My manifesto - Dawn Butler
As the next general election approaches, and a government embroiled in corruption and cronyism continues to mishandle crisis after crisis, it is abundantly clear that our country needs innovative and forward-thinking policies to pave the way for a brighter future.
One of the most pressing issues plaguing our society right now is the state of housing. Daily, I am inundated with casework from families living in squalid conditions or being forcibly displaced due to spiralling living costs. No one should have to endure substandard housing conditions, often full of damp and mould – but the fear of eviction stops many from speaking out. Shockingly, my borough of Brent has one of London's highest eviction rates. Something urgently needs to change.
I want to see a stronger, legally mandated minimum standard of living, empowering authorities to fine and bar more landlords who repeatedly neglect housing issues faced by their tenants. To combat evictions triggered by exorbitant rent hikes, I propose the immediate implementation of rent controls – taking into consideration recent mortgage hikes caused by this incompetent government. We must also, across the country, focus on keeping more social housing within councils and make available genuinely affordable first-time homes.
Public faith in the police service is at an all-time low. There are no longer just a few rotten apples but a rotten core – especially in the Met, which currently has over 1,000 officers suspended or on restricted duties. Many in the police have turned a blind eye to institutional racism, sexism, homophobia and corruption. To rectify this, I suggest comprehensive re-vetting and psychological testing for every single police officer, accompanied by fair wage increases proportionate to their invaluable public service.
The introduction of a new social contract is also essential. This contract must prioritise the safeguarding of all citizens, irrespective of their race, gender, disability, religion, sex or sexual orientation. Under this contract, both citizens and law enforcement commit to their respective roles, fostering trust within our communities. Solving local crime issues requires collaboration between the community and a police service that operates with the mutual trust of the people.
The time has come for an unwavering commitment to green energy – we need to secure a faster transition to net-zero. It is unforgivable that we are currently forced to switch off wind turbines due to grid limitations. To lead the world in sustainability, we must upgrade our infrastructure and reduce our reliance on fossil fuels. This endeavour will benefit all citizens, lowering energy costs and protecting our environment. Sadly, however, the Prime Minister appears more interested in grid upgrades to heat his private pool.
Our vision for change must encompass a multitude of issues. We must tackle the ethnic pay gap and ensure that basic human rights like access to heating and food are guaranteed for all. We must remove the tourist tax, address AI's risks and protect individuals from identity-related harm. We should aim to be world leaders by defending LGBTQI+ rights, offer support and safe routes for asylum seekers, prioritise environmental sustainability and combat air pollution. And lastly, we must ensure that trade union rights are integral components of our values as a Labour government.
This is just the beginning, and the path to a better future is complex. However, we must be bold and ambitious in presenting a genuine alternative to a failing Conservative government. Labour’s commitment to these policies and principles will guide us in our quest to build a more just and equitable society for all. And give people hope!