‘Enough is Enough’ Rally in Taunton Saturday 29th October 2022

Labour members pause for a moment at the Market House

It didn’t quite rain..until we reached the speeches. And then not much. Not that this dampened the enthusiasm of the dozens of Labour Party members from the Taunton and Bridgwater area that ..let’s say..’ambled’ through the streets of  the County Town, flying red flags, carrying placards saying ‘Vote Labour’ and handing out leaflets to the largely supportive crowds of saturday morning shoppers. Sticking exclusively to pavements, the group wended it’s way from Vivary Park, through the shopping centre and ended up in Goodland gardens on the banks of the river Tone. The message was ‘enough is enough’ and ‘General Election Now!’. Cars beeped their horns in support and some shoppers joined the throng. With the Tory poll collapse, Labour is looking a likely candidate for some victories in some unlikely places.

The group made it’s final stop in Goodland Gardens. Keynote speaker was County Labour Group Leader Cllr Leigh Redman (Bridgwater North & Central), but he was joined by Labour’s Cllr Brenda Weston (Labour, Somerset West & Taunton) and Jon Gray. But building a broad alliance the assembly also saw contributions from Liz Payne Ahmadi (Taunton Trades Council) Alan Debenham (Green Party) plus Sigurd, a Norwiegian, from Taunton XR.

The Speakers

Leigh Redman’s speech is reported here in full

Leigh Redman starts his speech

Friends. Thank you for coming out today, what an amazing turnout, my name is Leigh Redman, I am the leader of the Labour group on SCC. It has been said before, but ‘who can believe the hell hole that has been created by this current government’?
The use of the term ‘unprecedented’ has been over used, but OMG what can go wrong next?
Here we are with another PM, selected by a hand full of upper crust toffs, rich boys and girls, let me tell you they do not represent me!
Here we are in the heart of working class Somerset. I have lived in Somerset all my life, my Mum and Dad worked hard to bring up 3 children, when my dad passed away young, we were brought up by my mum, at a time when the Tories were attacking single mums.
I lived through the 80’s, through Thatchers Britain. I grew up with a Tory Government that waged war on its own people.

Red flags flying

But we stood together, we fought together, and we won together. Now – they – are – at – it – again!

When your boss earns a million pounds and gives themself a 32% pay rise – and you ask for a below inflation rise – you’re the one to blame for inflation.

When you keep our country moving during a pandemic, and then they cut your pay, threaten your job, and refuse to get round the table to discuss it – you’re the one who’s militant.
Friends, this country’s problem isn’t militant workers. It’s a militant government.
This is Tory Britain, where the foundations of a decent secure life, have been slowly eroded, leaving us with an economy we work hard for every day – but doesn’t work for us.
Where the contribution of most people and most places has been written off.

Len and Glimpet from Bridgwater

Here in Somerset, too many young people, have to get out to get on.

Taking with them, the spending power that once sustained, our high streets, banks, buses and post offices.
People are left to grow old, hundreds of miles from children and grandchildren.

Those in Westminster point to us for the cost of living crisis! While we are plagued by soaring housing costs, massive food bills and an increasing strain on public services.

What did we see from, a Liz Truss government? Them looking after their rich mates again!

What do we end up with? A cost of living crisis that is escalating!

..though I walk through the valley of the North street of Taunton….

A few months ago people were worrying how they might heat their homes over this winter.
I don’t need to tell you – There are many families already having to decide if they eat or heat!
I am sorry, but, With interest rate rises, this is going to get worse!

It is heartening that people of this country are rising up! We are here today to have our voice heard.
You can see this government looks after their rich mates, while people like you and me, can’t afford to pay our rent or mortgage, feed our kids and heat our homes. In the words of Liz Truss – that – is – a – disgrace .

Friends. It’s time to stand up and fight again. Not just to see off the Tories. But to build the country, I’ve believed in all my life – where everyone can contribute and everyone has a stake in our future.

The Police fail to ‘kettle’ the demonstrators

It will be about the real wealth creators – the women and men who work in our shops, who drive our buses, who deliver our mail, who produce our food, who care for our families and teach our children – who make sure we have what we need to live every day of our lives.

It will be hard, but friends, let’s rise to meet this crisis in the way we do in the South west, lets stick together and help each other.

We have done it before. We’re going to do it again. And we will do it the only way that counts – together.

It is time that the people decide who can run this country, we’ve seen this catastrophe of this government.

It is time for change.

It is time for the public to have their say with a general election!

It is time for the stability only a labour government can bring!

Thank you.

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Ian Stevenson
Ian Stevenson
1 year ago

The govt are ignoring one answer to the crisis . A solution they themselves used. They went to the Bank of England to create £400 billion -ish to pay for the pandemic. No one asked if this was ‘taxpayers money’ (it isn’t) or ‘how can afford it?’ They just did it. The usual argument that it is printing money (like we are still on the gold standard -we left in 1931 ) and inflationary. Experience tells us it was not. The inflation we have is largely imported -and the higher interest rates won’t affect that. Indeed it makes the situation worse. They will argue the money thus created ‘has to be paid back’. Mr Rees-Mogg called it ‘money owed by the government to itself’. He is right. Many argue it does not Prof. Richard Murphy being one of them.
The Thatcher doctrine is that the state’s finances are like a household’s finances but almost no economist who agree. It says the govt. has no money except what it taxes or borrows. This shows it is not true but journalists speak as if it is. ‘Will Labour cut spending or increase taxes?’ A sort of ‘gotcha’ question. The govt can create money -but not without limit. But it does not have to transfer existing money (which is what tax is) or go to the ‘markets’ to borrow at what rates they determine. If the govt. spent to pay the NHS and schools properly, it would generate more wealth . A healthy (mental as well ) population is more productive. Also much of it comes back -income tax, Nat. Ins., VAT, fuel, alcohol, council tax, As the money is spent it is the income of business preventing a slide into a recession. BUT the bankers hate the idea. Sunak is a banker. There are record profits and dividends which could be taxed. Brexit -the Financial Times estimates costs the govt £40 billion in lost revenue. My fear is that Labour is also wedded to the Bankers’ version and rejects even thinking about re-joining the single market.

Paul Sellers
Paul Sellers
1 year ago

Excellent! We need a General Election now so that Labour can start digging our country out of the hole that the Tories have dropped us in. There is no doubt at all that people have fallen out of love with the Tories. They see that the new PM has brought the failures of the past into the heart of his Cabinet.

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