Lyn Brown

Member of Parliament for West Ham

Rested and ready for battle

Song lyrics and books conjure languid images of “lazy, hazy, long, hot days of summer,” with blue skies, dappled shade, far horizons and idyllic tranquillity.

We’ve had hazy heat, with the odd languid and peaceful interlude. Long enough? It was not! My holiday of reading and relaxation flashed past. I made a dent in my heap of holiday books, but I was clearly over-optimistic in my packing.

Putting my feet up did wonders for my health. I get around more easily and I’m beginning to feel much more like my old self, after several months of debilitating treatment.

Being nowhere near as reliant on my stick as I had become is great and I’ve begun wondering whether I can sneak it into the Chamber to wave it at the government benches when they are at their most outrageous and arrogant.

The agenda for the coming months tells me there is plenty to agitate my old walking stick.

Cuts in tax credits; attacking working people on low incomes; making the good work of trade unions harder, undermining the BBC: all things high on the Tories’ hit list. Nor, of course, have they abandoned their plans to reinstate fox hunting with dogs. I fear they will gerrymander the “English votes for English” laws issue, before they try.

It makes my blood boil and I will return to the fray determined to hold the government to account for the cavalier way they ride roughshod over the interests of working people and fawn over those with privilege and money.

The result of the Labour Party leadership election comes in a week or so. With a new leader in place, and backed by a revitalised shadow team, we can begin again to articulate an alternative vision for this country that gives hope for the future, builds strong and resilient communities with an economy that enables people to fulfil their true potential.

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