There’s a General Election on December 12th. You probably hadn’t noticed. But it’s probably the most crucial vote we’ve had to make in decades. And the choice is simple. It’s not about Brexit, it’s about leaving all that division behind us and transforming Britain by voting Labour or sticking in the morass and voting Tory, which will mean seeing Boris Johnson’s Brexit deal cost the UK economy £70 billion. And that’s of course fine for the super rich and the far right Brexiteers who now control the Tory party, but it’s far from alright for the 99% of the country who have been living with austerity since the Tories backed by the Lib Dems brought it in back in 2010. On December 12th it’s a clear choice between Labour rebuilding public services, facing up to climate change with the Green New Deal, taking on the dodgy landlords, going after the bad bosses, stopping the big polluters in their tracks and building a future for all our people, at the heart of that the NHS and saving it from the clutches of Donald Trump or more of the Conservatives. The choice Nationally is Labour or Tory and in Bridgwater and West Somerset that’s the choice as well.
The election is a battle for control nationally and here in Bridgwater and West Somerset Labour recognise that and have selected Oliver Thornton who epitomises not just the fight ahead but the future of Britain. 32 years old and from a farming background engaged on the frontline of the fight against financial crime in London and with a young family in their West Country farming community,who he wants to build a future for , his mission is simply to unite a divided country and build a fairer society. Naturally Oliver is a passionate environmentalist and a highly educated, talented and caring community minded individual who knows which side he’s on. And that’s Labour.
Topple the Tories
In Bridgwater and West Somerset the seat has been held by the Tories for generations. Ian Liddell-Grainger, the current incumbent, fights elections by hiding and then relying on voters he takes for granted.
This time he will have a fight on his hands. Labour have steadily campaigned over the years from their strong local Government base, where they run the Bridgwater Town Council and form the Opposition on Sedgemoor District Council and are , on 17,000 votes from 2017, the party that people need to get behind to topple the Tories.
No-One Trusts the Lib Dems anymore
The Lib Dems will tell you that they are the ‘tactical vote’ to beat the Tories. In reality they have slumped to 6,000 votes in this constituency and it’s not hard to see why. It was the Lib Dems, including their new leader, who allowed the Tories in power in 2010 with their coalition from which they not only gained nothing but reneged on their own promises just to get a fingernail on the passenger seat of Government. This time round they are clutching at Remainer Straws and are looking like a one trick pony. ‘Only the Lib Dems can stop Brexit’, ‘unite behind us’ ‘vote tactically’...but in Bridgwater and West Somerset that claim is hollow. Anyone looking at the election results can see that even a ‘tactical’ vote to take on the Tories in this constituency is a Labour vote. A vote for the Lib Dems is NOT an anti Tory vote and will just help keep them in power.
Now, is this wise Mr Rodrigues…..?
And then there’s the independent option. The disappointing news that former Labour Mayor Diogo Rodrigues will stand as an ‘independent’ has been greeted with frustration by Labour activists who helped him win his council seats and elected him as Mayor and now find that thrown back in their faces. Labour Leader Brian Smedley has written to him asking him to ‘think again’ saying “Diogo, if you are serious about wanting to defeat Ian Lidell-Grainger and the Tories then please rethink your plans to stand as an independent which will only split the anti Tory vote, a mountain to climb at best of times. Independents have consistently lost their deposits in this constituency and in fact most start by assuming from a local fan base that they have a popularity which belies the reality. I recall Bob Cudlipp-a popular local activist, standing in the 2010 election at a time when the Tories had closed the Sedgemoor Splash in the face of popular opposition. He got 315 votes out of 54,493. Naturally still asked for a recount….The fight against the Tories is not about individuals, it’s about a movement of people working together. The Government in London will not be formed by independents but either by a strong cabal of the rich and powerful or by the organised working people of this country through the movement they have built up for over a century now. The Labour Party. The Party that put me and you in office because the members, the people who formed that party, worked to do that and meet and organise in democratic structures for a common goal. That goal is that together we are strong and divided we are weak and can be picked off. Bob Cudlipp’s lost deposit was about £1,500. I’m sure you’ll have made the decision that you can afford that, and even if you get about 2,000 votes you’ll still lose your deposit- but that’s 2,000 votes that are in no way anti-tory votes and will only help keep Liddell-Grainger in power. I implore you to stand with us and join our campaign and throw your weight behind Oliver Thornton as the only person who can beat the Tories here in Bridgwater and West Somerset.”
The Future is for Everyone
In recent years the rise of populism has created a truly horrible environment around the world. In atmosphere of social interaction and in the reality of burning forests. Whether it’s Trump, Farage, Johnson or Rees Mogg, we’ve put some ridiculous choices down on our ballot papers. It’s no wonder the world’s in a mess. Only the people can redress this by realising what’s happening before it’s too late. It’s the unbridled greed of the big corporations that has taken the world to 1 minute to midnight on the ecological clock and it’s the Trumps and Johnsons that couldn’t care less about the consequences. There is no half way house. There are no partial solutions. There is no Planet B.
The time has come to decide which side you are on. Please vote Labour on December 12th.