Trade Union Congress: 2019 Leadership Contest

Elections for Leader and Deputy Leader of the Labour Party.
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Trade Union Congress: 2019 Leadership Contest

Post by Amelia »

Post speeches given to the Trade Union Congress here.
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Re: Trade Union Congress: 2019 Leadership Contest

Post by Hilda Harrington »

Hilda Harrington Speech to the Trade Union Congress

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Comrades, thank you for that warm welcome here today, and I’m so honoured to be here speaking with you about my vision for the Labour Party, and my vision for Britain. As I said recently, ten years of the Tories is ten years too long for working people across this country.

Ten years of being forgotten at best, and outright targeted at worst. Ten years of anti-worker, anti-union policy that has ridden roughshod over the decades of progress that we’ve made. Ten years of a party in power that cares more about lining the pockets of their rich pals than they do about ensuring every family can afford to put food on the table.

The Tories have a tried and tested method when it comes to winning elections: divide and conquer. They know that when we stand together we are an unstoppable force, and they know that they can’t beat us when we’re united. That’s why I’m running for the leadership of the party I love. We need to bring the country together – united in its drive for progressive, socialist politics – and get the Tories back on the opposition benches where they belong!

In recent days, we’ve seen the Tories revert to type. While the Labour Party has a great contest of ideas between three incredible women, the Tories have crowned their victor already. The next Prime Minister, chosen because nobody else really fancied it. What a slogan! We’ve heard the Tories saying already that a Labour leadership election must mean a furthering of division and factionalism, but I know that they’re wrong.

Our party thrives on democracy. It thrives on the idea of giving everyone a say in who leads the party and, God willing, who leads the country. I’m proud to be standing alongside two fantastic women, and I’m so excited for what this contest will bring.

Looking back two years feels like a lifetime now. Speaking with my constituents and people around the country, the Tories really do make the days feel longer. But in 2017 we went to the people with a manifesto that was, by and large, a popular one. Our message – a higher minimum wage, an end to austerity, and the abolition of tuition fees – was a popular one. But the messenger was not.

We cannot afford to abandon our manifesto commitments, and we cannot afford to abandon our long-held principles around making Britain a more progressive, democratic, equal place to live. But we cannot afford to repeat the mistakes of the past.

Firstly, I want to address the scourge that exists within our party and across Europe. Anti-Semitism is not unique to the Labour Party, but the environment that allowed it to take root, thrive, and grow is, and we need to root out racism wherever it is found and expunge it from our democracy once and for all. I’ve said it before but it bears repeating: if you are a Labour Party member and you are an anti-Semite then, with me as Leader, your days are numbered.

I’ll enact an immediate “one strike and you’re out” policy on anti-Semitism and all forms of racism within the Labour Party. There will be no slaps on the wrist. There will be no tutting and shaking our head. If you’re found to have broken the rules then the strictest penalties will be enforced, and you will not be welcome in our party any more. It’s that simple.

Next, I want to look at the way in which the party campaigns from the ground up. Looking around the room I can see stalwart campaigners that I’ve stood alongside in many elections past, so it’s not news to you that victory begets victory in British politics. Over the last ten years, our local infrastructure has depleted. Our footholds in local councils around the country have been swept away. We need to rebuild there before we can rebuild anywhere else.

I’ll hold monthly calls with CLP Chairs to hear their views around what’s next for the party, and I’ll speak directly with them about how we, as a national party, can help them campaign and help them win. Our membership is our driving force. We are fortunate to have a membership base larger than any party in Europe, and we have the resources and the drive that we need to campaign and win.

To paraphrase the Bible – badly – a house divided cannot stand, and it certainly can’t win a general election. Before anything, we need to work to heal the divisions within the Labour Party. As someone who has been on the backbenches for a few years, I can tell you that it gets lonely. It can be a pretty cold and desolate place when you’re shouting into the void. That ends now. Backbenchers have a voice, and as Leader, I will empower them to use it.

