Gazette column - 3/1/19

Happy New Year to you and your families for 2019.

It would take a brave person to predict what the year ahead will bring and I’m not Mystic Steve with a crystal ball to peer into.


I can promise I’ll continue to represent the good people in the Jarrow parliamentary constituency both in South Tyneside and Gateshead.


Their concerns are my concerns so I’ll give them a voice in Parliament and daily battles with an uncaring Conservative Government.


My wish for the year ahead is a General Election to put Jeremy Corbyn in Downing Street and Labour in power.


The Tories and the allies they bought in Northern Ireland with £1 billion of our money fight like cats in a sack over Brexit and show utter contempt for a weakening Theresa May.


But they’ll also fight tooth and nail to stop people having their say because they know Corbyn and Labour would win.


Each week I see first-hand the distress and pain inflicted by these wicked Tories, Universal Credit a nightmare for working and disabled families while the NHS, schools and councils perform miracles to overcome vicious Conservative austerity.


And what a chaotic mess Theresa May-be is making of Brexit, reducing Britain to a laughing stock to our European neighbours.


Chickening out of her own vote in the House of Commons when the Prime Minister knew she’d lose and head of the first Government in history to be found in contempt of Parliament, her card’s marked and she must be mentally packing in Number 10.


I’ll keep my resolution to continue moving heaven and earth for our area because every passing day under this incompetent, callous Tory Government means squeezed living standards, low wages, job insecurity, an ailing NHS and a housing crisis.


Labour’s offering an attractive alternative in 2019 to the Tories and Jeremy Corbyn’s New Year message was full of hope while Theresa May’s was a desperate personal plea to stay in the job she doesn’t deserve.


Her Blackmail Brexit, sometimes pretending it’s her deal or no deal, on other occasions claiming it’s her Brexit or no Brexit, is attempted extortion by a vicar’s daughter so unprincipled she’s cutting holes so large in the safety net that is the welfare state that destitute folk here in the North East and elsewhere are forced to rely on the charity of Foodbanks to live.


I believe every grafter deserves a decent week’s earnings for a decent week’s work yet the Tories’ disastrous Universal Credit benefit is causing pain and misery to so many people in South Tyneside under vindictive benefit cuts hurting those in as well as out of work.


From this week’s indefensible inflation-busting fare hikes on trains to the incompetence of Home Secretary Sajid Javid over boat migrants and refugees risking their lives to land on England’s Southern shores, May and her Ministers prove time after time they’re not up to the job of running our country.


I can’t wait to see the back of the Tory few so the Labour many will build a fairer, more prosperous country. Happy New Year!


Meet your MP


Stephen Hepburn has served the Jarrow Constituency as MP since 1997.

He was last elected to serve in June 2017 and won the seat with a conclusive 17,263 majority.

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