We face a moral emergency. Homelessness is soaring. Hunger is spreading. We need not only food banks - but foodbank warehouses to feed desperate families. The most vulnerable are being stripped of the benefits they desperately need. The Tories’ austerity is destroying lives.
This is not justice. It’s a Tory choice. It’s not acceptable. It’s not inevitable. And there is an alternative.
The story of the West Midlands is becoming like a ‘tale of two cities’. There are cranes in our skies. But our homeless neighbours are sleeping in the doorways beneath, where someone now dies every fortnight.
Our society feels like it’s ripping apart. Brexit has divided us. In its wake, hate crime and violent crime has surged. Communities no longer feel safe. Islamophobia and homophobia are spiralling while the far right goes on the march.
Meanwhile, our economy is failing a generation. Over half the people in poverty in the West Midlands are in work. Half our wards are in poverty. Youth unemployment is up by a 20% while apprenticeships have collapsed. For thousands of our young people, their possibilities in life are defined by the post-code where they’re born. And looming above the crisis, is a climate that is warming faster than we thought, posing an existential threat to generations to come.
We cannot stand by and watch this happen. We cannot be by-standers. And we cannot let the Tories make it worse. If we don’t take a stand today then ten years from now, we will be more divided than ever in our history. There may be gleaming office blocks and fortunes for some. But inequality will spiral. Entrenched poverty will deepen. And the West Midlands will fall further and further behind London and Manchester.