Leadership is about looking forwards, but it’s also about ensuring those that you lead feel represented, listened to, and heard. I’ll form the Labour Party Policy Committee, comprised of backbenchers and elected by backbenchers. They’ll formulate policy, and then every member of the Parliamentary Labour Party will get a vote. If it passes, it’s policy. If it fails, it’s not. It’s that simple. Backbenchers represent diverse communities from around the country, and whilst I can’t have everyone in my Cabinet, I can certainly try my hardest to ensure those communities are the communities we represent in both action and intention.

I love the Labour Party, and I love this country. I’d be honoured to lead both of them into a new era. An era of progressive politics without exclusion. An era of hope, equality, and democracy. An era of elevating the voices of working people. An era of striving for something better, nor settling for something worse.

We need to come together, comrades, and work for a better Britain. We can only do this if we empower the voices of everyone within and outwith the Labour Party. We exist to represent working people, and I’m sorry that we’ve let you down in the past, but I promise that we'll stand with you, shoulder to shoulder, in future.

Let’s push forward into a new era, and let’s change Britain for the better. Thank you.
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Major General Hilda Harrington MP
Labour Member of Parliament for Southampton Test [2005 - present]

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Re: Trade Union Congress: 2019 Leadership Contest

Post by Dominic Burrows »

Simon Godwin speech to the Trade Union Congress

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Comrades,

It is an honour to join you all today and I’d like to thank you for the opportunity to set out my stall for the Deputy Leadership of the Labour Party. I’d also like to thank Frances for her stellar leadership of the TUC, she is an example to all within our movement of the importance of a campaigning labour movement advancing the rights of workers. The Trade Union movement has a long and vibrant history in our country and its deep connection to the Labour party is intrinsic to our future success.

In 2010 I thought that my brief stint in Parliament was all that I was going to have. A short-lived political career and I was out on my own. What hurt the most was not my losing my seat, but that our movement lost power after thirteen years of making real, tangible change to people of Britain and they were left to the vultures of the Conservative and Liberal alliance that has torn a part the very fabric of our society and sacrificed millions of people’s lives on the altar of their austerity politics.

That is what drove me to continue the fight, and what drove me to run again in 2015 and get re-elected, and that is what drives me now as hope to become the next Deputy Leader of the Labour party. Fighting against the cruelty of this Tory government that has no respect for the workers of this country, that no has decency or compassion, that looks at the most vulnerable in our society and washes their hands. If I am successful in this campaign I will be the champion of the oppressed and the ignored, of those that the Tories deem to be collateral damage in their pursuit to finish off what Thatcher started all those years ago.

For the past nine years the Conservatives have pursued a dogmatic set of policies that have made Britain worse. Since 2010 we have the bedroom tax, the hostile environment, welfare cuts, the betrayal of the WASPI women, child poverty soaring, food bank use rising. And all the while the Conservatives have looked after who they always look after, themselves and their wealthy donors with tax cuts and tax cuts for the ultra-wealthy while saddling the poorest in our country with the lions share of the burden. That is what we are up against and that is what we must fight if we are to return the Labour party to Government. I’m ready for that fight and I know you all are as well.

When I look at our country today I see a country that is riven by division and inequality, where the rich are getting richer and the poor are struggling to survive, where international corporations are given carte blanche to avoid paying their fair share of tax while small businesses and our high streets are left to rot. We need a radical overhaul of how our economy works and we need it now.

It is often said that change only occurs during a crisis. After the financial crash we had that chance to change how our economy works, but the Conservatives and the Liberals squandered the chance favouring austerity and their plummy words of “We’re all in this together”. We were never in this together and all we had was more of the same breaks for the rich. But I believe we still have the time to truly change how our economy works, with true worker representation of boards, where the massive corporations pay their fair share of tax in the countries that they operate in. Where companies like Uber and Deliveroo are prevented from exploiting their workers with zero-hours contracts and below-minimum wage jobs, where the backbone of British industry - the small and medium sized businesses - are supported and encourage to grow. And with this economy, where the focus of success is on all British workers not just the millionaires and billionaires we will see an economy that is changed for the better.

