DID you know that sometimes our polling stations are used as schools?
You could be forgiven for forgetting this as Theresa May has decided to fire the starting pistol on our seventh major election in three years. And on the horizon in Scotland is the prospect of the NeverendemReferendum.
Mind you we vote-weary or not we should never forget how important voting is. For example, we had a couple of big votes last Thursday in the council that I can tell you about. Glasgow’s Labour councillors used their votes for a plan to give every city pupil access to their own tablet or iPad for learning, in circumstances where every class room, in every school, will have the best wifi streaming in the country.
I thought this was important, so I voted for it. The SNP obviously didn’t because when it came to a vote they tried their hardest to block it and deny our pupils this fantastic opportunity. They didn’t support a plan to enhance the development of the city’s East End either. It seems the only thing they want to vote for is Independence. Never mind schools. Never mind jobs. Instead for them it’s always about the one thing – independence.
Funnily enough Theresa May’s about the one thing as well – in her case, Brexit. Mrs May has tried to justify her cutting and running to a General Election by saying Brexit was being undermined by the opposition. We know different - it’s all about May trying to sort out her own party problems on Europe.
Nothing else will wash. Her lot doesn’t care about Glasgow. Her motivations are about Brexit. Never mind jobs, never mind the economy going down the tubes, what about Europe, and that dreadful Johnnie Foreigner. Glasgow could be cast as a city ground between the stones of an SNP government and a Tory government mesmerised by their own constitutions and their own referendums.
Glasgow has a city leadership that is 100% focused on Glasgow, not on independence or Brexit. My promise is that Labour will always be your champions in the City Chambers, not puppets or cheerleaders for the Governments in Edinburgh or London.
Five years ago we promised to create thousands of jobs, refurbish or replace your local primary school, build the next generation of affordable housing and deliver a world class Commonwealth Games. We’ve not only kept our promises, we have exceeded them. And that despite 10 years of Scottish Government cuts - £377m of them to be precise. Or £16m of cuts for every council ward in the city.
Never mind standing up for Scotland what about standing up for Glasgow? We have a plan designed to make sure that Glasgow’s success is also your success.
We have a plan not a referendum. A plan to help every family in the city:
• If you are a young person between 16 and 24 then Labour’s plan will give you a a guarantee of an apprenticeship or place in training or education. And Labour’s plan will double the number of Glasgow Living Wage employers.
• If you are worried about the future of your family then Labour’s plan for jobs is for you – a pledge that we will create 50,000 new jobs in the city in coming years – unlocking opportunities for all to get a route out of unemployment and poverty.
• And Labour’s plan recognises the importance of child care – especially for parents on low pay struggling to make ends meet. That’s why our plan will guarantee our 3 and 4 years olds 30 hours of free childcare a week and invest £20m a year in their play area and school sports facilities.
• And Labour’s plan will challenge the digital divide that blights many lives in the city. As I have already promised we will get our pupils ready for the industries of tomorrow by delivering a tablet for every senior school pupil and putting cutting edge broadband and wi-fi in every classroom, in every school in the city. Our young people need not fear the future, need not worry about being left behind. We guarantee they will be ready to take the opportunities with both hands, that the city’s growing high-tech industries will bring.
And there’s more much more. In February this year Labour in Glasgow brought you our People’s Budget - protecting frontline services and building cleansing, child care and community facilities. Now Labour has brought you a People’s Manifesto - putting Glasgow First.
So vote Labour on May the 4th. Only Labour can stop the SNP in Scotland’s greatest city.