44,098 of us across our constituency took the time to vote in last week’s general election and I would like to thank all voters for doing so and in particular the 13,717 who voted Labour.
While I am profoundly sorry Labour was not the right choice for so many here and around the country, Labour must reflect, re-build and earn your trust once again.
I owe a huge debt of thanks to those who encouraged and supported me, without which it would not have been possible to do this voluntary role these past years. It’s an inspiring thing to work alongside people who want to make a positive difference to the lives of others and I can certainly recommend getting politically active if you want to roll up your sleeves and try to improve our community.
I do not look forward to the next five years of this Conservative government. Their mandate will embolden their politics of division and we'll see them more viscous than their past term in office. Not only do I worry about the majority of the people in this country - who need good state education, a functioning NHS and for whom inequality is increasing, I fear that we will see the breakup of the UK & the withdrawal from Europe and this is not how I see our interests best served.
Twelve years into being a political activist, I have never been so certain that politics belongs to everyday people. There will be things each and every one of us can do during the coming years. For example when Karen Lumley, the Redditch MP voted against same sex marriage, she said it was because 140 odd people wrote to her asking her to vote against. Therefore, engaging with the MP will affect the laws that govern our lives.
Please don’t disengage until the next election, because we will need to hold the Redditch MP and the Conservative government to account especially on the future of the NHS & the Alex.
Going forward the Redditch Constituency Labour Party is the only political force that has a hope of making our local community a fairer place to live. It needs the power of experienced members and new to pull together, be inclusive and welcome every individual who has a contribution to make and to get our values out there. In order to do it we must change. We can and we must get a Labour government in 2020 - if not sooner! If you want to be a part of that change, a quest for a fairer society, why not join the party today and help us rebuild.
Rebecca Blake, Labour’s 2015 Parliamentary Candidate