Ed Miliband visits Croydon on Thursday afternoon to speak to the borough’s Black and Minority Ethnic Forum.
“I wonder, during his flying visit, whether Mr Miliband and his ‘One Nation Labour’ party can re-assure attendees about some crucial issues affecting the lives of the people of Croydon,” Glen Hart said.
“Or will he waffle with weasel words?”
Hart was recently selected as the Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition, or TUSC, parliamentary candidate for Croydon North.
He has the formidable task of taking on one of Miliband’s newest Labour MPs, Steve Reed OBE, and his 12,000-vote majority at the General Election next May.
Hart is a 43-year-old father of three who stood as a TUSC candidate in the local elections last May. A member of the RMT transport union, Hart believes that cuts in public services and austerity policies are causing living standards to plummet, whilst boosting the material wealth of the richest.
Hart and the TUSC is calling for a universal £10 an hour minimum wage, and for a reversal of the Tories’ cuts in public expenditure, and the reductions in services and jobs which are caused by that.
Hart’s party also supports the renationalisation of British Rail to replace the fragmented and highly subsidised privatised system; the renationalisation of the energy and other utility companies, to be run as public services; and to reverse the involvement of profit-seeking private finance in the NHS.
“I have lived in Croydon all my life and raised my family here. I have seen Croydon neglected by both Tory and Labour councils pursuing pro-business policies, and I believe that it’s about time working people have the opportunity of voting for a candidate who is one of their own,” Hart said.
“The previous Tory council dismantled and privatised Croydon services. One Nation Labour did nothing effective to oppose them. And they are doing precious little now.
“I am a socialist. I want to see policies that benefit working people and their families. I want to see a reversal of the cuts in public services and in jobs.
“Britain needs a pay rise – and that means Britain’s working people. I would propose a national minimum wage of £10 an hour – with no exceptions and no get-out clauses. Those wages would not only lift people out of poverty (and also save on low income-based benefits), but the extra money would also go straight back into the economy and boost jobs and employment.”
Hart said, “People are disenchanted with politics and corruption. While canvassing for the local council elections, I often encountered people who viewed politics as a dirty business – seeing politics as a playground for millionaires, with their banker friends and corporate interests.
“I will fight that. That’s why I’ll be standing as a workers’ MP on a worker’s wage. I won’t be taking the generous MPs’ salary. I’ll draw whatever is the average skilled workers wage at that time. I do not want to lose sight of the day-to-day problems of working people. This will keep me in touch.”
Coming to Croydon
- This Was The World and I Was King, Spread Eagle, Oct 23-25
- South Norwood Country Park Family Fun Day, Oct 25
- Upper Norwood Library Book Club, 2.30pm, Oct 25
- SNATH free film festival, Stanley Halls, Oct 25
- SNATH free film festival, Pawson’s Arms, Oct 26
- David Lean Cinema: Ilo Ilo, Oct 28
- SNATH free film festival, Scratchley Hall, Oct 28
- CODA’s Wind In The Willows, Charles Cryer, Carshalton, Oct 29-Nov 1
- SNATH free film festival, Lord Napier, Oct 29
- David Lean Cinema: Belle, Oct 30
- SNATH free film festival, Norbury Park tennis club, Oct 30
- NHS free health fair, Central Parade, New Addington, Oct 31
- SNATH free film festival Halloween event, Stanley Halls, Oct 31
- MOPAC policing meeting, Surrey Street, Nov 4
- Personal safety training for volunteers, Nov 4
- St Giles School opening morning, Nov 5
- Grange Park bulb-planting event, Nov 8
- Brook recording studio open day and party, Nov 9
- Albert Einstein – Relativity Speaking, Spread Eagle, Nov 12-15
- Oval Tavern Folk Club, Nov 14
- South Croydon business breakfast, Nov 15
- Personal safety training for volunteers, Nov 17
- Norwood Society Talk: Lambeth’s Archives, Nov 20
- Choose Your Own Documentary, Spread Eagle Theatre, Nov 21-22
- The Last Sense of Sudden, Spread Eagle Theatre, Nov 27-29
- Ghost Stories for Christmas, Spread Eagle Theatre, Dec 3
- Fog Horn Funnies, Spread Eagle Theatre, Dec 6
- Coulsdon Yulefest, Dec 6-7
- Oval Tavern Folk Club, Dec 7
- South Croydon business breakfast, Dec 13
- South Croydon business breakfast, Jan 24
Inside Croydon: Croydon’s only independent news source, based in the heart of the borough: 407,847 page views (Jan-Jun 2014) If you have a news story about life in or around Croydon, a residents’ or business association or local event, please email us with full details at firstname.lastname@example.org