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Greenwood Speech: Leadership Platform Launch
Labour Leadership contender, Emily Greenwood, launched her leadership platform "Let's Bring Britain Back Together" at a campaign event in Doncaster:


It's great to be here in Doncaster today! This year, it marks 120 years ago that in a local union branch here in this town, a railwayman trade unionist called Thomas Steels proposed to his comrades an idea that would change our nation's politics. The idea was simple: to bring people on the left together and fight in politics for a better future, to speak for the voiceless and bring in the marginalised masses of the working class to the centre of our nation's politics.

That's right: the very first idea of a Labour Party was conceived in this town. The very first idea of a party that would bring all those forces together that were looking to transform Britain. And the founding idea of the party was this: to build a Britain where everyone counts, to bring Britain together. So it's fitting that it's here, friends, that I stand here today, in the very place where the idea of our party started life as a motion in a union branch meeting, to present to you my ideas for our party and for Britain - my platform to bring Labour back together so that together, we can do what we are called to do: to bring Britain back together.

I believe Britain needs the Labour Party now more than ever. After nine years of Conservative government, our country is more divided than ever. Nine years after David Cameron diagnosed a "broken society", we see his broken promise in an increasing number of decisions created by the Conservatives. They incited division between the haves and the have-nots; they labelled those who genuinely rely on the state for help to get through life "shirkers" and set "strivers" against them; they fed into a division between those whose family has been here for centuries and the children of those we welcomed here to seek a better life. They let self-interest and profit rule our public services, they tempered social mobility by hiking tuition fees and they left millions of Britons in the cold while they cut taxes on their rich friends and donors, money they could have used to preserve the social fabric of so many communities. And to top this cynical politics all off, they took the greatest democratic exercise in the history of our country and made it into a political football in a cold-hearted, cynical political game, an arms race that can only end in one way: a wreck-it Brexit, without a deal or with a bad deal that will leave hard-working Britons in the cold and leave our country divided.

It's up to us to bring Britain back together. We have to end the politics of cynicism and division, and to do that we need to bring the Labour Party back together behind a positive, optimistic and compassionate message for the future. That is the message I present to you today. It is a message that starts with the best strategy to stop a wreck-it Brexit, to ensure Brexit will not be the end of the open, compassionate and inclusive Britain we stand for: a Brexit for everyone that does right both to the concerns and the decision of the 52% and the concerns and fears of the 48%. I want to put this damaging and divisive episode behind us, and do it in such a way that we can start to look forward to the future together as one nation.

That means, first and foremost, to block the worst wreck-it Brexit of all: a no deal Brexit that will send our economy teetering off the cliff edge for the sake of the ideological pretensions and tough talk of Will Croft or Harry Saxon. And after that, one way or another, we'll get a government that will renegotiate Brexit in a constructive way and get a deal without all the defects of the wreck-it Brexit the Tories are offering. A deal that will keep us in in the customs union, preserve the Northern Irish Peace Process and secure as much access to the common market of our closest neighbours and trading partners as possible while still respecting the reasons so many people in this country voted to leave. And if the Conservatives refuse to implement a Brexit that does right by the many, not just the few, I am happy to fight an election on this prospect, confident that we'll finally get a government that will not just get Brexit done, but get it behind us, ready to face the challenges of the future together.

Because through this whole mess, you'd almost forget that the Tories left us a Britain that is broken in more than just one way. That is why my platform starts with Brexit, but surely doesn't end with it. I think the crucial battle for our party is the battle we have to face after Brexit day, to prove that a Britain where everyone counts, a politics for the many, not the few, is possible. That we can unleash a Green Revolution that will see us reach net zero emissions by 2030; that we can reverse the damage of austerity and make our public services work for all of us; that we have a credible new agenda for a new, fairer economy; and that post-Brexit Britain will still be a world leader for peace, compassion and human rights in an increasingly uncertain and harsh international political reality. And while it is crucial to get Brexit right, these are the policies where our Party will be able to make the biggest difference for the millions of ordinary people our party was founded to unite and serve.

I was struck by the story of Lydia, one of the questioners in the leadership debate. She stood up on live TV and told us she's afraid her daughter won't have a world to grow up in. I am heartbroken, as a mother and as a politician, that we are in the situation where people feel not just that they won't be able to pass the planet on to their children better, but not at all. To all those like Lydia, I said that night and I'll say it again: don't be afraid. We've got what it takes to solve this, and I promise you: I will try my hardest. In the package of policies I present you today, you'll find my plan for the Green Revolution we need to get to net zero emissions in 2030 and preserve the world for all our children.

