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By Ben Guerin
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My Labour Manifesto: Health and wellbeing are key to a positive vision

2 min read

The next general election cannot come soon enough.

When it does, Labour must show not only that we can be trusted to govern more competently and responsibly than the Conservatives – not exactly a high bar – but also that we have the ideas and vision to govern differently.

We will inherit an economy in crisis and public services under pressure like never before. So it’s essential that Labour’s manifesto sets out a long-term plan for national recovery based on strong communities in which everyone has the opportunity to make the most of their talents.

That means taking a holistic approach to government, so that everything we do is firmly based on three essential foundations. Two of these are already in place: our commitment to strict fiscal discipline, ensuring every promise is fully costed and affordable; and our green new deal, guaranteeing economic and environmental transformations go hand-in-hand.

We must now put in place a third. Labour should pledge to put improving the health and wellbeing of all our citizens at the heart of every part of our national recovery programme; not just because better health and wellbeing are desirable outcomes in themselves – although they are – but because they are essential components of a programme for growth, productivity, national cohesion and opportunity for all. They affect every walk of life, every policy area, every decision we take, every aspiration for a better future.

By adopting a comprehensive strategy towards improving the health and wellbeing of the country and its citizens, Labour can offer a fresh and positive vision for Britain’s future. A future where the answer to every problem is not to throw more money at it; where prevention takes priority over cure; and where investing time, energy and resources in people’s physical and mental health and wellbeing helps them as individuals – and us as a nation – become more prosperous, more productive and happier.

Many of the policies that will make up this holistic approach are already in place. Others will follow in the months to come. The challenge now is to pull them together into a comprehensive programme and to show that, while the new Prime Minister and Tory government continue to demonstrate how totally out of touch they are with the reality of most people’s lives, Labour has a pragmatic yet radical alternative – and a fresh, exciting new approach to government.


Kim Leadbeater is Labour MP for Batley and Spen

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