Journal column - 20/8/19

The only evidence I’ve seen to back up inept idler Boris Johnson’s claim the Tories are the party of growth is the leaf extension added to the Cabinet table to accommodate all the cronies he invites to hear him drone on about how great he is.

We’ve never seen such a group of grizzlies since the Star Wars’ movies when a Prime Minister foisted on the country without a General Election brought back the shamed and disgraced to be sure of their gratitude and ideological loyalty.

 

Shameless and running an election campaign at our expense instead of a government, Johnson’s a son of privilege with an over-inflated sense of entitlement when Downing Street’s packed his full list of BT friends and family phone book.

 

He’s less in touch with life on earth than a conked out Nasa Rover abandoned on Mars. Come to think of it, the space craft with the flat battery which no longer transmits probably makes more sense than the No 10 incumbent.

 

I don’t know which planet Johnson’s astronauts are on when all the Trump mini-me’s pretend Britain’s great in their hands, presenting a sticking plaster for the NHS as a miracle cure for the gaping wound cleaved into our most precious public service.

 

Let’s look, for example, at unemployment in the North East which remains painfully high at more than 70,000 or 5.6% which is the worst in the nation.

 

It’s a record we want to shed, not boast about, yet jaundiced English Home Counties poseur Johnson will do nothing to help in No 10’s forgotten corner of England.

 

What’s equally concerning is that many of the tens of thousands of people who are employed across the region are in low paid, part-time, or insecure jobs, or on zero-hours contracts.

 

Bills are regular, coming in every week and every month, so a few hours here and there without a steady income isn’t the answer.

 

The Tories continue their wicked cuts to in-work benefits, on top of the bedroom tax and the benefits cap, which have left many working people with next to nothing, and little choice but to turn to Foodbank charity to survive.

 

The Tory Government’s handling of the Universal Credit nightmare has been a complete disaster, leaving many families with less money to live on, rocketing rent arrears, and little hope for the future. 

 

Each and every worker deserves a decent day’s pay for a decent day’s work and the people of this area must not be chucked on the scrapheap the same way they were under Thatcher’s hated Tory government in the 1980s.

 

It breaks my heart to see the Tories driving this country into the ground by taking us back to the Victorian times.

 

You have my word that the future Labour government would improve life massively for the better.

 

We will introduce a real Living Wage of at least £10 an hour and end the exploitation of zero hours contracts.

 

We want another General Election now because we want to bring an end to austerity and the disgraceful inequality the Tories have inflicted on so many people in this country.

 

I, alongside my Labour colleagues, will continue to keep up the fight for those things, but we will not achieve them until we have a Labour Government.

 

We are being left behind by a Tory Government who continually use employment figures to mask serious inequalities in the jobs market, such as stagnating wages, insecure employment and opportunities shaped by your circumstances rather than talent.

 

Now is time for investment, an end to austerity, a real living wage and a huge shake up for the deeply flawed Universal Credit.

 

We have such talented people in this area and it’s about time they were given the same opportunities as everyone else.

Meet your MP

 Stephen-Hepburn-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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