Bridget Phillipson MP: The Conservative Party has given up on governing Britain - it can
Bridget Phillipson MP: The Conservative Party has given up on governing Britain - it can't even govern itself

Election Now: It’s time for a Labour government that will work with unions and business alike to build an economy that works for all of us, not some of us, writes Bridget Phillipson

Four prime ministers in seven years. Four chancellors in four months. Four education secretaries in 365 days. These are the numbers that show that the Conservative Party has given up on governing Britain. It can’t even govern itself: today we learn they are divided on whether to change the rules so they can drive those numbers higher still.

But this game of musical chairs isn’t just harmless fun for the Westminster bubble. It has consequences for people in every corner of our country. Because politics is not a game: the consequences of the current crisis – made in Downing Street – are very real. People’s jobs. People’s pensions. People’s services. People’s homes. People’s businesses. The frightening spectacle of a new chancellor having to speak to the nation on television to reverse his own party’s tax cuts, to try to stem the damage they’ve inflicted on our economy and stop the soaring cost of government borrowing on the global market.

Britain does not have time for this. Our country faces huge challenges at home and abroad, which a Conservative Party turned in on itself is doing nothing to address. An economy mired in failure, with productivity growth sluggish for a decade. A society scarred by inequality, with real wages stagnant for so many years. A skills system, failing our people, our employers, and our country.

Parents priced out of working by the soaring cost of childcare. Young people locked out of the housing market. Our health service crippled by waiting lists of more than 7 million. And crowning all of this, a global climate emergency, to which this government’s answer is hardly believable: fracking.

Don’t accept for a moment the claim from the Tories, as they try to escape the blame, that this is just about Truss, or just about Kwarteng. Their think tanks and their MPs all cheered the emergency mini-Budget to the rafters just a fortnight ago. These last few weeks are not an aberration from the last 12 and a half years: this is the natural conclusion of their failed ideology. This is on all of them.

Running down our public services year after year. Running a tax system that shields the richest and hammers working people. Running our country without respect for the public. Now they are running on empty. No ideas, no vision, no values. No chance of facing the challenges of the next decade when they concentrate on surviving the next week. The damage has been done.

So today there is only one answer. We need a general election, and we need a Labour government, as soon as possible. Labour stands ready to lead our country again. It’s time for a Labour government that will work with unions and businesses alike to build an economy that works for all of us, not some of us.

We will provide a secure fair economy, based on harnessing the talents of working people, all regions and nations benefitting, because we know that growth doesn’t trickle down from the top – it comes from the talent and efforts of millions of working people and thousands of businesses.

We will invest in the transition to net zero, with thousands of clean green jobs turning our country into a homegrown energy superpower. We will deliver the modern childcare system working parents are crying out for, starting with breakfast clubs for every child in every primary school. We will deliver an ambitious plan to help young people get on the housing ladder.

We will tackle the huge waiting lists that weigh down our NHS and our society by investing in the future workforce we need. We will observe the same high standards the British people observe in their own lives, rather than bending the rules and breaking the law. For our country, it’s simple: it’s time. Only Labour can deliver the fresh start we need.

This article originally appeared in The Independent

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