I’d like to take the opportunity to wish all our readers a Happy Christmas and a prosperous New Year from the Bridgwater & District Branch of the Labour Party.
Before you switch off and think, ‘Oh yes…another politician buttering us up,’ I would like to inform the people of Bridgwater and District that I am not a politician. I am- like many other newly-active Labour members- an ordinary member of the public who is deeply concerned about events happening in our country right now. Politicians are ranked as the least trusted by the public. I am a school teacher and I know that you hold us in high regard as trusted members of society so please hear me out! I could tell you about the disgraceful attacks on the weakest and vulnerable people that this government is conducting but I’m sure you’ve probably heard that plenty of times.
2017 was an interesting year in which Theresa May lost her majority and Labour gained seats due to our very popular manifesto. I’ve heard on Bridgwater doorsteps that ‘we are all the same’ but the popularity of our manifesto proved that we clearly aren’t all the same now. I, like many other new members, got involved because of the bold vision that Jeremy Corbyn provided- one of hope and not of fear. Over the last year, our vote shares have continued to rise through local elections and by-elections and the General Election result was very pleasing here locally with us coming in second place.
As a teacher, I see the first-hand devastation being done to our schools- pupils with Special Educational Needs being left behind, schools having no pencils and books and the further narrowing of the curriculum as subjects are dropped. Cuts are a political choice and I have got involved to tell these politicians that enough is enough. You aren’t experts on the public services and it’s time you listened to us who do know. You may hear that ‘we can’t afford it’ but again the system doesn’t work like that. As Branch Secretary, I have worked to get members active and engaged and so far it has worked very well. You probably have seen us out and about. We have ordinary people with us from nurses to doctors; people affected by the cuts and those who just understand where these cuts are heading.
Over 2018, we will be out in force; look out for us out on campaign in your local community as we expand our presence even more than we did this year. If you feel that this country is going in the wrong direction, then please join us. Get involved. If you disagree, I ask you to just do one thing this new year- consider things from a different point of view. Please don’t dismiss us and our work- have a conversation with us this year and find out where we are coming from. People don’t like change but changing your mind after considering the facts (or at least thinking about it is) an admirable thing. People of Bridgwater, I urge you to speak to those people you trust- talk to the carers, the nurses, the doctors and other members and supporters who make up your local party. Have a conversation. It’s all I ask this New Year!
There are difficult days ahead but together we will never face them alone.
Secretary of the Bridgwater & District Branch Labour Party