Vera Baird DBE KC

Writer, Lecturer, Parliamentary Consultant and Co-Director of Astraea: Gender Justice

Ed Miliband’s New Year Message

“I want to wish you a very Happy New Year, from my family to yours. This is the season for new beginnings and hopes for the future. And Britain is ready for a new beginning. Because I don’t have to tell you that all over our country today, there are people working harder and harder, but standing still: families struggling with bills that are growing faster than their wages; young people, taking on mountains of debt to get a proper education, only to find themselves with no job at the other end; and an NHS where people are waiting longer and longer to get the care they need.

“It doesn’t have to be this way. As this New Year dawns, we have the chance to change direction; a chance to build a recovery for all of Britain; to fight for policies that actually honour and reward hard work; and hold the banks and energy companies accountable. We have the chance- all of us together- to fight for a new plan that cuts our deficit responsibly, without threatening our NHS or short changing our children and their future. This year, we have the power to bring about the change working families all over Britain need. This isn’t about idle dreams or empty promises. It\’s about a real, concrete plan: a plan for a recovery which reaches your kitchen table.

“In the coming months, I look forward to sharing our ideas with you about how we raise wages, give our young people a proper chance to get on, set fair rules for immigration and rescue our NHS. None of this will be easy or instant. But it is possible if we run the country in a different way: with a different idea, a different plan: putting working people first. And I know we will be a better, stronger and more prosperous country for it. So this is a moment of possibility for Britain. We have it within our grasp not just to see out the old year but to see out the old ways of running the country. Can we do it? Of course we can.

“This coming year, we mark the seventieth anniversary of the end of the second world war, when our parents and grandparents overcame the most daunting odds to rebuild. After the war, badly battered and deeply in debt, Britain rose again. We built the NHS, a modern welfare state, homes for people to live in and still dealt with our debts; we set the stage for a generation of progress for working people. Today’s challenges are different. But if we could walk through those fires, we surely can meet the problems of our time. We can build a country that works for everyday people. Change is possible if we reach for it. If you are one of the millions of people who think Britain can do a lot better, I am with you. I am with you and this year, together, we can bring about the change we need.”

You can also watch it here – 



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