Posts Tagged ‘rail fares’

2012: the year we all need to become better leaders

03/01/2012, 07:30:06 AM

by John Woodcock

Every single Labour supporter woke up in 2012 wishing we were doing better.

But let’s be clear, that sense of painful dissatisfaction at being stuck in opposition while David Cameron runs the country is a good and necessary thing: we had better make sure we feel it in the pit of our stomach every single day until we win again.

So if we want 2012 to be the year that Labour gets back in the game and convinces the British people we deserve their trust to change the country, it is down to all of us to make that happen.

The harsh truth is this: there is no secret Labour party hidden behind a wall who will do all the work while we all sit around wishing things were going our way. It is down to us to get out there and make the case that there is a better way than the damage that the Conservatives are wreaking on the opportunities that future generations need to succeed.

As Michael Dugher wrote last week, we should take confidence in the fact that Labour under Ed Miliband has been in the right place on big issues. From Ed Balls’ warning that choking off the recovery would be disastrous for the economy, to our leader’s championing of the squeezed middle, epitomised this week by Maria Eagle’s announcement that a future Labour government will do more to protect commuters hit by soaring rail fares.

That confidence should fuel our determination to use 2012 to map a new course that will ensure Labour is a credible force at the next election.

Yes, this will be a year about leadership – it will be about the leadership each of us show at every level. From party activists willing to give up their Saturday mornings, to those, like me, privileged to represent people in the House of Commons.

We all need to show that we have the stomach and the stamina to take this fight to the Tories.

John Woodcock is Labour and Cooperative MP for Barrow and Furness and a shadow transport minister.

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