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Hebrides News






The only way to oppose the austerity of May’s Tory government, and the threat of the hardest of Brexits, is to vote for Jeremy Corbyn’s Labour Party at the general election, and to vote on the basis of Labour forming the next Westminster Government.


The choice facing the electorate is a straight forward one - choose between five more years of exploitation of the poorest and most vulnerable people in society by the richest members of that society and their Tory chums, or choose an economy based on fairness, equality and bringing the benefits of economic growth to all in society.


I fully support Labour’s candidate, Ealasaidh MacDonald - a local candidate with a deep and moral commitment to equality, and who knows the islands and the problems they face. Ealasaid MacDonald will if elected end years of these islands being left behind in the wake of frivolous and embarrassing Westminster representation.


These islands needs change and we need action we live in a local economy that is declining and with the escalating threats of depopulation. We can no longer afford to be made the laughing stock of Westminster at the hands of our MP. But ultimately it’s not just personalities, it’s policies that matter most.


The benefits of Corbyn’s transformative manifesto to our island economy with its higher levels of insecure and low-paid jobs alongside public sector employment and SME, is profound, and its potential in terms of such industries as renewable energy.


These include: the introduction of a £10 minimum wage; the ending of zero hours contracts; the rebalancing of corporation tax so that only the biggest companies will pay more; the protection of pension growth through the retention of the so-called pensions triple-lock; the scrapping of benefits sanctions and welfare cuts; investment UK-wide in education (addressing the education fail of SNP rule including a commitment to the Higher education sector which has been so woefully attacked by the Scottish Government and which is vital to the islands’ economy; UK infrastructure investment - including new commitments to alternative energy and the renationalisation of energy utilities and infrastructure which will enable the exploitation of our islands’ renewable resources - the list is extensive and only the richest 5% in society will be asked to pay more tax.


Poverty - whether that be low wage or benefit related, or both - is rampant in the Western Isles and it is not only morally unacceptable for our society to treat people in this way, it is also damaging to our local economy. Labour’s manifesto strikes right at the heart of the causes of that poverty.


But the manifesto is also clear, wealth creation, economic growth, prosperity and equality are collective affairs with collective responsibilities - Labour in Westminster is promising investment UK-wide, even in matters that are devolved to Holyrood.


That collective responsibility thankfully draws on and restores Labour’s history of unified, working class struggle across the UK. There is no place in the fight for change for separate tracks of development driven by nationalist obsessions with their promise of delivering unequal benefits to different parts of the UK. The NHS is a lasting testament to the power of collective UK-wide policy, and Labour will give the NHS the investment it needs.


A vote for Corbyn’s Labour is a vote against austerity, inequality and division across the UK.


Peter Urpeth

6a New Street,


Isle of Lewis


Letter:  Corbyn’s manifesto will boost Western Isles

17 May 2017