General Election 2017: meet the candidates - Tom McNeil - The Solihull Observer

General Election 2017: meet the candidates - Tom McNeil

Solihull Editorial 18th May, 2017   0

I’m extremely proud to have been reselected as Labour’s Parliamentary Candidate for Meriden, after standing there in the 2015 General Election.

I am well aware that this will be a difficult election for Labour. However, it’s an absolute privilege to stand for the Party again, particularly when times are tough.

I will do everything I can to convince people that a Hard Brexit is devastatingly bad news for the people, rich or poor. That’s why I promise, if elected, to try to help negotiate the best deal possible for the UK. In doing so, I commit to engaging in a meaningful dialogue about our immigration rules and control over our laws.

At the same time, I want to help spread Labour’s positive message. Britain has an exciting future if we target funding intelligently on education, health and industry, rather than short term cuts that store up problems down the line.

I am not interested in the politics of envy. What I’m really interested in is the politics of fairness and equal opportunity. Right now, people don’t have equal chances in life. I come from a very humble background in the West Midlands and my family really struggled financially when I was growing up. In my adult life I have been more fortunate and so far I have had a good career as a lawyer. My experiences have taught me that, just like how successful businesses invest in themselves so they can grow strong, our country needs to invest in its people.

I have some very good friends who support the Conservative Party and the Lib Dems. They often, sensibly, ask me “Tom, it’s all very well you wanting to do all of this, but where is the money coming from?” I say to them that in a country as wealthy and industrious as ours, the money is there.

We all know there’s too much tax avoidance but, while I’m confident many top business executives work very hard, most people agree that the pay gap between the necessary workers that prop up businesses and those at the top is far too large.

We must also ensure the public sector continues to become more efficient, so it can continue its brilliant and necessary work: inspiring teachers; brave police officers, fire fighters and military; lifesaving nurses, doctors and medical staff; dedicated civil servants and many more. But importantly, if we don’t invest in people’s potential now, we’ll miss out on the benefit of growth in years to come, whether economic or social. Failure now will result in more unsustainable costs to society: ill health, more welfare, less housing, less high skilled jobs, lower economic growth – just like a business that struggles when it fails to prepare for tomorrow.

I will try to avoid running a depressing or negative campaign – most people are bored of that. Most of us want to see a better society and I’m excited about sharing Labour’s vision for how we can achieve that.

If you agree with how I see things, please vote for me on June 8.


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