Jon Trickett

Hemsworth Labour

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It has been brought to my attention that the only bank in Featherstone is due to close this August and leave the town with no banking facilities whatsoever.

The closure of the bank would have a massively detrimental impact on local people and businesses. Many of Featherstone’s residents, with lack of mobility and internet access, rely on a local banking service to carry out their everyday financial transactions. The closure of the branch will leave Featherstone without any facilities and therefore force residents to travel to nearby towns.

At a time when Featherstone is experiencing increased house building and commercial regeneration it is disappointing that the Yorkshire Bank has made the decision to close its branch in the town.

I am against the closure of the bank and I have written to Yorkshire Bank to strongly urge them to reconsider the closure of the Featherstone Branch.

Labour controlled Featherstone Town Council have also written to Yorkshire Bank expressing their concerns.

Closure of Yorkshire Bank in Featherstone

It has been brought to my attention that the only bank in Featherstone is due to close this August and leave the town with no banking facilities whatsoever.

This is a defining moment for the future, and arguably the survival, of the Labour Party. In the coming months there will be much debate about what went wrong and where next. 

In 2005 I produced evidence that Labour had lost 4 million voters since the election in 1997. A substantial part of these missing millions were traditional working class voters. This pattern has continued over the last 10 years.

In a minor tidal wave of what looks like pre planned statements, a group of commentators have argued that what lost the election was a failure to tap into the hopes of “aspirational” voters.

However, there is not a shred of evidence for their argument. The explanations for our defeat are deeper than this simplistic assessment.

The truth is that Labour recovered amongst middle class voters but has suffered a cataclysmic decline among working class voters.

It is possible to scrutinise now the initial voting analysis provided to me by the House of Commons Library.

If we compare the election results for our last election victory in 2005 with the result last Thursday and analyse by social class, a very interesting pattern emerges.

Here are the figures.

 

2005

2010

2015

AB

28

26

27

C1

32

28

30

C2

40

29

30

DE

48

40

37

It is possible here to see that the proportions of AB and C1 voters who voted Labour in the last three elections has held steady. Indeed Ed Miliband’s leadership led to a mild recovery of these voters between 2010 and 2015, (as it did among the C2 group.)

A full analysis of what happened last Thursday is not yet possible but at least one opinion poll has shown that ‘the election result implied by polling would give the Tories 12.5 m votes and Labour 12.2 million. However, in the event the Tories secured 11.3 million votes and Labour 9.3 million.’ There were almost 3 million Labour identifiers that we failed to mobilise.

Labour’s electoral base last Thursday was by far the most middle class we have secured in our history. A strategy based on a misunderstanding of what is happening in our country will not work. We cannot expect to win an election without reaching out to other layers of the population and equally mobilising those Labour identifiers who didn’t bother to vote.

In the coming leadership election, candidates need therefore first of all honestly to demonstrate that they can develop a three-fold strategy in England (Scotland is a very special case):

A)      Hold on to and indeed increase our middle class  vote

B)      Reach out to working class voters, and

C)      Mobilise Labour identifiers who did not vote Labour.

I will shortly publish further reflections on what we do next. However, the party should not elect a Leader who cannot concretely demonstrate that they can deliver B) above, since they are the largest group of the electorate whose support we have lost.

Those in the PLP with leadership aspirations cannot remain in denial or ignorance of these facts. They do so at their own peril, but more fundamentally fail to understand why the Labour Party exists. 

 

 

 

Labour’s Missing Millions (part 2)

This is a defining moment for the future, and arguably the survival, of the Labour Party. In the coming months there will be much debate about what went wrong and...

With the polls closing in just over 24 hours, it is urgent that we get out the vote for Labour.

I know many people think that “they are all the same” or that voting doesn’t affect them. But in this election, more than for any election for a generation, it is important to cast your vote.

In my part of the world, Yorkshire, a vote for Labour would change people’s lives.

Under the Tories Yorkshire and Humber has suffered. Average wages are now over £2,000 a year less than they were in in 2010 in real terms. That means people are facing a huge squeeze on their living standards and finding it really difficult to make ends meet at the end of the month.

On top of this, insecure jobs and zero hour contracts have increased dramatically. There are nearly 60,000 people in Yorkshire that are on zero hour contracts which rely on a text in the morning to see if they will actually have any work that day. If you’re on one of these contracts you cannot get a mortgage, borrow money to buy a new car or plan for the future.

The Tories have built an economy based on low pay and insecure work that hits working people hard. We were told that this would cut the deficit and reduce borrowing. It hasn’t. In fact the Tories have failed on their own terms: they said the deficit would have been gone by 2015, but it’s now set to be £75 billion by then and they are borrowing over £200 billion more than they planned.

The Tories have got it wrong. We can only have a strong economy when working people across the whole of the country succeed, not just the few at the top. That’s why a Labour government will raise the minimum wage to over £8 an hour by October 2019, we will ban exploitative zero hour contracts and make it illegal to use agency workers to undercut wages of permanent employees.

That’s why a Labour vote could make all the difference to people’s lives.  

To make a difference, vote Labour

With the polls closing in just over 24 hours, it is urgent that we get out the vote for Labour. I know many people think that “they are all the...


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