One week before the election, Labour held a rally with supporters in Birmingham.
Jeremy Corbyn spoke alongside Angela Rayner, Shadow Education Secretary and trade union leaders. There was also appearances from Jamelia, and BeatFreek Collective, Kioko and UB40’s Jimmy Brown.
Ahead of the event, Angela Rayner, Labour’s Shadow Education Secretary, said:
“I’m excited to be in Birmingham tonight to bring our message of hope that Labour will build a fairer, more equal Britain that cares for everyone and where wealth and power are shared.”
Earlier that day, Labour launched several education and schools policies such as
- Reversing cuts to the pupil premium
- Extending free school meals at secondary school to every child whose family is in receipt of Universal Credit.
- Capping the cost of school uniforms
The event was a chance for members to hear from trade unions about these proposals.
I spoke with television present and singer Jamelia who also addressed supporters.
Asked about the importance of this election, Jamelia revealed that she had never voted before and that she would cast her first vote on December 12 with her 18 year old daughter.
Earlier this year, she had been accused of ageism when she suggested an upper age limit for voters.
She said that those over 75 shouldn’t be allowed to vote as they” won’t live to see the consequences of their decision”.
At the event, she spoke of a society that was suffering at the hands of a Tory government, she told said;
“We have been absolutely as community and as a society truly suffering at the hands of a Tory government and a lot of us.. kind of feel.. we can’t do anything about it but your vote means so much”
She spoke passionately about giving every child a place in society in which they could thrive, she said; “Labour for me provide the society, that I grew up in.. That’s a type of society that I was able to thrive and fulfil my potential in. I want that for every child not just those with parents with money..
I believe that a vote for the Labour government is going to deliver that ..”
She spoke the campaign being one of hope, she told me; “.. what we need at the moment is hope.”
On scepticism she said that that “.. a lot of people are questioning how is this gonna happen,how is he gonna make this happen.
I believe that if this is the intention then why would I not support this and support something that is quite clearly catastrophic to us all”
Earlier that day, the Labour Party wrote to the BBC accusing the organisation of ‘ slanted and biased’ election coverage. It also accuse the BBC of being “complicit in giving the Conservative Party an unfair electoral advantage”.
I asked her if she thought media coverage of the campaign had been unfair, she said;
“ Of course they are, but the media are absolutely controlled by the Conservatives, we know this and for me as someone in the entertainment industry I know this firsthand, you know there are
so many things that you’re not allowed to say and it all contributes to you know a media agenda that is definitely not for socialism or any kind of socialist politics.”
“But you know I feel that the people are louder than the intention of the media and as long as we can maintain our sanity and our intelligence then I do believe that on the 12th we can vote in a Labour government.”
You can listen to the full interview here
Saskia Masaun Contributed To This Reporting