THE BLOG

Theresa May Cannot Keep Us Safe - Give Corbyn A Chance

05/06/2017 12:36
Matt Cardy via Getty Images

Theresa May cannot keep us safe.

Happy to police the internet; loathe to police our streets.

As Home Secretary, May cut 20,000 police and inflicted a 25% cut on the policing budget.

She was repeatedly warned, by the Police Federation and others, that cuts of 4% per year would jeopardise public safety. She continued.

In 2015, she ordered the fire service to act with "a relentless focus on efficiency," seeing "the need for many of the same reforms that [she] started in policing."

What happened?

  • Merseyside Fire and Rescue was plunged into an £11 million black-hole.
  • Thousands of firemen cut, including 14% of full-time servicemen.
  • Dozens of firestations closed.
  • 27% reduction in fire and safety checks by fire personnel.

This is just a small example of the devastation forced on some of our most important public services.

The "heroes" Theresa May praised in the wake of recent terror attacks are the same heroes she's hacked her way through as Home Secretary, slashing pay and cutting staff.

Nurses and doctors - the heroes treating the dead and wounded in London Bridge, Westminster and Manchester - have all suffered pay-freezes and real-terms pay cuts since 2010.

When confronted by a nurse in the BBC Question Time Leaders Special - explaining the pay-freeze she suffered - the Prime Minister responded, "there isn't a magic money tree."

Is this how we treat our heroes?


Video courtesy of the BBC, reproduced via The Independent, here.

Theresa May wasn't just reckless with our public services: she was actively deconstructing the apparatus required to keep our country safe.

On Sunday, the Prime Minister declared, "enough is enough," proposing further alienation of the Muslim community ("difficult and embarrassing conversations"), giving the police "all the powers they need" and controlling the internet.

Theresa May bragged that her government had stopped five terrorist attacks in the last three months; yet three of them occurred in the same period of time, on her watch. That's a 38% failure-rate.

So why has the Conservative Manifesto pledged to continue public sector cuts, to continue the devastation of our public services and an austerity program designed to gut our critical infrastructure and emergency services?

The alternative

Jeremy Corbyn is - without doubt - a controversial figure.

His positions and long-held principles on peace, public services and security have chained him to the Commons back-benches for thirty years.

Holding talks with Sinn Fein, his outspoken opposition to the Iraq War and refusal to support the militarisation of Libya has resulted in high-level criticism: but he has also been proven right.

For all the talk of Corbyn being "weak" on security, the Labour manifesto is one with security at its heart. A manifesto which promises to deliver 10,000 extra police on our streets, 500 additional border guards, more prison officers and fire fighters (3,000 each), a commitment to 2% GDP on defence, £10 billion for cyber security, financial support for veterans, a ban on arms sales to Saudi Arabia and - yes - a commitment to renewing Trident.

These measures will help reverse the chaos inflicted on our security services by the last several years of Conservative (and coalition) government.

In the words of former Police Head of Counter Terrorism in Belfast and Deputy Director General of the National Crime Squad:

Action as ever speaks louder than words and whoever wins the election on the 8 June needs to get their priorities right: investing in education, social care, health and policing is literally critical.

Another five years of Consevative government - led by Theresa May - will not provide the critical investment we need in our security services; and it will not reward the heroes to whom Theresa May has given lip-service over the last several years.

Cosying-up to an increasingly-isolated Trump Presidency is not a solution to our problems, post-Brexit or otherwise. We have to forge truly global alliances, putting environmental protection and job creation first; delivering a responsible program for global and national security.

A Labour government - led by Jeremy Corbyn - would provide security not just for our borders and our police, but in our retirement, our jobs, welfare, education and wages.

Labour will invest an additional £6 billion a year in our NHS, reduce class sizes to thirty, provide free childcare, school lunches, a universal winter fuel allowance and triple-lock pension, in addition to free university tuition and public railways; a real and radical program to create the resilient economy and society we need.

Security on our streets.

Security in work.

Security in retirement.

And security in our health and education.

These are the principles Jeremy stands for; and they are the principles Theresa May and the Conservative Party are trying to destroy.

We cannot cut our way into security. We have to invest.

Only one Party has the credible alternative this country needs.

On Thursday, June 8th, vote for a Labour government which will invest in you, your family and community so that - in all areas of life - we have the security we deserve: a government for the many, not the few.

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