The Homeless Ex Serviceman

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I was talking to shoppers as they stopped at our Labour Party Street Stall when I noticed a man watching us from across the road.  I went over to talk to him.

At first the man was reticent, thinking I was ‘just another politician’ because I was dressed smartly. But I told him what I believe, and that is that I try to dress smartly to talk to people because I respect them.

The man was less reticent then and he told me a very sad story.

He is an ex serviceman. He served in the British Armed Forces for 22 years.
But now he is unemployed and homeless.

“Why has this happened to me?” He said.
“I have done nothing wrong. I served my country. I risked my life and was proud to do so. And yet now no one wants to know me.”

The man’s story moved me to tears.

I have worked with unemployed people for many years, helping them to overcome difficulties and find work. But this man had worked hard and had done all he could to do the right thing for 22 years!

And as someone who wants to make things better for people, this saddens me.
Because this man has no faith in politicians. He feels that politicians over the last few years have taken away all his respect.

I would never want to be a politician like that, but it is hard to convince someone who feels he has been treated so badly by people who are supposed to represent him.

And that is why I could never be a Conservative.

Conservatives talk about ‘heroes’ when they refer to our service men and women, but they don’t back that up with real respect for their lives.

Families of Armed Forces members often live on low wages and have been hit by the bedroom tax. Members of the Armed Forces who have been injured while on duty are finding it difficult to get recompense under this Conservative Government.

And our veterans are leaving the services unable to find work and even homes, because of the Conservative austerity economy and a Conservative disregard for veterans who need specialist public services.

It is Labour who know that we have a duty to properly reward and remunerate our Armed Forces with the pay and living conditions that their service merits.

And it is Labour who are fully committed to supporting our veterans, with a Homes Fit For Heroes program and with an emphasis on prompt access to support and compensation for those injured while serving.

It will be difficult to convince everyone that Labour really cares about our armed forces personnel, especially those like the ex serviceman I met at the street stall.

But we have to try.

It saddens me that this Government has allowed some of our veterans to end up this way.
And I really hope that the voters realise that it is Labour who want to support our Armed Service Personnel, both serving and ex-service.

Because it would be dreadful for this sad situation to be allowed to continue.

Labour is Ambitious for Every Child In Portsmouth

Labour is ambitious for every child in Portsmouth. But under the Conservative Government your child’s education could be badly affected.

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As a father of three children who have grown up in Portsmouth, I know the importance of a good education and the value of the schools who provide it. I am proud of what my two daughters and son are achieving and am grateful that they have had the chance to experience things through their education that are helping them get on in life. But I also know only too well that it is not like this for all children.

We Need To Stop Child Poverty

One in four children are living in poverty in the UK right now. The total figure has soared by 400,000 since the Tories came to power. Source: the Office for National Statistics (ONS).

Under the Tory Government the UK has fallen in global rankings for children’s rights from 11th. place to 156th. It is now amongst the bottom ten global performers in improving the rights of the child after achieving the lowest possible score across all six main indicators. Source: Kids Rights Index 2017 (data collected from Unicef & United Nations Committee on the Rights of the Child)

The government is failing to protect vulnerable children, too many of whom are missing out on things they should be experiencing which could provide them with the chance of a better life as they grow up. For many life is grim and without much of what most children take for granted. Two thirds of them come from families where at least one parent is working, according to the Child Poverty Action Group (CPAG) and Barnado’s. There is little evidence here of the government’s commitment to a ‘country that works for everyone.’

Free School Meals for every Primary School Pupil

For some of these children, their school dinner is the only decent meal they get all day and Labour is determined they will not go without it. While the Tories plan to take free school meals away from infants, Labour will provide free school meals for all primary school children and will pay for this by introducing VAT on private school fees.

Invest In Schools. Don’t Cut Them!

