Marvin’s Labour Sunday Love-in
16 February 2016, News
Second time Labour Mayoral candidate, Marvin Rees, launched his manifesto on Valentine’s Day, just days after his main rival George Ferguson announced his campaign.
Battle hardened from his last encounter with the Mayor, Marvin’s rallying cry this time around “is a mayor that listens and leads for the whole city”.
Marvin argued that that the city is fractured; its housing, transport, jobs, schools environment and social care are broken and the establishment isn’t listening. Too many postcodes denoted areas where lives were “shorter and less healthy”. He claimed that there’s an ever widening equality gap. If Marvin Mayoral bid is successful, he will declare war on it.
Marvin’s mum introduced him to Labour councillors and activists. She capitalised on the opportunity to reassure the crowd of her son’s traditional Labour roots and working class upbringing. Marvin continued the theme in his speech by espousing the traditional Labour mantra of ensuring a strong welfare state, protecting an NHS free at the point of use and equal opportunity for all. Sealing the deal with the crowd, he is their man.
Labour credentials checked, Marvin outlined what may become the cornerstone of his campaign; housing. Specifically social and affordable. Attacking his opponent’s poor track record of only building 260 affordable homes and four council houses in the last year, Marvin pledged to build 2000 homes a year, of which 800 will be affordable though a Council owned Property Company. He also pledged to tackle the rental sector by creating a lot of partnerships.
A key challenge for all the Mayoral candidates is communicating policies that capture the attention of not only their core support, but also second preference voters. Garnering the support of such a broad range of voters may take more than a focus on building more homes and accentuating traditional Labour values.
Marvin promises more announcements over the coming weeks – will these result in love at first sight? Will they be enough to offer enough of a difference in vision for the city compared to the incumbent?
Speeches over and done with, the crowd wooed, and ready for battle, went charging onto Lawrence Weston where they’d spend the rest of the day fighting for what they love. Marvin chose Valentine’s Day to set out his stall to the people: let’s hope it’s a love affair that transpires, not a massacre.