Things We Can All Do

Action and Activity with the 8th June in Mind | Things We Can All Do

In addition to occasionally writing her I also publish on my own BLOG

In a piece I published earlier this year I wrote:

Many of the Conservative government induced bad news stories that have hit the MSM (Mainstream Media) have done so whilst we have been looking elsewhere. For the last couple of weeks the distraction has been both Brexit and Trump; what I’ve come to think of as BREXUMP. These issues are important not least because they expose other horrors. In the week after our PM Theresa May tells us that meeting President Trump is the biggest statement she can make about women’s equality and then hand-in-hand with said president ‘reassures’ us of US/UK special relationship it is both interesting and frightening to reflect on a couple of the Republican’s and the Conservatives’ newest policies. Early into his presidency Trump signed an executive order defunding any international development groups which give women or girls overseas advice on abortion and passed the Hyde Amendment (a clause that bans any federal money from helping to fund abortions) into law. Compare this to a development closer to home: whilst we were all focused on the new president’s inauguration the UK government pressed ahead with, amongst other things … its previous proposal that women whose third child is born following a sexual assault should be forced to provide evidence of the rape or risk losing tax credits. 

But not to worry for in her first speech of the year Theresa May assured us of her commitment to a ‘shared society’.  Reiterating points already made in her 2016 Conservative Conference Speech she spoke of ‘burning injustices’ and healing divisions between ‘a more prosperous older generation and a struggling younger generation’ and  ‘between the wealth of London and the rest of the country’ between the rich, the successful and the powerful, and their fellow (not so rich, successful or powerful) citizens. 

Having all ridden on the Tory unmerry-go-round of ‘no such thing as society’ (Thatcher 1987); ‘classless society’ (Major 1991); ‘responsible society’ (Hauge 2001); and ‘big society’ (Cameron 2005) we have begun to reflect on this latest Tory soundbite. Not a shared society but a scared society or a shred society say some. To me, the examples above (plus the many others I could have cited including tax breaks for the highest earners whilst public section pay remains frozen: a reduction in spending on mental health services and more and more) suggest that secret society or sneaky society are much more appropriate descriptors. . . .

The Prime Minister would now have us believe that the ‘country is coming together’ and that she and her government are the only ones able to provide ‘the strong leadership’ needed to get us through what is inevitable going to be a difficult few years. Despite Theresa May’s lack of visibility since her speech announcing her decision of a General Election she repeatedly told us would not happen (her only appearance thus far has been to party supporters, an event at which no questions from the public or journalists were allowed), and her refusal to justify her position through a debate with other party leaders, the mainstream media continues to disproportionately critique Labour and support the Conservatives.

And yet, as Jeremy Corbyn said yesterday (20th April 2017) in answer to a question on whether Labour is a ‘tainted brand’:

We are bigger than we’ve ever been, we’re stronger than we’ve ever been and we’re more determined that we’ve ever been.

With this in mind, and as Eoin Clarke @LabourEoin reminds us, WE ALL have a responsibility to challenge the myths and smears we all hear daily. Here is his helpful list of some of the things we can do.

Clarke also provides a helpful reminder of SOME of the policies we can promote:

Why not also have a look at *EL4JC @EL4JC who make short videos which helpfully highlight the difference between Labour and Conservative priorities and practices.

Gayle Letherby

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