Why the Labour manifesto gives me and my family hope for the future

Jeremy Corbyn speaking in Reading last Wednesday 31st May

I would like to apologise first off I am by no means a professional writer, but I was asked by a very friendly lady at Momentum Reading to talk about my experience at the Labour Rally on the 31st of May and why Jeremy Corbyn and the Labour Manifesto gives me and my family hope for the future.

A bit of background  I am 27 years old, I work full time and live with my mother who is in her early 60’s. I have a 3-year-old daughter who will be starting nursery this coming September. I also have a younger sister who is an accountant in her mid-20’s. I left school at 16, to work full time after obtaining 13 GCSE C Grades at a school the Local Authority were closing to replace with an academy, I decided to forgo further and higher education purely on a monetary basis, I saw no value in gambling on my future and tying a £20k noose around my neck.

In 2010, I voted for the Conservative party (please don’t lynch me!) I knew little of politics and was directed to my decision if I am honest by the media. By 2015 I had become very disillusioned by the whole political game and abstained from voting. It was around this time I became very aware of the world around me, standing up for those in the workplace who were bullied and coerced for various reasons.

Jeremy Corbyn and the Labour Manifesto gives me and my family hope for the future

During this time, I saw the almost overnight rise of Jeremy Corbyn to the leadership of the Labour party. In Mr Corbyn I saw a man of principle, a man that has spent his entire career as a politician standing up for what he believed in. Finally, I found a politician that broke the mould, a stark contrast to the varying shades of grey other party leaders seemed to have been cut from.

How has the Labour manifesto given me and my family hope?

Firstly, my mother who at age 62 falls into the same group as the WASPI (Women Against State Pension Inequality) movement. She has seen the goalpost moved several times regarding her retirement age. Unfortunately, Alzheimer’s runs in her side of the family and there is a high chance that in the future she will need a level of care me and my sister are unable to provide, and it will be highly likely she will have to enter a care home or be cared for at home. Having seen the NHS work diligently and above and beyond to maintain my father’s quality of life right up until his passing, I shudder to think how as a family we would have been able to have the last years with him or pay for his treatment privately. Both issues are addressed in the labour manifesto, meaning under a Labour government my mother could retire with dignity and be cared for with compassion and not seen as a cash cow to be milked of her assets.

My daughter will have a much better chance of reaching her potential under a Labour Government. She will not have to face the choices I faced growing up.

My 3 year old daughter will be starting nursery in September. According to the National Union of Teachers (NUT) website (www.schoolcuts.org.uk) under a Conservative government by 2022 her school will see its budget shrink by £168,000. Under a Labour government the same school will see it increased by £49,000. With Tuition fees also set to be scrapped, along with the grants and other investments in the education system, my daughter will have a much better chance of reaching her potential under a Labour Government. She will not have to face the choices I faced growing up.

Finally, how it affects me. I suffered from two mental health episodes since I was 18, both quite serious. To hear Jeremy Corbyn talk so passionately about mental health support at the Rally in Reading brought me to tears. I have seen first-hand how lopsided the treatment for mental health problems is. Treatment for me was nearly non-existent, in fact I was forced to pay privately for a therapist because the waiting list for NHS Therapy was very long and I felt the limited resources were better off going to someone who needed it.

I pay privately for a therapist because the waiting list for the NHS was very long and I felt the limited resources were better off going to someone who needed it.

The housing crisis has affected me too: I am 27 living at home with my Mother and I cannot afford to move out. The housing market has ballooned out of control and renting privately would see my income diminish further, pushing the dream of owning my own home away from me.

Furthermore, I am very passionate about the working conditions in this country. I have made use of the Employment tribunal system so I can testify to how useful it is to solving disputes, however should another situation occur I would not be able to afford the high fees introduced by the Conservatives. I have seen first-hand the treatment of agency and temporary staff in both the retail and warehouse Industries and know how important it is to get rid of zero-hour contracts.

Why Labour and Why did I go to the Rally on the 31st of May?

1000+ people gathered to hear the Labour leader’s speech.

I have attended protests and picket lines to show support and solidarity with those who take the brave decision to down tools to champion for better conditions. I have never however attended a political rally. I am a keen social media user and have watched over the past 2 years Jeremy Corbyn whip up thousands at a moment’s notice to hear him speak. I have never seen a politician in my lifetime have that much support, I have never in my lifetime seen political rallies like those across the country in support of the Labour Party and its leader. So, upon hearing the news that Jeremy Corbyn was coming to Reading I rescheduled my entire day to make sure I could attend. I was nervous, I did not know what to expect, but the thunderous support shown for the man when he walked onstage, followed by at least 1000 people (me included) hanging onto his every word, in what is a Conservative town, is something I will never forget.

Thank you for reading this piece. I am grateful for the opportunity to share my views and feelings on the election campaign. Of course, words mean nothing without action, and I implore those of you reading this who are unsure or sat on the fence, to not listen to the propaganda peddled out by the mainstream press but to vote with your conscience, knowing that a Labour Government led by Jeremy Corbyn is what’s best for the United Kingdom.

By Aaron

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Note from the editor:

Momentum Reading will be working right up to the last minute of election day to try and get a Labour MP in Reading.

On Tuesday and Wednesday we’ll be with local Labour Party organisers outside the station flyering from 5-7pm, please join us (look out for the red t-shirts).

On Thursday we’ll be around the town at the different polling stations. Please email: readingmomentum@gmail.com if you can spare any time at all on Thursday and Paul will direct you to a polling station near you that needs help, even just an hour in the evening would be greatly appreciated.