As part of our 2019 General Election coverage, we have contacted each candidate standing in Northfield, Bromsgrove, Edgbaston and Selly Oak constituencies asking them to contribute to this election’s ‘500 Words’ series.
Each candidate has been invited to describe themselves and their campaigns in their own words. Their submissions will be published without editing, in the order that they are received. Should they be longer than 500 words, they will be cropped.
Steve McCabe • Labour • Birmingham Selly Oak
My name is Steve McCabe. I am the Labour candidate for Birmingham, Selly Oak where I’ve been the Member of Parliament since 2010. I grew up in Scotland but have spent more of my life in England and have lived in Birmingham for about 35 years. My children grew up here. I use a local GP, hospital and dentist like everyone else. My children went to local schools and I use a host of local shops and services like so many others.
I regard this election as a referendum on what’s been a decade of unnecessary and politically motivated austerity which has damaged our schools, police and criminal justice system, our NHS and left 300,000 people homeless in the 6th richest economy in the world.
Of course, I want to see Brexit concluded but there’s no way it can be over by January 31st. This is simply another broken promise. Labour’s proposal is the way to end the Brexit saga. I accepted the referendum result and voted for Article 50 so that Theresa May could commence the negotiations even though two wards here voted leave and two remain. It has become abundantly clear that Brexit cannot be delivered in a way that resembles the promises made by Boris Johnson during the referendum. If he wins, we will leave with a ‘hard’ Brexit which will damage jobs and business prospects for thousands in the West Midlands. Labour will negotiate a ‘softer’ Brexit but, despite being less damaging we’ll all be poorer. That’s why Labour believes the only option that will reunite the country is a confirmatory ballot on the final deal with the opportunity to accept the final deal and leave or reject it and remain. I’d campaign once more to remain because I am more convinced than ever, that leaving the EU is in the interest of certain types of financiers but not most of the British people.
I’ve already spoken to thousands of people in the constituency during the campaign. They are clear that they want a local MP who will stand up for them. They tell me that they want someone who understands about small businesses, local communities and the things that make a difference. I’ve listened and I’ve shaped my pledges around those things that matter to local people. I’ll stand up for local NHS services and make sure people have a voice. The restoration of proper neighbourhood policing as well as improvements to the criminal justice system is my goal. I’ll continue to make the case for realistic funding for our schools and a better deal for SEND children. On the environment, I recognise the need for national and international measures but I’m also keen on local improvements, things we can do together. We need more social housing and to stand by the council policy, that new developments should include 35% of affordable, social housing. I’ll continue to organise job fairs and work with local employer’s and I’m working on a new initiative to help disabled people into jobs.
These are my priorities. I hope people in Selly Oak will be persuaded to ‘Stick with Steve’.
A chance to hear directly from your candidates, any hustings we are aware of will be listed below. Please let us know of any not listed.