This week saw our Party Conference in Liverpool. It was a busy and upbeat event where Keir Starmer, Angela Rayner and the rest of Labour’s team outlined their aspirations and policies for what we believe will be the next Labour Government after the 13 disastrous years of Tory misrule. Hexham CLP sent a number of delegates who represented the constituency and participated in the meetings and events with considerable interest with one member speaking at a roundtable event on net zero farming.
Here are few key takeaways our members brought home from Liverpool
“The questions people should ask themselves ahead of the next election are simple: do you and your family feel better off than you did 13 years ago? Do our hospitals, our schools and our police work better than 13 years ago? Frankly, is there anything in Britain that works better than when the Conservatives came into office 13 years ago?”
Rachel Reeves, the shadow chancellor, channels the former US president Ronald Reagan in an attempt to define the next election.
Ed Miliband, liberated from the shackles of leadership, took advantage of the buoyant mood in the conference hall, giving a speech peppered with lines that appeared to have come from the Bumper Book of Centrist Dad Jokes.
“Let’s send these Tories to where they belong,” he told delegates. “Let’s recycle them from government to opposition. And chuck them into the seven dustbins of history.”
Keir held the floor with an impassioned speech (worth reading or listening to in full) and offered hope to disillusioned votes from across the political divide:
“If you are a Conservative voter who despairs of this, if you look in horror at the descent of your party into the murky waters of populism and conspiracy, with no argument for economic change, if you feel our children need a party that conserves, that fights for our union, our environment, the rule of law, family life, the careful bond between this generation and the next, then let me tell you, Britain already has one. And you can join it – it’s this Labour party”.
It was a sparkling event, interrupted by a protestor that Keir handled with great dignity, and the Conference paves the way for a General Election win and a better, fairer Britain.
Our County Councillor Angie Scott listened to the Conference and said:
School should be enjoyed by every child, from start to finish. Listening to our Shadow Education Secretary Bridget Phillipson at our Conference, I believe that a Labour government will deliver an excellent education for every child – including those with Special Education and Disabilities.
Parents want their children too thrive and enjoy school, have fun and explore.
Make education fun, inclusive, interesting to catch the minds of young people.
Bridget stated that we will change every part of it, and we will change it for good. In every part of our system, in every year of children’s lives, in every corner of our country, Labour will be the party of high and rising standards.
This is why I will proudly campaign for Labour in the next general election – because every child deserves a better future.
Angie was as good as her word, protesting this week for Northumberland County Council to improve SEND provision in South East Northumberland.
It’s been a busy week for the branches too. In Prudhoe Angie Scott and Paddy O’Kelly shone a light on how Northumberland County Council funds its captial spending between different towns in Northumberland. Since 2017 Prudhoe has had £3.9 million spent on the town. A lot of money, as some Conservative politicians like to tell us. Yet Ponteland, a town of comparable size, saw £66.1 million of funding over the same period. As Angie points out, a carpark in Morpeth saw more funding from NCC than the whole of Prudhoe.
We even found a bit of time to unwind and socialise with a really successful fundraising Ceilidh.
Finally, we ended the week today with the Hexham Branch running an excellent street stall in Hexham. Members spoke to a lot of local people and collected their views on important local and national issues. Unsurprisingly, the cost of living was high on many constituents’ list of concerns. There were even a few new members recruited! Getting out there, listening to local people and demonstrating Labour’s plans for a better, fairer and greener Britain is helping us to turn Hexham from a Conservative seat in to a Labour constituency. Make no mistake, the General Election campaign is on and we look forward to selecting our parliamentary candidate on the 16th October.