My Views

November 27th, 2022
Written by John Grogan

This is how we win Keighley and Ilkley for Labour and put Keir Starmer in 10 Downing Street.

Firstly, we ourselves must believe in the radical change we are going to bring to our country. If we are not convinced, we have no chance of persuading others. Our economic inheritance is likely to be difficult. Nye Bevan the founder of the NHS said the language of priorities is the religion of socialism. In this context we can bring progressive change in three different ways.

Here’s the deal...

Number 1

We can do things that do not cost public money but transform lives.

For example, we are committed to:

  • Employment Rights from Day 1
  • No more fire and rehire
  • Strengthen trade union rights to recognition raising pay and conditions
  • A new race equality act
  • A new act to strengthen the rights of tenants bringing decent standards to all homes.
  • Cutting discharges of sewage in our rivers by 90%.
  • Proper regulation of buses
  • Ending the moratorium on onshore wind farms
  • Making misogyny a hate crime and toughening sentences for rape and stalking
  • And yes, a Labour Government will be one which abides by international treaties, and we will provide safe and legal routes for asylum seekers

In the same vein I, myself, would also support:

  • Abolition of the House of the Lords and replacing it with a senate made up of representatives of the nations and regions.
  • Electoral Reform so that never again will the likes of Liz Truss and the Tory right be running our country
  • Developing a closer and sensible relationship with our neighbours and allies albeit outside the European Union.
  • Devolution of power and resources to Yorkshire
  • Recognition of the state of Palestine with continuing support for Israel’s right to security

Number 2

We can borrow:

  • to invest
  • to increase growth
  • to get to net zero
  • to bring down energy costs and inflation by investing in renewable energy
  • to link up the great cities and towns of the North including a new high speed east west rail line with a station in Bradford
  • to rebuild hospitals like Airedale which bind the towns and villages of the Aire, Worth and Wharfe valleys together
  • to insulate many of the older houses which characterise much of this constituency
  • to bring new clean, green high skilled, high wage jobs to our country

I was with Ed Miliband in Hull on Thursday. We were told that only 30% of the money spent on the biggest wind farm in the world off the Yorkshire coast was spent with companies in the United Kingdom. We will change those numbers by investing £28 billion a year in green growth and setting up a national energy company.

Number 3

We can fund growth in public services with specific taxes.

For example, we are committed to abolishing tax relief on private schools to give us more money for education. I would like us to look at taxing income gained from wealth, such as shares, similarly to income gained from employment. I think there is a case for a windfall tax on the banks given high interest rates.

Locally, other than the hospital, my top priority would be to do all I could to work with others to regenerate Keighley Town. Too many people’s life chances are going a begging. A gap of 10 years in life expectancy between Keighley and Ilkley is simply not acceptable. I will get everybody, and I mean everybody, around the table. Halifax down the road is an example of what can be done - we need to nurture a bit of that Pennine entrepreneurial spirit. I will revive the campaign to restore the Skipton Colne rail link with direct trains to Manchester. Bradford 2025 and the promotion of Keighley Cougars are opportunities that must not be missed.

It does not take a political genius to divide a diverse constituency like Keighley and Ilkley and set group against group.

But for Labour it must always be different if we are to be true to our values.

I will seek to unite not divide this diverse constituency of Keighley and Ilkley.

I will use every political tool at our disposal to make the case for Labour - including my new Instagram account! 

I shall release my first campaign video later this week.

It is time for Ordinary People,

Nobody left behind,

Nobody held back.