The looming general election must not be just about Brexit - Stephen Hepburn MP
Visiting the historic Christ Church in Jarrow, I witnessed how deeply churches and congregations are at the beating heart of Tyneside communities.
The beautiful centre is much more than a building with vibrant, caring and friendly people doing selfless work by helping others less fortunate than themselves.
From hosting toddler groups to supporting folk with all sorts of problems - including financial, family and personal hardships inflicted by Tory austerity - the inspiring Christ Church, like so many others in our area, is a beacon of goodness.
The Bishop of Durham popped up to lead a service celebrating its 150th anniversary, and the same weekend coincided with the 83rd anniversary of the famous Jarrow Crusade, the 200 marchers demanding work, setting off on their long trek to London from outside Christ Church.
Victims of earlier Tory austerity, the men walking to the capital in 1936 would, alas, recognise many of today’s Government-sponsored ills such as low pay, job insecurity, benefit cuts and poor housing.
We fought back and won then, and Labour’s fighting to win again when breadline wages and social injustices aren’t God-given but sins ignored or imposed by heartless Tory regimes.
I intend to play my part and I’m proud Jeremy Corbyn’s Labour Party is a grassroots mass movement with ambitious plans to transform this country for the better.
In the looming election we must go one better and turn 2017’s good defeat nationally into a decisive victory.
When incomes, jobs, schools, health, care, transport, environment, housing and crime are only a few issues at stake we mustn’t let Boris Johnson or his Brexit Party soulmate Nigel Farage hijack the agenda for their own game by making it only about Brexit.
Jeremy Corbyn’s campaign more than two years ago, with the reassuring old-fashioned feel of huge rallies, was such a great vote winner and it’ll be repeated this time.
The 2,000 cheering Corbyn in Newcastle City Hall the weekend of the Jarrow Crusade anniversary was the sound of change coming, Labour hopefully marching into power and the Tories retreating.