In initiating an early day motion
(number 794) in Parliament endorsing John Kerry's bid to
be the next US President, I did so not just to get rid of
George W Bush, though that would put a broad smile on many
faces. The removal of Bush is in the British national
interest. It is in the world's interest. But most of all
it is in the interest of America.
48 MPs have joined me in signing it, with many others
citing a reluctance to be intervening in the democratic
elections of another country. I did not notice such
reticence when we sent people to help the Democrats in
previous elections, nor in Republican links with the
Working families in America are the big losers under Bush.
For them John Kerry will make a big difference. Under the
Bush Administration, health care premiums have soared by
49 percent, the highest in decades. John Kerry intends to
cut health care premiums by up to $1,000 for a family.
Organised trade unions are weighing in very heavily behind
Kerry because of the damage Bush has caused across
John Kerry co-sponsored the original Family and Medical
Leave Act, which has given millions of American workers
the chance to take time off for the birth of a child or to
care for a sick child or family member and is committed to
strengthening this when in power.
The United States minimum wage has fallen further and
further behind the cost of living. The buying power of the
current minimum wage is 19 percent below the 1979 level in
inflation-adjusted terms. He helped lead the fight to pass
the last minimum wage increase in 1997 and is a strong
supporter of legislation to increase the minimum wage and
index it to inflation.
In education, ensuring a national system of high
standards is the Kerry commitment through a new National
Education Trust Fund that will guarantee that the Federal
government meets its obligation to fully fund education
For the world, Kerry will be good news and on this
supporters and opponents of the war can unite.
Fundamentally, American foreign policy needs to be aimed
at a peaceful and sustainable world, not just a peaceful
and sustainable America.
An immediate difference will be on the environment, where
John Kerry is prioritising cleaning up toxic waste sites,
and to protect the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge and
other pristine wilderness areas and will re-engage in the
development of an international climate change strategy to
address global warming. Promising to take on the
polluters, rather than praising them, John Kerry has a
vision to create a new Manhattan Project to make America
independent of Middle East oil in 10 years by creating
alternative fuels like ethanol and making cars more
efficient. It is a policy that is both economic and
industrial, but with fundamental foreign policy
An America that sees the Middle East as a political entity
rather than an energy reserve would lead to a
re-evaluation of all world politics. On its own this makes
the case for John Kerry absolute.
His Administration will re-engage in the development of an
international climate change strategy to address global
warming, and identify workable responses that provide
opportunities for American technology and know-how. And a
John Kerry Administration intends to act on new challenges
associated with the global exploitation of marine
resources and the global crisis of access to fresh water
John Kerry is linking environment and manufacturing
industry. Job creation through environment progress is a
popular connection. His plan for a renewable energy trust
fund to develop environmental technology is supplemented
by a range of proposed fiscal incentives to develop new
manufacturing. It is a concept Labour needs to emulate in
our manifesto next time.
His vision for manufacturing is for a high-skilled
workforce and advanced technology to build existing
products with better design and production techniques,
processing materials such as high-grade steel,
highly-insulated glass, and advanced plastics.
He sees manufacturing with a new future based on products
built by high-tech machinery, run by high-tech computers -
and they require high-skilled labour, with skills like
machine tool robotics and advanced welding.
After inheriting an economy that created 22 million jobs
over the previous eight years, the Bush Administration has
presided over a loss of 3 million jobs. Kerry proposes a
Gordon Brown style economic regeneration, based on
stability, debt reduction, investment and innovation.
A domestic agenda that priorities the issues of working
families, an international agenda of re-engagement and
co-operation and an environment programme that is world
leading rather than world destroying. This is what John
Kerry stands for.
For the American trade union movement it is a crucial
election in allowing them the opportunity to develop their
organization and the opportunities and security for their
members. The Labour Party and Labour members should give
John Kerry every support as he builds the growing momentum
behind his campaign.