Despite having been campaigning for the General Election since September last year, we officially opened our new Campaign Office on Saturday and had a brilliantly successful day. It was great to see so many people together for the launch, and we had a busy day. Some newer members even made it along in spite of the slightly soggy weather outside.
Before we set out for a full day’s campaigning, our local candidate, John Robertson, made a speech that set out why he was standing again and why he was fighting for a Labour government in May. He said that while in government, he was part of a government that made people’s lives better that created the Minimum Wage, introduced Tax Credits, reduced child poverty and supported the NHS when it was in crisis, but the coalition had attacked the poorest in Scotland and across the UK.
John also set out Labour’s plan for Scotland. How we would raise the minimum wage to at least £8 per hour, and promoting the Living Wage in public contracts in the mean-time, and fund 1000 new nurses across Scotland using Scotland’s share of Labour’s UK-wide Mansion Tax. I’ve come to find the Mansion Tax one of my favourite policies – even though Scotland, Wales and the North of England wouldn’t raise much, they would stand to benefit the most. That’s a great way to share resources across the country.
After the speech, we got out and spoke to people. We had 2 teams out and about in Scotstoun talking to people about Labour’s policies. Even one of our new members, who hadn’t been out canvassing before, felt confident enough to give it a go after a few doors. That was great to hear.
We also had people come by the office to help us however they could. They made phone calls, stuffed envelopes and prepared posters for our members and supporters to put up in their windows. The sense of community and common purpose in the rooms throughout the day was amazing to see – we really do achieve more together than we do alone.
While the day itself was brilliant, it was only the beginning of the ‘proper’ General Election campaign. Over the next 40-or-so days, we’ll be speaking to hundreds of people about what’s important to them, just as we have since January. It’s clear that the cost of living, our NHS and how we treat the most vulnerable in society will be the most important issues in this election – and I think Labour wins on all three.
The challenge is to show others that this is the case, and that a Labour government is the change this country needs to make it a fairer, better place.
More pictures from our Campaign Centre Launch can be found on our Facebook Page.