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James Weinberg, Labour – Tatton – GE19 candidate

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We are providing all 39 parliamentary candidates across Cheshire the opportunity to tell our readers what their priorities are, and to tell us a little more about themselves.

We’ve asked the same five questions of each candidate, for the simplest comparison, and we have invited candidates to supply social media and website links if they choose to.

In this article, we speak to James Weinberg, standing for the Labour in Tatton.

 


  • Click here to read other Labour candidate interviews.
  • Click here to read other Tatton candidate interviews.
  • Click here to read other 2019 general election candidate interviews.

 

1. What is the main reason you’ve decided to stand in this election?

I am standing in this election because I firmly believe that it will shape our country for a generation.

It is a transformational opportunity to lead the United Kingdom towards a better political future in which society is fairer, services function well and in everyone’s interests, and our economy gets the investment it needs to adapt in the 21st century. 

Other political parties, the Conservatives in particular, will tell you that this election is all about Brexit.

That simply isn’t true and such rhetoric masks many other difficult decisions that are needed in government in the next parliamentary term.

For example, this election is also about choosing a government with a firm commitment to tackling the climate crisis.

It is an election on the future of the NHS, on quality and sustainable education, on eradicating food poverty, and on affordable transport.

This election is an opportunity to give Tatton and the rest of the country an alternative political future that works for everyone in society.

That is why I’m standing as a Labour Party candidate.

 

2. Which local priorities would you take forward as our MP?

Having spoken to thousands of residents in recent weeks, there are three local priorities that I would tackle as your MP.

The first is food poverty. I am not prepared to see individuals or families in this constituency living without a proper home, queuing at food banks, or sleeping rough on the streets.

I will work on Labour’s Fair Food Act and housing reforms to eradicate this needless social injustice. 

The second is the state of local NHS services. The good people of Tatton are losing core services in communities across this constituency as well as those provided at Macclesfield hospital.

As your MP, I will work on the local implementation of Labour’s NHS Rescue Plan to increase bed capacity, recruit more highly skilled nurses and doctor, and resolve the indignities of the social care crisis. 

The third is local transport infrastructures. Bus mileage outside of London has more than halved since 2010 and a number of services have been cut in Tatton.

This traps the elderly and the vulnerable at home, and it encourages others to turn to less environmentally friendly modes of transport.

I would work with local authorities in Tatton to revive bus routes across the constituency, introduce new fleets of zero emission buses, and better integrate buses with other transport networks.

 

3. Which national priorities would you take forward as our MP?

I am particularly passionate about educational reform.

Conservative and Coalition cuts to school funding since 2010 mean that head teachers are using the pupil premium to keep their budgets afloat and parents are being asked by cash-strapped schools to pay for teaching resources.

Day-to-day spending on Sure Start Centres has fallen by around two-thirds and undergraduates are now leaving university with up to £57,000 worth of debt.

In our own constituency, Wilmslow High School has lost approximately £1.6 million in funding since 2015 (£226/pupil and the equivalent of 6 teachers). 

This cannot continue. As your MP, I would champion Labour’s plans for a National Education Service to support and invest in education and training from cradle to grave.

Together we will provide a real terms increase to school funding and teacher recruitment, abolish tuition fees, and invest in high-quality, universal childcare for all 2-4 year olds.

These policies are not only fully costed but they represent a vital step forward in ensuring that this country has a skilled workforce that is ready for the high-tech, green industries that will dominate the workplace in the future.

 

4. What is it about your party and/or its manifesto that makes you proud to represent your party? Are there any manifesto pledges or commitments you’d like to see changed?

I am committed to the Labour manifesto and the sensible vision it puts forward for this country.

I am proud to represent a party built on people power rather than donations from billionaires; a party that actually consults communities across the country before announcing policy plans; a party that expounds principles and morals and sticks to them; a party offering the chance of real change for every generation. 

Despite the drip-feed of blunt and false stereotypes about Labour and Labour politicians that are propagated in the media, people cannot ignore the landmark changes that have occurred under Labour governments.

If you appreciate a minimum wage for every working adult, qualifications through free non-selective schooling, legislation for gender equality in the workplace, equal rights for people of all sexualities, strong worker’s rights and a progressive taxation system, the Good Friday peace agreement in Northern Ireland, or healthcare free at the point of delivery, then you have Labour to thank.

Our record speaks for itself. 

When Labour wins, the nurse wins, the pensioner wins, the student wins, the entrepreneur wins, the engineer wins, the teacher wins. We all win.

That is why I’m proud to stand for the Labour Party.

 

5. Please tell us a little about yourself.

(ie: your background, your experience, your hobbies, your non-political interests)

I’m currently a lecturer in politics at the University of Sheffield, but I’ve lived in Tatton since I was four and I went to Wilmslow High School from the age of 11 to 18.

I went on to complete my undergraduate degree at the University of Oxford before later qualifying as a secondary school teacher.

I taught in a school in London until 2015, when I received a scholarship to complete a PhD in Political Science.

My research on different areas of British politics and public policy has since been published and discussed both nationally and internationally, I have provided evidence to parliamentary select committees, and I have received awards for my campaign to improve political education in schools.  

Outside of work, my girlfriend and I enjoy cycling around the Peak District and drinking good coffee.

I’m also an avid reader of literary fiction – in fact, I’ve just finished Normal People by Sally Rooney and I couldn’t recommend it highly enough to your subscribers.

I’m a big fan of dogs (Rough Collies and miniature Schnauzers in particular) and I enjoy travelling with friends.

Having learnt to play the saxophone and guitar as a teenager, I’m currently trying to find the time to ‘get musical’ again. That plan might need to wait a bit longer.

 

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