Former Mayor of London, Ken Livingstone, recently came to add his support to my campaign in Norwich South. A man of principle, Livingstone has been at the forefront of British politics for the past 30 years, mostly as the leader of the Greater London Council, but then as the first elected Mayor of London 2000-2008. He has long been a critic of the neo-liberal ideology that Thatcher popularised in the 1980s.
In the morning, Ken joined the team in University Ward to talk with local residents. For me, it's the stories you hear from real people on the doorstep that continually remind me of why we so urgently need change. Today, the story that stuck with me was the one told to me by a man who's unsure of his future job prospects and worried silly about how he will pay the bills.
For too long governments have allowed bankers and ‘the 1%’ to rule our economy to their advantage, leaving working people struggling to find decent jobs and forcing them to live in insecurity. That will change if the party that Ken and I belong is chosen to be the government in May.
Later Ken and I later spoke at the UEA with Ken outlining Labour’s plans for Regional Banks. These will specifically responsible to each region and its local businesses with the aim of making sure good businesses can get the finance they need to grow and provide the well paid secure jobs of the future.
Ken then talked about the need for investment in super-fast broadband and transport links, especially in our region. As the UK continues to evolve into a globalised economy, it is of upmost importance that our infrastructure and technology can compete with other globalised countries.
Ken concluded that this is the most important election since Thatcher’s era. We have the choice between who will be in Number 10 for the next five years and Ken pointed out that if the Tories win in May he fears that almost half of us will get 'left behind' as the Tories remake society in favour of the super rich and their corporate backers.
With a Labour government we can put an end to the self-serving culture this coalition government has created and start to address the inequality which is corroding the very fabric of our society.