Jon Trickett

Hemsworth Labour

Blog

Ackworth Grit, and the true cost of the nation's wealth

The wealth of my home village of Ackworth in part originated from the local stone quarries.

The other day, I was at a Memorial Service, remembering those that have lost their lives in the Ackworth Quarries. It was here that 14 men – including a 13 year old boy – were tragically killed.

The memorial, which is made of stone, bears the names of each of the men who died. It was wonderful that the volunteers of the Ackworth heritage group made the memorial possible.

And on the memorial you can see many well-known Ackworth surnames, families who remain here to this day. But there are also names of men who came to work in the local quarries from all over the country.

The quarry site is where the local Co-op is now. And you can see the memorial on the green not far from the road.

Many of the houses locally are built from the quarried stone. In fact the wall that surrounds my house is built with such stone. Although the stone is quite soft and used to build houses and walls, it also has other uses.

When it is broken up, it becomes gritty and was used as an abrasive all around the world.

But this got me thinking about how people in Yorkshire are described as “gritty”.
At the end of the ceremony it was said that the price of stone was measured in pounds, shillings and pence.

But the true cost of grit can only be counted in the lives of men who died.

Ackworth’s wealth was partly created through the grit that was produced, by gritty Yorshiremen whose lives we should never forget.

Ackworth Grit

Ackworth Grit, and the true cost of the nation's wealth The wealth of my home village of Ackworth in part originated from the local stone quarries. The other day, I...

Deeply concerning figures have been released by the Trussell Trust which show over a million people in the UK are now relying on food banks. I believe that in reality the number is likely to be much higher as the Trussell Trust has not included figures from community or church led food banks.

Over one million people now relying on food banks

Deeply concerning figures have been released by the Trussell Trust which show over a million people in the UK are now relying on food banks. I believe that in reality... Read more

Yesterday I went into Wakefield to meet the Election officials,

It is a little known fact that once the election is called, there are no longer any MPs. So I have not been an MP now for more than week.

Proud as anything to be a Labour Candidate

Yesterday I went into Wakefield to meet the Election officials, It is a little known fact that once the election is called, there are no longer any MPs. So I... Read more

On Monday I went to the 20th anniversary of Warde Aldham becoming a centre of care for the elderly.

I must say that it is a very impressive and happy place. The staff turnover is low which means that they must be generally content with their work. I gave a bunch of flowers to Sue who had worked there for the full 20 years.

Warde Aldham

On Monday I went to the 20th anniversary of Warde Aldham becoming a centre of care for the elderly. I must say that it is a very impressive and happy... Read more

Today I was in Featherstone where I met Denis and June. Denis served in the army in the middle east. The day he arrived back on the troop ship was June 1st 1948, the very day that the NHS was set up.

Ten days ago he had spinal surgery in hospital, today he was out and about. A minor miracle, he said.

He told me that he is very worried that if the Conservatives win the election the health service will be ended.

Denis and June

Today I was in Featherstone where I met Denis and June. Denis served in the army in the middle east. The day he arrived back on the troop ship was...

It has been reported that Tory Lord Wolfson has recently received an £820,000 bonus from Next, at the same time as implying that the living wage is not realistic. Lord Wolfson also claimed that £6.70 is enough to live on.

Living wage not a reality says Conservative Peer Boss of Next who has received £820,000 bonus

It has been reported that Tory Lord Wolfson has recently received an £820,000 bonus from Next, at the same time as implying that the living wage is not realistic. Lord... Read more

First launched by Labour in 2008, National Apprenticeship Week is designed to celebrate apprenticeships and the positive impact they have on individuals, businesses and the economy.

National Apprenticeship Week

First launched by Labour in 2008, National Apprenticeship Week is designed to celebrate apprenticeships and the positive impact they have on individuals, businesses and the economy. Read more

 

The 23rd of February to the 8th of March is Fairtrade Fortnight which celebrates the impact of Fairtrade and raises awareness of the importance of buying Fairtrade produce when possible.

More than 1.3 million people, across more than 70 developing countries benefit from the Fairtrade system which ensures farmers across the developing world receive a fairer price for their work, as well as an additional premium, used by farmers and workers to invest in their communities. 

Fairtrade Fortnight

  The 23rd of February to the 8th of March is Fairtrade Fortnight which celebrates the impact of Fairtrade and raises awareness of the importance of buying Fairtrade produce when... Read more

It is not possible to build a successful economy unless working families are themselves successful. Labour understands that this means  giving a meaningful start in life to the younger generation.  

The decision by the coalition to raise tuition fees to £9000 was amongst the earliest actions which they took to set a direction of travel as to their dismissive attitude to younger people. 

Famously, Nick Clegg broke his solemn word to the country and is unlikely ever to be forgiven for that betrayal. Rightly so. And not simply because he had broken his word and imposed huge debt burdens on the back of most students.

But also because of the decision to fund higher education in this way speaks to a view of the system where Universities in effect cease to be a public good, but a set of individualised transactional relationships between students and the institutions which provide the degrees. 

But only 50% of our younger people go to University. For the other half – the Tories’ forgotten fifty per cent – there was too little on offer. Too often enfeebled training was rebadged as ‘apprenticeships’.  For the rest there was often unsatisfactory working or even long tem unemployment.

As Ed Miliband set out today, the Tory-led Government’s decision to treble tuition fees from 2012 goes beyond the betrayal of an election promise. Taken together with everything else they have done, what has happened over the last five years is a betrayal of an entire generation.

Labour will change all this with a series of new opportunities to young people.

Here are seven reasons why the announcements today, together with other announcements we have made, make up a progressive approach to backing the next generation:

 

1.       At the heart of Labour’s plan for tuition fees is a belief that university education is a public good rather than something that should be entirely left to the market. Labour is clear that university funding should be a shared responsibility between students and the state. Today’s announcement goes some way to restore that balance, and is a rejection of the market ideology the Tories and Lib Dems have imposed on our higher education system.

2.       There is nothing progressive about saddling our future generations with £44,000 of debt.  Under the Tory and Lib Dem system almost three-quarters of graduates will never pay their loan back in full, meaning they have tens of thousands of pounds of debt hanging over them for 30 years. So Labour’s policy to cut tuition fees to £6,000 will mean cutting the amount of debt loaded on to all graduates by up to £9,000. 

3.       Labour will also make the system fairer and more progressive by asking the top earning graduates to pay back more through a higher interest rate. This additional funding will be used to increase grants by £400 – benefitting more than half of students who are from households on middle and lower incomes.

4.       Our plan to cut tuition fees will be fully funded by asking the richest in our society to pay a little more but restricting pension tax relief for the highest earners. We think this is only fair – why should the richest in our society receive double the rate of tax relief of those on lower incomes only receive 20 per cent?

5.       Today’s announcement is part of our wider plan for the next generation, which includes more high-quality apprenticeships 

6.           We will provide a jobs guarantee to help get all our long term young unemployed people back into work. 

7.           Today’s focus was on our university students but let’s not forget that it has been Ed Miliband leading the way on increasing opportunities for the young people who the Tories forgot– those who choose not to go to university but instead wish to pursue a vocational route to work.

Taken together, Labour’s Young Person’s Guarantee is a progressive plan for a better Britain.

A progressive approach to backing the next generation

It is not possible to build a successful economy unless working families are themselves successful. Labour understands that this means  giving a meaningful start in life to the younger generation.  ...

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MP’s second jobs debate

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