Labour must be electable to protect public services and win for working people, says UNISON

Labour can only win for working people and protect public services by being in government — and putting an end to the infighting that has plagued the party in recent months, says UNISON general secretary Dave Prentis today (Monday).

Speaking in the public services debate at the annual Labour Party conference in Liverpool today (Monday), Dave Prentis said:

“The proud public service workers who belong to UNISON do so much for so little. They know the best public services are those delivered by them, direct to their communities.

“Privatisation has been an unmitigated disaster for service users, public sector workers and taxpayers. Outsourcing has doubled over the past five years and now stands at a record £128bn.

“Meanwhile the size of the state will shrink to levels not seen since the 1930s. Everything we stand for is at stake.

“We need a Labour party committed to a programme of stopping and reversing the failed experiment of privatisation.

“That’s something that matters to firefighters as much as it does to nurses, police staff, teaching assistants and postal workers.

“But the only way we can achieve this is by winning the next election and beating the Conservatives.

“The NHS, the minimum wage and maternity pay were all achieved, not by shouting loudly, but by winning elections. That’s vital if we’re to get the best public services.

“The last year has been a wasted one in many ways and we cannot afford another. If Labour is back here next year, obsessing about rule changes and internal rows, then it will have failed the British people.

“Let’s stop the running commentaries and briefings against each other, MPs and staff. And let’s stop talking about deselections and leadership elections.

“The next election is not lost — but Labour has a mountain to climb.

“Labour must work to win so it can change our country for the better. That’s why the unions founded the Labour Party — to win power for working people. There can be no greater task.”

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