To do so, we need more than just government action - we need to bring Britain together to fight climate change, and make emissions-free and green living the new normal within the space of the next decade. But with a Labour government in power and on the side of ordinary people through this fight, I am optimistic that we'll get there. We'll start off by investing in renewable energy at sea, but on land, we need to bring everyone with us to transform the landscape and neighbourhoods of Britain. That's why we'll make houses that generate their own energy and can be efficiently heated with a heat pump the new normal, giving incentive to make the switch to those who can afford the investment and helping those who can't by making this the standard for all council homes and newly-built starter homes. We'll get the private sector going green with incentives, but we'll also toughen up on government suppliers and public transport companies, making sustainable and low-emissions or no-emissions practices part of their covenant with us as a society. We'll make public transport and electric vehicles more attractive. We'll start a movement, in this country and across the world, that will help us beat climate change and global warming, so that the Britain we will pass on to our children is at least as green and pleasant as the one we grew up in.

I spent my working life before politics teaching children at a comprehensive school in Ulverston. My daughter Martha is lucky to have a quality school to attend within the state system, one that really makes the difference for children from all backgrounds. I know, from experience as a teacher and a mother, the kind of difference that makes to so many people's lives. But nine years of Conservative mismanagement have left our schools system in a state that not every child can find the great school he or she needs. And this goes across the public services - a harsh, overblown and impersonal private logic has crept in that has obscured the most fundamental fact about it. These services aren't transactions between a customer and a provider - they are public services which work for all of us, for entire communities that rely on them. Our schools teach our children and provide them with the best start for the future; our NHS takes care of us when we're sick; our public transport helps those who rely on it get from A to B; our bobbies keep us safe. These are the most fundamental purposes of our public services, and I want to reverse the damage of austerity and restore their public ethos.

The policies I am presenting to you today do just that. Under my leadership, Labour will reverse the damage austerity has done to our public services. Our teachers and heads, our doctors and nurses, our bus drivers and bobbies are community heroes, and they're overdue for recognition and a raise. We'll strengthen the influence of our professionals throughout the public services. I will ally with teachers and heads to deliver the most cutting-edge standards in education, creating a new and prestigious Royal College of Teachers that will recognise their commitment to their pupils, regulate teaching standards the the highest level and work tirelessly to provide teachers with the latest knowledge and skills to provide the best for their pupils.

And those who rely on them, I say this: it's time you got what you paid your taxes for. To the students who are now forced to work part-time, taking time away from their studies and development, I'll say: we'll scrap tuition fees so you can focus on your future. And to those who don't go to university, I will say that you are as if not more crucial to the future of this country than those who did. Labour will be on your side, and create a new Technical Baccalaureate that will prepare you for the job market.

To all those parents who want the best for their children, I say: we'll add uniform high standards to the diversity of our uniformity so we can really make a tailored education count for every child in this country. Working with the Royal College of Teachers, we'll lead the fight for standards, starting with a requirement that everyone teaching our children should have a Qualified Teaching Status. And we'll strengthen the original purpose of the Academies our party created by giving parents from disadvantaged backgrounds more of a say in their governance.

To the patients who became victims of the callous postcode lottery the Tory internal market inflicted on the NHS, I say: healthcare is not a product on a market, but a fundamental right. I will end the internal market and replace it with a new system in which your needs and the judgment of your medical practitioner guide the direction of the NHS, not the impersonal hand of the market. And as part of this, I will ask all NHS suppliers to involve those who the NHS is about, our practitioners and patients, as they make the choices that will shape our NHS for the future.

And to those many people who rely on public transport to commute or to visit friends and family, I say: we'll finally take action to bring down fares and provide better services. We'll roll out the success of Transport for London to all local authorities with Passenger Transport Executives run by local councils or groups of them. And crucially, we'll create public operators who'll push the entire public transport system towards the public interest: lower fares, better services, lower emissions and a National Oyster Card that will make public transport more convenient than ever before.

