Thanks to local Labour and Co-op members for the local grassroots nominations!

Dear all,

I thought I’d drop you a quick note to say thanks for your nominations in the process to become Lougborough’s Parliamentary candidate.

My nominations from Loughborough South, Lougborough East, Loughborough North, Woodbrook, Ashby and Garendon, Barrow, Sileby and the Wolds, represent nominations from Branches with around 700 of the CLP’s membership of around 800.

And thanks to local Co-op Members. Co-operation has a big role in our new vision for our economy and society.  I look forward to working with you in the future if selected.

Many thanks,

Stuart

Let’s get behind our Labour Police and Crime Commissioner’s call for more funds for policing for our area

(Please complete the survey of Leicestershire’s Labour PCC Lord Willy Bach here up until midday on the 18th January 2018. )

It’s clear that law and order across the Loughborough Constituency and across Leicestershire is suffering as a result of the Tories’ significant real terms cuts to police budgets.

Across England and Wales the number of police officers has gone down from 144,353 in 2009 to 122,859 in 2016.  Much of which time was on Theresa May’s watch as Home Secretary.

People in the area are feeling this and many have highlighted it to me as a key concern.

For example, Shepshed, a town of 14,000 people, no longer has a police patrol car, meaning anyone in need of urgent support faces a dangerous and disturbing wait for help.

Over the past 2 weeks I have spoken to several people concerned by the security of the area.

A Loughborough shopkeeper relayed a story of a thief caught red-handed by shop-owners who had to wait two hours for police attendance to arrest the individual they had detained.

And a very elderly gentleman told me how he was mugged whilst walking along a Loughborough street with his walking frame: he assured me that he was now taking taxis when previously he’d walked.

So the headline cuts are having real-life impacts on people and businesses.

It is little surprise that Labour’s call at the General election for 10,000 extra police officers was deemed to be sensible and needed.  Yet the Tories have offered no extra funding and Central Government’s real terms funding for police in the area continues to fall.

Instead they have provided the opportunity for Police and Crime Commissioners to raise some extra money from the Police Precept to the Council Tax.  That being proposed in Leicestershire is equivalent to £1 per month for a Band D household.  But it is, sadly, money that is very sorely needed.

The reality is that if we want to have more secure neighbourhoods, and Central Government will not fund our police, then this small increase locally is much needed.  I would urge you to support Lord Willy Bach, our Labour Police and Crime Commissioner by completing his consultation available here up until midday on the 18th January 2018.

PLEASE GET IN TOUCH TO MEET WITH ME SUNDAY 14TH JAN IN LOUGHBOROUGH (LATE AFTERNOON) OR AT A TIME OF YOUR CONVENIENCE MONDAY – THURSDAY NEXT WEEK

Now that I have been shortlisted to advance to the hustings to be Loughborough’s Prospective Parliamentary Candidate, I am keen to meet with as many local members as possible.
I have met many members over the past couple of months, like at last Saturday’s “meet the candidates” event and during our successful election campaign in Hastings Ward.
These conversations have been so enjoyable, informative and helpful in understanding
how we can build and communicate our message of hope across the constituency from Shepshed to Sileby.  These conversations have really helped shape my thinking on nearly every imaginable area of policy.
I would be happy to answer any questions about policy, campaigning or anything else!
I can be reached on 07968 359 431 or brady4loughborough@gmail.com.  Please do get in touch.

Prime Minister, saving the environment needs a completely different mindset to policy that sees sustainability as paramount, not a press opportunity

The environment was placed firmly in the public conscience by David Attenborough’s Blue Planet and its emphasis on how our seas and oceans are being clogged with plastic waste with serious consequences for global biodiversity.

It was little surprise that the Prime Minister on 11th Jan 2018 sought to seize the press limelight through a pledge to take “global leadership” on reducing plastics use.  It was accompanied by timid policy proposals on a minor expansion of the plastic bag tax, and moves to “encourage” plastic-free aisles in supermarkets.  This was all part of an effort to “eliminate all avoidable plastic waste” by 2043.

