STILL LABOUR TO STOP THE TORIES?

The left often have a difficult relationship with the Labour party but every so often one gets firmly reminded that the Labour party is the only party in Britain with a realistic progressive agenda.

This week we have seen the Tories up to their old tricks; allegedly George Osborne has been caught red-handed trying to solicit a donation from a Russian Billionaire, and Nathaniel Rothschild would go so far as to back up this up in court. Either way it reminded us of backgrounds the new party of the people, Osborne and Rothschild were chums at the Bullingdon Club.

In economic news it appears Darling has dusted of a copy of J.M Keynes that he put away in the 1980's, announcing he would bring forward spending plans to stimulate demand in the economy. This can only be good for job creation and the only way to avoid a major recession or at least soften it. The Tories' response was laughable, you can't spend more said John Redwood, that was it.

The government also announced a shake up of sex education, a welcome and necessary development to try to tackle the appalling teenage pregnancy rate in Britain. Evidence suggests open and early years education such as that in the Netherlands gets results.

NHS waiting times are their lowest since its creation; the average wait is eight weeks from GP referral, down from around 2 years which was common under the Conservatives in the mid-1990s.

Perhaps the most encouraging news of all was the OECD report suggesting the declining gap between rich and poor in Britain between 2000 and 2005 was 'remarkable'. This could be largely due to the minimum wage which has gone up by 59% under Labour with average earnings going up at 46%. Britain is still a severely unequal country but more good news nonetheless and something to remember when knocking on doors.

This is the time for all those undecided on the left to join the party, get involved, debate, canvass and support the party because if we do not the Tories money advantage could well tell and where would that leave the most vulnerable in these difficult economic times.

Joe Cox, Dartford CLP, Compass Youth

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