Reversing the damage austerity did also means building a new, fairer economy. The economic challenge is not just to make our economy fairer; it is to adjust in a fair, compassionate and dynamic way to all the changes that will come. Technology is rapidly changing the way we work and live, and the Green Revolution we need will change our economy in a sweeping way not seen since the Industrial Revolution. My agenda for a new, fairer economy is to seize these changes as opportunities while protecting those who the changes make vulnerable. My platform contains an ambitious set of measures to help the self-employed, give them the security they need to set up prospering businesses, and invest in new economic sectors with a Social Wealth and Credit Fund, especially in those parts of our country that have struggled to replace industries that closed or left. But I will also be on the side of ordinary hard-working people to help them through this transition, providing retraining for those who risk being outskilled and wage insurance to maintain their income while they do.

The only way in which we can secure future investment is to keep the public finances in order. But make no mistake - I will not stand for the callous way in which the Tories made ordinary people foot the bill while the wealthy were spared. To reverse the damage of austerity did to fairness in our economy, within a year of getting to Number 10 I will launch a Tax Review to close tax loopholes, make the tax system greener and ensure that the strongest shoulders will finally bear the heaviest tax burden. I will be on the side of working people, not just in securing a Brexit deal that protects their right but in building a new economic partnership between unions, employers and government to increase wages and secure higher productivity and better working conditions. And we'll tackle the crisis of the costs of living through increased public provision in water and energy and an ambitious programme to get Britain building and unlock the housing market to those many people who are struggling to afford their own homes. Together, we can make sure the new economy is one where everyone counts.

And finally, I want to look outward to the world. Britain has, before as well as during our membership of the EU, has been a world leader for peace, compassion and human rights across the world. And in these ever changing and turbulent times, the need for that leadership has never been greater. We cannot afford to retreat back into splendid isolation after Brexit - and I won't let us. I will continue to fight for peace in the Middle East, for a compassionate solution to the plight of all those people who are risking life and limb to get away from war to the safety of Europe, for a worldwide movement to combat climate change as we prepare to host COP26. Our commitments have never stopped at Britain's borders, and they will not under my leadership, whatever happens on Brexit.

Right now, right here in the very place where the first idea of a Labour Party started, I invite you to come with me. Because we won't bring Britain back together unless we first bring Labour back together. The past few years have been hard on us - we've been struggling to give a place to all the movements and traditions that have made our party great and recognise our common purpose. It has even, bizarrely, made combatting antisemitism into a factional matter. If we are to bring Britain back together, we can't go on like this: I will make it clear through strong, independent procedures away from the influence of the party leadership that antisemitism is repugnant, it is wrong and it has no place in our party.

I want to rebuild that broad Labour Party that started 120 years ago, a broad coalition of all those who are on the side of the many, not the few. And to do that, I need the many people who have joined with us to lend us their energy and their ideas. I will bring in a Shadow Cabinet of all the talents, and listen to the many bright new ideas that have sprung up in recent years. Together, we have what it takes to build on all these ideas and deliver a new, optimistic vision for Britain that will transform our country at the start of the 21st century just as Labour transformed our country in the 20th.

120 years ago, the idea of Labour started right here in a union branch in Doncaster. Since then, we have come far. We have become the natural home of all those people who believe that together we can achieve far more than we can apart, believers in a democratic socialist politics for the many, not the few. We have been instrumental to building up our public services, a compassionate society. We transformed this country and left it more compassionate after the hardship of the Thatcher years. The movement that started here and in so many other places in this country at the turn of the 20th century has come far, and together, we will go far yet.

And this, my friends, is why I am confident that Labour, with these ideas, with this vision, has what it takes to turn Britain around now. To stop a wreck-it Brexit. To reverse austerity. To build that fairer economy and restore our public services. To be a world leader. To end the politics of division and cynicism, and replace them with a new politics of inclusion and compassion, a politics for the many, not the few.

You can count on me to do everything in my power to make that vision a reality. Today, in this place, I am asking you to lend me your support as your next leader - so that we can bring Britain back together - and build a Britain where everyone counts.

Thank you.
Emily Greenwood MP
Deputy Leader of the Labour Party (2019-)
MP for Barrow & Furness (2010-)
Shadow Public Services Secretary (2019-)
Traits: Media Darling, Campaigning Guru, Finite Resources

"No place for Christian politics? The world is yearning for Christian politics! A politics that speaks for those that have no voice; that acts for those that have no hands; that finds a path for those who can't find their feet; that helps those that have no helper."
- Wim Aantjes

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