The speech was greeted by environmental groups as a missed opportunity.  And the policy content speaks for itself in supporting such assertions.   Is it really that difficult to change our food-wrappers?

This is the latest in a string of Tory PR exercises seeking to appeal to younger and non-traditional Tory voters by exploiting environmental issues.  Remember “the greenest government ever” (David Cameron, 14th May 2010 ) before going on to “cut the green crap” (David Cameron 21st Nov 2013).

The nature of Theresa May’s 2043 plastics elimination commitment is mirrored in this Government’s approach to our local air quality.  Even after being lambasted by the Supreme Court the best it could do was to propose a phase out of petrol/diesel cars by 2040.

All this not only shows incredibly cynical and duplicitous politics, but also a consistent approach to policy making: policy must not upset the market, although policy/law can have other goals, its principal one must be to preserve the market as is, and the powerful incumbents that operate within it.

This may sound slightly off-topic, but upon the recent death of the enchanting aboriginal singer Dr Yunipingu (really worth a listen), there was coverage of the Australian aboriginal philosophy to life.  Central to that is a state of interconnectedness between the people and the land.  I borrow the following from elsewhere on the internet :

The two most important kinds of relationship in life are, firstly, those between land and people and, secondly, those amongst people themselves, the second being always contingent upon the first. The land, and how we treat it, is what determines our human-ness. Because land is sacred and must be looked after, the relation between people and land becomes the template for society and social relations. Therefore all meaning comes from land.

Given the very large number of us on this small planet with infinite wants, needs, and consumption opportunities, set against our basic human instincts to nurture life in all its guises, this approach is very intuitively attractive.  It also offers an incredibly welcome alternative to the individualism which has arguably reached its apotheosis not only within our consumption led market economy but also with individual narratives that dominate our social media.

And the reality is that the way we treat and manage our environment has very significant implications for our long-term health and security.  Our relationship with it is symbiotic.   In addition to the well-known impact of plastic in our oceans, our Royal Colleges already tell us that our local air quality costs us 40,000 additional deaths a year in the UK ( http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-35629034 ).

40,000 premature deaths is a staggering number, which in my view represents something analogous to John Snow’s discovery in Victorian London that cholera was conveyed by water not air.  That, after some time, led to significant changes to sewerage and water-supply arrangements.

That was over 150 years ago and the changes required were systemic and complicated at the time.  Now, we have the technology and policies to change our air quality or plastic-use almost overnight.  As an electric car driver and a near daily user of public transport, I can attest to this fact.  Of course there will be some disruption to individual’s lives, and a lot of investment will be required to establish a framework of reusable products to replace plastic, but the benefits shall outweigh the downsides.  And really, can changing our cups and meat wrappers be that difficult?  And taking our attractive aboriginal approach to life, it is our duty to take such steps.

When we were faced with a hole in the ozone layer we banned CFCs.  When we discovered lead was harmful to our environment and health, we banned leaded petrol.  The truth is such hard regulatory responses are required when an environmental or public health emergency arises.   That is what is required for our oceans and air.  This will itself stimulate the market to respond within those rules (as I know from my time working with industry).  And there will of course be some economic payback on some the measures required: if electric vehicles are UK built, and if fewer materials are used in our packaging supply chains.   But that’s not the point.  The point is that these steps ought to be policy imperatives as soon as we know of the environmental damage being caused, and therefore the impact on “us” in a holistic sense.

Labour are providing hope in 2018, through a government in waiting with policies that most voters agree with

Jeremy’s new year’s message chimes with conversations I had with voters throughout 2017.

Everyone agrees that inequality is out of control and deeply damaging.

Most voters want to take back control of key national infrastructure which is being exploited to swell dividends and board pay packets.

Particularly in places like Loughborough, voters feel massively let down by the mainly London-based establishment.

And, the comprehensive policies in our 2017 manifesto represent natural conclusions to these concerns. Roll on 2018.