Background Local Roots
Mike was previously a civil servant primarily working in Training with Benefits Agency/DHSS and also spent part of his career working on Welfare Policy in their Leeds headquarters. He lives in the ward.
Why did you enter politics? What drives you?
I was completely opposed to Thatcher's economic philosophy that the market is everything. I'd always been of the left but hadn't wanted to be signed up to any formal political party. But it was Thatcher who motivated me to join Labour and I've been a member now for nearly 30 years.
Despite the reservations of those early years, I have seen Labour make huge improvements to our country: rebuilding our neglected schools and hospitals. Policing has been massively improved bringing a real transformation to our neighbourhoods. The minimum wage was a long overdue protection.
I actively opposed the Iraq War; but I was hugely in favour of Sure Start and early intervention. The positives have always outweighed the negatives, (with the exception of Iraq) and compared to the other main parties, we have so much to be proud of.
In the end though, I never forget that without Labour we would not have the minimum wage and the NHS would have been privatised.
What motivates now? And for Gorse Hill Ward?
We need a confident Labour Party because there's a huge job to be done. We must never rejoin the Conservative / UKIP / Lib Dem consensus with regard to the City of London - Labour has to be a counter-balance to the enormous power of these banksters. But we should never be anti-business, we just need to remember that business is about making things and selling them; it's not a card game where the dealer always ends up with more than they put in.
Gorse Hill Ward is at the forefront of a community response to cuts. I love the self-confidence that permeates the intitiatives of Gorgeous Gorse Hill and Lostock Community Partnership. There's a clear recognition of what needs to be provided by the Council whilst acknowledging what the communities can do for themselves.
Family, Cycling, Music, Manchester City, Guardian, Mowing Lawn, Grapes of Wrath, Friends, Laughter.