Monday, 6 February 2012

(March 2010) Dr Jhund, Labour Party PPC visits Eton College

Archived (from March 2010):

Dr Amanjit Jhund our PPC for Windsor today visited Eton College to give a speech to the Senior Boys.
The speech is shown below and a transcript of the speech can be found below the video.

Transcript of 16/03/10 Eton College Speech by Dr Amanjit Jhund

Well Id like to start by saying good morning gentlemen its an absolute pleasure to be invited here today to Eton College or as we in the Labour party often refer to it as South Slough Secondary modern.
People often ask me why Im standing for labour
And looking at you here today its rather odd because when I was your age I wasn’t interested in politics, all I wanted to be was a doctor, I wanted to be a doctor in the NHS, possibly become an academic and then a distinguished Professor of Medicine.
In fact I was actually a conservative when I was your age. I was raised in a conservative household. My viewpoint of the world was heavily influenced by my father who was a huge fan of Margaret Thatcher and rather shamefully still is.
I grew up in a nice part of Glasgow myself, for many of you out there that don’t know glasgow that well I can assure you that there are actually some nice parts, although they tend to be very well hidden.
In many ways I grew up in a bubble. While we were well off we weren’t rich. I did attended what could be called a minor private school and when my parents were in need we could afford to go private rather than being treated on the NHS.
But my views on the world began to change when I was about 16 years old. At that point in time it was 1997 and much as it is now we had a general election looming on the horizon. I’d just started volunteering at a Marie Curie hospice in Glasgow, in Springburn. For those of you that dont know Springburn it’s one of the most deprived areas of the UK.
It terms of teenage pregnancy, drug abuse, alcoholism, low life expectancy it has astoundingly poor statistics and some of the worst in the UK.
Walking from the hospice to the train station every weekend I was exposed to a different side of life. I’d never before had to skip past discarded needles and condoms on the streets, I’d never before had to cross the streets several times just to avoid some of the gangs of men with dogs who would sit menacingly drinking and sometimes spoiling for a fight.
It was there that I first saw the poverty and desperation that some people in our country still have to live with. These were people that had been left behind as the rest of the country advanced, they’d been left in squalor and deprivation, people for whom a job was an ancestral memory rather than a realistic ambition in life.
I didn’t realise it at the time but for me that was my first stirrings of a social conscience.
I realised that I had been lucky in life, by a sheer fluke of genetics I’d been given opportunities denied to the many.
I was lucky enough to go back to Springburn recently when I went up to campaign at the Glasgow North East By-election for the Labour Party, and I was astounded by the changes. I was impressed by the new schools and colleges, I was impressed that the streets were cleaner and safer, I saw children playing in clean new parks and new facilities
And It made me proud to be a Labour party member and a labour party candidate.
To me it embodied everything that I stand for here today.
I could see that 12 years of investment hadn’t been wasted.
Sure Start, New Deal increased policing, record investment in the NHS these are all fantastic initiatives and they have worked.
I know that it is difficult living somewhere like Windsor because you are unlikely to see the same levels of poverty you’re unlikely to see the same levels of suffering improvement but I can assure you that even in this constituency there are some people who even today still live in squalor and desperation.
This government has committed itself to changing this.
These are changes we commit to making because we stand for the many not the few
because we believe that every child has a right to grow up in a clean, safe environment
because we believe that no matter what your background is you matter
But we are now entering a new and rather dangerous phase in politics,
We all recognise that there are sacrifices to be made
The spectre of cuts falls local and national government
The conservatives want to slash public spending
They will tell you that they will do this in an attempt to fix this broken britain.
They will condemn those families where just having a job is seen as a realistic ambition back to the scrapheap of society.
They will ensure that we not only create a new underclass, but that underclass is perpetuated.
The truth is that we are all dependent on one another
Their prosperity is our prosperity
In order to grow the economy and compete internationally we have to ensure that all young people have the skills and abilities to compete and contribute to society
We need to ensure that we are investing in the future
Ultimately this means having a well trained and highly skilled workforce
And it will allow not just the British workforce, but British companies, British business leaders, British stockholders to all flourish and grow.
That is why it is so important that we continue to look at investment
That is why it is so important that we resist the urge to adopt the conservatives slash and burn policies
That is why it is so important for all of you here today that we do not abandon these people.
I’d like to go on to another question I’m often asked
I am often asked by people do you think that you can win in Windsor, and my answer is always yes
There are those that will tell you its pointless standing for Labour in Windsor.
They will tell you that it is impossible for you to win
They’re the same people that would have told you its impossible to give women the vote, its impossible to put a man on the moon, its impossible to have a black president of the United States.
Impossible as Muhammad Ali once said is not a fact; it’s an opinion, Impossible is not a declaration; it’s a dare. Impossible is temporary. Impossible is potential. Impossible is nothing.
And Id like to just leave you with some words of my own
Whatever ambitions you have in whatever field of life wether that happens to be business, wether it happens to be sports, academia, or even if you happen to be slightly mentally unstable and decide to pursue a career in politics then you will have to dream to truly excel in life.
You will have to dream the unthinkable
And gentlemen the greater the dream, the greater the sacrifices that you will have to make to achieve that dream
The greater the sacrifices that you will make the greater the victory will be
So Ill leave you with an exhortation gentlemen to dare to dream.

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