Thank you for visiting the site.
I want this to be a place where people discuss politics in the UK and beyond. It is not just for Labour supporters and voters, although many will share our values. As the Shadow Defence Secretary, I want to celebrate the dedication and bravery of our Armed Forces.
Labour achieved a huge amount in government – the first ever National Minimum Wage, doubling investment in the NHS and working with the police to cut crime. We also trebled international aid and increased funding for our Armed Forces. We doubled compensation payments for the most seriously injured and doubled the welfare grant for the families of those on operations. Our commitment to the security and wellbeing of the entire Armed Forces community will not dim in Opposition, but we must use this period to build on the best of our record and think afresh. Ed Miliband has asked us to look at future policy, so my Shadow Ministerial team and I will be working on a new, long-term defence and security policy. I want to do so by using the expertise and passion I know exists in the Labour movement and beyond. I look forward to this site being a forum for debate and discussion, as well as celebration and remembrance.
If you have a view on politics or policy let me know. If you share Labour’s love of our Armed Forces, offer a message of support to our troops abroad by clicking on the WinkBall link. Thousands of men and women will be miles from their loved ones this Christmas, and their commitment should be in our thoughts and prayers over the festive period. You can show your support in other ways by visiting the links of charities featured on the right hand side.
We now have a Government which is in my view cutting public spending too fast and too deep. One third of a million people will lose their jobs and we will all have poorer public services. I will continue to argue for a more careful approach to deficit reduction.
This is just as important in defence, where the Government’s defence review became a spending review. The Government’s plans mark big changes in what Britain can and can’t do abroad. I believe in a Britain that works to protect our interests, promote our values and advance our ideas in the world. That is what I will be campaigning for. Many feel the Government has made mistakes in the Defence Review and some of them may be serious. I hope that this isn’t the case, but fear it may be.
We will work with the Government where possible to ensure our Forces have the care and support they need at home and abroad, and will hold them to account where necessary to ensure pledges to protect the frontline are upheld.
In the meantime, sign up for the regular newsletter, record a message through WinkBall, follow the links to do your bit and join in the blog to let me know what you think.
I look forward to hearing from you.