Jon Trickett

Hemsworth Labour

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This weekend I helped to launch ‘Northern Futures’, an organisation dedicated to regenerating, rebalancing and renewing the North of England.

We need a new settlement for the North that promotes growth and challenges the huge regional inequalities in the UK. But this does not mean accepting the Tories’ delegation of cuts.

It has become increasingly clear that Osborne has no intention of creating a ‘Northern Powerhouse’. For example, just after the election it was announced that the Government was pausing the electrification of the Trans-Pennine railway.

Now a study by the University of Sheffield has been released indicating that planned infrastructure investment is heavily biased towards London at the expense of the North. The report shows that London will receive more investment than every other English region combined. Infrastructure investment in London is totals about £5,305 per person whereas Yorkshire and Humber lags behind at £851 per head in Yorkshire and Humberside.

Not only are the Tories blatantly ignoring their pre-election promises but their planned investment will actually inhibit the economic growth of the North.

If the Government want to create a true ‘Northern Powerhouse’ then they need to devolve power, not cuts. They need to provide substantial investment in infrastructure and growth; not play politics with the fate of the North.

If you want to be part of campaigning for the North, sign up to Northern Futures:  https://www.facebook.com/pages/Northern-Futures/694478407354707?fref=pb&hc_location=profile_browser

Northern Powerhouse?

This weekend I helped to launch ‘Northern Futures’, an organisation dedicated to regenerating, rebalancing and renewing the North of England. We need a new settlement for the North that promotes...

Once more on Iraq.

 

Iraq is in the news once more. The Chilcot report is in the headlines - for the wrong reasons.

 

It is hard not to view the delay to publication of the report as an establishment tactic to keep the ball in the long grass for as long as possible. It is time that it was published. 

 

But the Labour Party also has unfinished business in connection with the war. Jeremy Corbyn has sought to address this today.

 

It has been argued that the Iraq war happened long ago and has little bearing on present day politics. Others have said that the electorate supported a Blair government even after the military intervention in Iraq.

 

Yet that war continues to cast a shadow over the whole of British politics as the controversy about the delays to the Chilcot report shows. The whole of the political class, as well as the media were in favour of the war.

 

Those of us who voted repeatedly against the proposal were left in a minority and were often the subject of vilification.

 

It was only later that the awful truth began to emerge. That there were no weapons of mass destruction. And in spite of robust statements at the time that the war was not about regime change, when the sickening fact emerged that we went to war on a false prospectus, our leaders began to justify their actions by saying that they had ridden the world of a dictator.

 

To this day we do. It know the whole truth about the path to war, but there is a settled opinion that the country was not told the truth and that our troops were put in harm's way with little justification.

 

The collapse of trust in British politics occurred in part because of what was said and done in the run up to war. There were many other factors too. But Iraq remains a key moment. Of course, the Labour Leadership especially was seen as responsible and it is therefore of particular importance that we settle our view once and for all.

 

Ed Miliband was aware that this was an issue and he made the following comments when he was elected as Leader:

"Iraq was an issue which divided our party and our country. Many sincerely believed that the world faced a real threat. I criticise nobody faced with making the toughest decisions and I honour our troops who fought and died there. But I do believe that we were wrong. Wrong to take Britain to war and we need to be honest about that."

 

Ed's statement was clear. It was an honourable effort to retain unity and at the same time draw a line under the whole Iraq venture.

 

 But there were two problems with it. First, few people heard it because the media were besotted with the discussion of the trivia of two brothers contesting the leadership.

 

There was a second problem with Eds formulation, however. How could it really be that the war was a "wrong" and yet he would criticise non one for their decision. Questions of war and peace cannot be dismissed in this way.

 

This is why Jeremy is correct today to return to this matter. He has said that if he becomes leader he will apologise on behalf of the party for the war and for the "deception" involved in the decision. He will also say that we should never again go to war in such circumstances.

 

This formulation is the correct on. Jeremy says Labour must apologise and goes further in saying that deception was involved in the process. Of course there will be a full national debate about Iraq if and when Chilcot publishes his report. But Jeremy's words are correct and long overdue.

Jon Trickett MP

Once more on Iraq

Once more on Iraq.   Iraq is in the news once more. The Chilcot report is in the headlines - for the wrong reasons.   It is hard not to...

With one in two people set to be diagnosed with cancer at some point in their lives it is vital that we support research and treatment now more than ever.

Last week I attended a reception held by Cancer Research UK and spoke to some of their dedicated volunteers about their work and the cancer treatment facilities in the Hemsworth constituency. It is shocking that around 1,800 people are diagnosed with cancer every year in our constituency with a survival rate of only 50%. We must do all that we can to support the work of Cancer Research UK, and other charities, to eradicate this terrible disease.

If you would like to find out more about the work of Cancer Research visit their website at: http://www.cancerresearchuk.org/

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Cancer Research UK

With one in two people set to be diagnosed with cancer at some point in their lives it is vital that we support research and treatment now more than ever....


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