`By the strength of our common endeavour we achieve more than we achieve alone.’
So it says on my Labour party membership card, the card I’ve carried with me throughout my adult life, nestling proudly alongside my Liverpool FC season ticket.
Contrast this with what’s currently the five most terrifying words in our language: ‘let us finish the job’. That is what Cameron demands – and what every one of us must prevent on May 7.
Consider the `job’ they’ve done so far. Growing A&E queues; bedroom tax despair; an explosion in insecure, junk jobs; spiralling home, travel and childcare costs hammering wages and millions more desperate for a home. The boastful `march of the makers’ that never appeared, and today more people IN work depending on food banks and benefits than those not in work, such is the state of wages under a government that has spectacularly failed to make work pay.
Their `recovery’ is phoney, exposed for the lie it is by the million food parcels handed out in a year by one charity alone in this, the sixth richest country on the planet.
Sure, Tory austerity works for some – Britain’s rich are getting richer and we now have more billionaires than ever before. But while a few enjoy growing wealth, living standards have taken their biggest tumble since Victoria was on the throne.
Remember, this is a government that’s failed to meet every economic target it set itself, that actually grew the debt while slashing at our libraries and kids clubs.
It’s a government that lied its way to office, vowing no NHS change only to impose a monstrous bureaucratic re-ordering designed to pave the way to greater privatisation, devouring £4bn in public money while starving patient care of funds.
Now they dodge the truth of their plans for our NHS. They slide around when pressed on where their brutal £12 billion axe will fall, the biggest assault on services in the western world and a move that would bounce our society back to the 1930s.
Beacon of hope
Set beside this, Ed Miliband’s Labour is a beacon of hope – forcing tax shirkers to pay their way, committing to a decent start for our kids with proper apprenticeships.
Building homes on massive scale, putting construction workers back to work and tackling chronic housing need.
Jailing the gangmasters who import workers to drive down wages. Attacking the cancer of zero hours employment.
The cruel bedroom tax – gone. Our NHS – saved from sell off. And at long last, the social care service needed to give our elderly the dignity they deserve.
This is the plan we need to get our country working again for our people and communities. This is the plan for a government on your side.
Let’s not forget that when faced with financial catastrophe created not in the homes of Wigan or Cardiff or Leytonstone but in the bankers’ casinos, the Tories chose to punish not those who caused it but those without blame.
For this they must never be forgiven. For this they must not be allowed even one more minute in power.
On May 7, we can choose hope over fear. By the strength of `our common endeavours’, we can vote for a better, fairer Britain for all. We can link arms with the millions across these islands and stand as one before the ballot box.
We can vote for change. We can vote Labour.
This article first appeared in the Daily Mirror, April 30