In the run-up to Roar Newsâ€™ General Election debate on 28/11/19, Roar News have asked the three political societies involved to submit an article pitching to students why you should lend them their vote. This article was submitted by the KCL Labour society.
Our slogan, â€˜itâ€™s time for real changeâ€™ could not be more pertinent. Following nine years of Conservative rule, it is clear that the current government is detached from the experiences of the working class, students, and the most vulnerable in our society. We deserve better than the failures of Conservative government, and we deserve policies that are for the many, not a very select few. We need transformative, innovative policies which will transform our society, and ensure that every individual has a good quality of life.
Aside from Brexit, the biggest challenges facing our generation are climate change, the housing crisis and ensuring the protection of our national health service. Yet, it is clear that for some, Brexit is a top priority. This is understandable; it has dominated our political sphere for a number of years, therefore it is undeniable that the general public wish to see it resolved. Labour has been subject to criticism for their â€˜dither and delayâ€™ policies on Brexit, so let us explain what our Brexit plan is. Within three months, Labour will secure a deal which protects workersâ€™ rights and ensures that EU nationals will be able to continue living and working in the UK. Quite simply, we will have a second referendum, with the options being our new deal, or remain. This ensures that not only parliament, but the public, gets to decide if, and how, we leave the EU.
Currently, there are 2,000 food banks across the UK, with the distribution of supplies increasing 73% in five years. 300,000 children currently live in poverty. Labour promises to tackle this inequality, by scrapping Universal Credit, ending the five weeks wait for payment, and ensuring childcare costs are provided by the state to ensure the health of our nation is restored. Capitalism, without adequate welfare systems in place breeds and props up inequality, widening the gap between rich and poor. It is with Labour, that the working class will truly be protected, and so will the wellbeing of our society.
As young people, the housing crisis is something that impacts us greatly. From 2007 to 2016, home ownership collapsed 9.9%, meaning now more than ever, we are a generation destined to rent perpetually. Labour pledges to build more low-cost homes reserved for first time buyers, to ensure that everyone has an equal opportunity to own their own home. Additionally, many of us currently studying at Kingâ€™s will be part of the 11 million people renting from a private landlord. Labour will enforce rent controls and ensure every property is habitable, so that no one is subject to unstable and insecure living situations. Furthermore, Polly Neate, chief executive of Shelter states that the homelessness crisis is the result of spiralling rent, welfare cuts and a lack of social housing. Labour will be tackling homelessness at the root, while building 8,000 additional homes for those who have a history of rough sleeping.
Labour also wishes to reform the NHS, to ensure that the highest standard of care is available for all. Under Labour government, our NHS is not up for sale, and it never will be. Increasing funding to our NHS is important, but so is improving the system itself. We will put an end to the privatisation of the NHS and expand GP training places to allow for 27 million more appointments every year, thus reducing waiting times. Health services should never be inaccessible, and no one should have to wait for care, so it is of the utmost importance that our health service is providing quality care for all. Labour also promises to improve mental health services, such as recruiting 3,500 counsellors to guarantee every child access to counselling within schools, to ensure a cradle to grave approach to mental healthcare.
Lastly, the climate emergency is one of labourâ€™s biggest priorities. Our â€˜Green Industrial Revolutionâ€™ will ensure an absolute commitment to tackling climate change and investing in a green economy. Pledging to deliver nearly 90% of electricity and 50% of heat from renewable and low-carbon sources by 2030, Labour will invest in wind, solar and nuclear energy to ensure less pollution, and more energy security. We will also decentralise power, so that local people have greater control. Not only must targets be met, but investment
should be made into environmentally friendly forms of power to produce more jobs and tackle the effects of climate change head on.
This general election is highly important and decisive. Not only will it dictate the direction we take in regard to Brexit, but it will also impact the lives of ordinary people, like you. Living standards are declining, and we have a climate and housing crisis which needs attention. Labour will ensure that there is a genuine improvement in wellbeing of individuals and our nation, and secure a better, and brighter future. For us, itâ€™s a no-brainer. But continue to read, educate and expand your knowledge for this general election. Your vote matters, regardless who you cast it for, but one thing is for sure, we need real change
This post was written and submitted by the KCL Labour society.