‘WE HAVE four weeks. Four weeks to take our message to voters to convince them Britain can be better,’ Jeremy Corbyn, Leader of the Labour Party, told an enthusiastic audience at the party’s election campaign launch in Manchester yesterday.
He said: ‘We can transform Britain into a country that, instead of being run for the rich, is one where everyone can lead richer lives. And I mean richer in every sense. Richer because all of us have potential to fulfil, family to support, interests to pursue, richer when that potential is not held back.
‘Because there is no doubt; Britain is being held back. If your children aren’t getting the education they deserve because class sizes are too high, then your children are being held back. If you’re a young couple, or anyone trying to get a home and can’t make a home because rent and house prices are too high, then you’re being held back.
‘And if you’ve worked hard all your life, but can’t pursue your dreams in retirement because you’re supporting your family well into adulthood, then you too are being held back. But Britain is a rich country – the sixth richest in the world. We caught a glimpse of that wealth only two days ago when Rupert Murdoch’s Sunday Times published its Rich List.
‘In the last year, Britain’s 1,000 richest people have seen their wealth rise by 14% to £658bn – that’s nearly six times the budget of our NHS. Imagine the outcry if public sector workers put in for a 14% pay rise. But it’s no surprise that the richest have got even richer after the tens of billions the Tories have handed them in tax cuts. That’s what we mean when we say the system is rigged for the rich.’
Corbyn warned: ‘Change always involves taking on vested interests. And there is a real danger that the Tories’ fearmongering and spin machine will make some people settle for less than they should. . . The stakes are high. We know from last week’s local elections how big the challenge is. We have to convince the sceptical and undecided. They are not sure which way to turn. People are alienated from politics and politicians.
‘Our Westminster system is broken and our economy is rigged. Both are run in the interests of the few. Labour is under attack because we are standing up to the elites who are determined to hijack Brexit to pay even less tax and take even more of the wealth we all create.
‘Labour is under attack because we are standing up to the corporate interests plundering our NHS. How much more will be privatised if the Tories get another five years? . . . That’s why we are fighting to win this election. So we can transform Britain for the many not the few.’