The challenge of our lifetime
As we head towards 2020, we’re at a crossroads. In many ways, we’ve never had it so good. Science, technology and industry have given us a standard of living that would have been unimaginable to our ancestors. We’re also facing some unprecedented challenges, both as a nation and also as part of a wider global society.
A decade of austerity has taken its toll on our country, and we’re seeing the results of that: an epidemic of knife crime affecting young people, a national health service in crisis, increasing numbers of families and children living in poverty. We’re seeing older people struggling to access the care they need, and youngsters with special educational needs being failed by the system. I see these things every day in my work as a local councillor.
Then, there’s the Climate Emergency. In the words of Barrack Obama, "We are the first generation to feel the effect of climate change and the last generation who can do something about it." We have this one opportunity to make a difference – and we must not waste it, because our future and that of our children depends upon it. It’s vital that we do that in a way that brings everyone in our society with us; in a way that makes life better, rather than worse; and that strengthens our communities and creates opportunities.
We can’t go back to a past that no longer exists. The old solutions won’t take us into the future. Just as we need new technologies, we need new ideas and new ways of doing things. We need politicians who can bring people together to create solutions, instead of driving us apart and then trying to paper over the cracks.
Looking at the world around us, it can be easy to lose hope. But the reason I got involved in politics is because I believe we can do better. We MUST do better.
I believe in a world where everyone has enough to eat, somewhere safe to live, access to education and healthcare. A world where people are rewarded fairly for their hard work, and the vulnerable are taken care of. I believe in a society that is sustainable, that lives within its means and takes care of the natural world around us; and in a democracy where leaders work together constructively for the good of their country.
This is the defining challenge of our time – to ensure that the society we leave to our children and their generation is one that can thrive into the next century and beyond.
I say this, knowing full well that real change is hard; but I believe it's a vision worth fighting for.
Tomorrow, in Solihull, please vote with your heart. 💚