisation still months away, we cannot pin all our hopes on this. If we are serious about containing the virus to save lives and protect our economy, then half measures won’t cut it.

It is also really important to point out the Tories’ sheer failure to deliver on their levelling up manifesto commitment here. The way they have treated some of the northern constituencies has been despicable, placing many of them in tier 3 with no added financial support.

All jobs and the economy of all our regions matter. This needs to be the argument Labour makes as we look to rebuild our foothold in Red Wall seats and expose the Tories’ failure to deliver on their empty promises to people in these communities. With the double whammy of a recession and a Tory hard Brexit coming our way, everyone across the country will need all the support they can get.