It was an honour to speak on behalf of public service workers at Labour Party conference today. I spoke about the need to end and reverse privatisation and outsourcing – and how we must put the party back together to build a Labour government to achieve this. Here’s what I said:
I want to start by congratulating Jeremy on his re-election as Labour leader.
Our union has backed Jeremy for the past two years, because time and again, he has been on the right side of the issues that matter to our members.
Opposing the pay freeze.
Investing in a fairer economy.
And I’m proud to be here representing 1.3 million UNISON members-
Proud public service workers who do so much for so little.
And they will tell you straight.
Anyone in our delegation will tell you straight.
The best public services are those that are delivered by them direct to their communities.
They will tell you straight that privatisation has been an unmitigated disaster for the service user, our members and the tax payer
Yet despite the evidence, the past 5 years has seen outsourcing double.
It now stands at an incredible £128 billion.
It will double again under this Tory government
And the size of the our welfare state will shrink to levels not seen since the 1930s
Undermining the welfare state and every part of the public sector
Conference everything we stand for is at stake
Everything we fought for is teetering on the edge
That’s why we need a Labour Party committed to a programme of stopping and reversing the failed experiment of privatisation.
That’s something which matters to firefighters as much as it matters to nurses.
Police staff as much as it matters to train drivers.
Teaching assistants as much as it matters to postal workers.
But the only way we can do that.
The only way we can achieve anything.
Is if we win the next election and beat the Tories.
The National Health Service.
The Minimum Wage.
Equal rights for women.
Our education system.
They were not achieved by shouting loudly, they were achieved by us winning elections.
And that is vital.
If we are going get the publicly owned public services – the best public services – for the British people.
Conference, in many ways the last year has been a wasted year – we cannot afford another.
If we are back here next year talking to ourselves and about ourselves, obsessing about rule changes and internal rows, then we will have failed the British people.
Let’s be proud of the bold policies we’re debating – and stop the talk of deselections and division.
Let’s tell the country of our plans for change, and stop sitting in rooms briefing against each other.
The next election is not lost – but we have a mountain to climb.
So no more wasted years.
No more wasted conferences.
Less talking to each other.
It’s time to get out there – winning over people in Stevenage, Lincoln and my own constituency Enfield Southgate.
Winning their trust and winning their votes.
That’s how we change the country for the better.
And it’s only by putting the party back together, that we can achieve an end to privatisation.
Only by bringing the party back together, can we build better public services for all.
Only by bringing the party back together can we ensure decent pay for our public service champions.
Conference, the Labour Party is the greatest force for social justice, equality and prosperity our country has ever known.
To turn force into reality we must be a party of government.
That is why our movement founded the Labour Party.
To win power for working people.
To change our country.
There can be no greater task.
Lets do it together.
Conference, I move.
UNISON (National News Release) – Tel: 0845 355 0845