To ensure that they, and the rest of our children, get the opportunities they deserve Labour will also reverse the crippling cuts to schools. The Tories tell us they have put more into the schools’ budget, but that’s not how it’s looking to headteachers in Portsmouth and around the country. Right now, headteachers in the city are struggling with dwindling funds and over the next three years, a study by the National Union of Teachers (NUT) and figures from the National Audit Office (NAO), show our city schools are set to lose over £8 million. That’s a sum equivalent to 216 teachers. The School Cuts site https://www.schoolcuts.org.uk/#!/ has examples of how such devastating cuts could affect schools across the country.

These Are Potential Cuts To Your Schools in Portsmouth North Under the Tories:

Here are just some examples of what lies ahead for potential school cuts and staff losses in Portsmouth North under the Conservatives:

Budget cuts  =                         per school            per pupil      equal to no. of teachers

Copnor Primary                    £166,394                   £246                                5
Isambard Brunel Junior     £95,835                     £362                                3
Lyndhurst Junior                  £117,606                   £241                                3
Northern Parade Junior     £115,430                   £298                              4
Trafalgar School                    £200,958                  £413                                 5
Mayfield School                     £528,629                  £442                              14
King Richard School             £257,618                   £394                               7

These cuts will have a profound affect on our children and could lead inevitably to bigger class sizes, fewer teachers and support staff, less available materials and, as is already happening in other parts of the country, certain subjects being totally removed from the curriculum. All this, when an extra £320 million, earmarked in the budget, will be flowing into the government’s free school programme.

Stop the Cuts To Our Schools – Vote Labour!

Labour wants a better deal for Portsmouth North’s schools. All our children deserve a brighter future. They should get the opportunity to have one.

As your Labour candidate, I will stand up for the schools in Portsmouth North. I will stand up for all our children.

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The Tory Government Has Denied QA Hospital Critical Funding!

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QA Hospital has lost out on critical funding through no fault of its own

All the different members of staff in our National Health Service are working so hard to provide the decent care we all need at different times in our lives. They do a tough job and we know that money for our NHS has been cut to the bone. Every penny is vital and it’s now virtually impossible to make it go as far as we need it to…in fact we just can’t. So it’s very disturbing to learn that our own local services have suffered another blow.

The Tory Government has denied our very own Queen Alexandra (QA) hospital an additional £7.6 million of funding.

With 240 people stuck in beds every month, because the social care they need to recuperate isn’t available, the hospital failed to meet the financial conditions needed to gain the money. The Sustainability and Transformation Funding (STF) would have made a significant difference to our struggling local health services and it’s a travesty that such a decision has been made.

With less money going into our local health needs and the same situation repeated across the country, things will only get worse. Hospital waiting lists will get even longer, so will delays to GP appointments and there’ll be an even greater loss of doctors, nurses and care staff from the service.

Yet the Tory Government tells us they’re putting more money into health. They claim their increase to the Department of Health’s budget between 2015/16 and 2020/21 is £10 billion, but the independent think tank The King’s Fund, says it is far closer to £4.5 billion. So if the Tories stick to this amount, The King’s Fund say there is every prospect of patients waiting even longer for treatment and care being increasingly rationed.

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Many NHS Nurses are under severe financial pressure

Staff shortages have contributed to the financial problems of our health service too. Locums used to plug the gaps are expensive and greatly increase costs to the NHS.With tougher working conditions, and greater financial pressures, increasing numbers of people are leaving the health professions. It’s little wonder when, for example, parking costs at their workplaces are costing some nurses over £100 a month alone. It cannot be right that 6,500 of them have even been reduced to using food banks because their wages will not stretch to the end of the month either. Janet Davies, head of the Royal College of Nursing (RCN) said: ‘…for almost entirely all nurses, this is the worst it’s been.’

This is a dreadful situation and our NHS is facing a state of emergency.

care-for-nhs-labourLabour has policies to ensure that our hospitals, health services and NHS staff get the funding and support they need so desperately.

 

Let’s stop this NHS emergency before it’s too late.  Please vote Labour!