Our movement must always be looking forward and adapting to change. For too long corporations have to sought to keep themselves on top by cornering the market on new technologies and techniques, but it is the workforce that are the revolutionaries and we must be bold in our future. If this boldness is needed it is in our fight against the climate emergency and the burgeoning green industry. I accept that change can be difficult, but as a movement we have fought for change since the inception of the trade union movement and I believe, wholeheartedly, that Britain is a country that can thrive by embracing this new green industry. Our workers are well trained, highly skilled, competent, and well-protected and we are ready to meet this challenge, we need only accept it.

And as we leave the European Union the fight to ensure workers rights are enshrined in law will be a fight we thought we had already won. We must be ready and the Labour party must prepare to stand up tall and shoulder to shoulder in our commitment to protecting the hard won rights of workers and oppose any degradation of workers rights that come our of this inept Tory government. Britain has left the EU, and now we look to the trade deals this Government brings forward. We will stand strong against any attempt to weaken the rights and protections of workers. We will stand against any attempt to sell of our NHS. We must stop the Tories from using Brexit to turn Britain into a new tax haven.

The Deputy Leader of the Labour Party is a role I never thought I would pursue at the beginning of my career, and it is a role that comes with a great deal of responsibility. I have always seen the deputy leadership as a primary bridge between the Leadership and the membership of the party, and bridge between the Parliamentary Party and the membership as a whole. If elected I will serve whoever wins the Leadership election to the best of my ability, but I will always remain a voice of reason and independent thought within the Shadow Cabinet.

Our movement has many battles ahead of us, and I know that together we have it in us to meet these challenges and prevail. Thank you.
Dominic Burrows
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Re: Trade Union Congress: 2019 Leadership Contest

Post by Emily Greenwood »

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Labour leadership contender Emily Greenwood spoke to the TUC:
Comrades,

Thank you for inviting me to speak to you today. I’ve spoken at length in this campaign about the roots of the Labour Movement - our historic mission to stand up for ordinary working people, to have their back and be their voice. It’s a mission we’ve stuck to in good times and bad, when times changed, when our economy transformed into something new.

It’s a mission forged in the fires of the Industrial Revolution, when technological change changed the world beyond recognition. It’s a mission reforged after the devastation of two World Wars, as Britain’s changing role in the world reshaped our nation abroad and at home. It’s a mission we now have to rediscover, when Brexit changes our role in the world and technology changes at a pace not seen since that Industrial Revolution.

Throughout these phases of the Labour Movement, it’s been working people powering the gears of this country. When they succeed, this country succeeds. Whether you work by hand or by brain, in the public or the private sector, whether you’re young and starting your first job or old nearing a well-deserved pension, it’s our common endeavour that makes us strong, and that makes our country strong. And everyone counts.

It doesn’t help, with all the challenges we’re facing, that the government in power has an abysmal record on recognising that simple truth about working people. We’ve seen it in 9 years of divisive, cynical policies that have divided rather than healed, marginalised rather than empowered. They inflicted crippling austerity on the unsung heroes who work for all of us in our public services, and those who rely on them. Poverty up, inequality on the rise, families forced to fear whether they can feed or clothe their children, forced to the indignity of having to rely on food banks. And they put the burden for getting us out of crisis not on those with the strongest shoulders, not on those whose greed caused the mess - but on the working people of this country.

It would be bad enough when it’s clear that we can do so much better than this - but our government has the nerve to boast about it. When our public services are stretched to breaking point by an overblown private logic, they say investment has never been higher. When hundreds of thousands of families live from paycheck to paycheck in increasingly precarious and underpaid gigs, they say employment has never been higher. When millions of hard-working Britons up and down this country are wondering when they will see the fruits of recovery, they boast that averages are up. With his trusty calculator in hand, our new Prime Minister sits in Number Ten and boasts of his economic prowess, while he need only look out of the window to see the ruin his party has brought to people’s lives.

We need to stand up for working people once again, first and foremost to defend their rights after Brexit. Because Sir Arthur Stanley can say what he wants about tailoring worker’s rights to British workers and British businesses - with a record such as theirs, you’d be forgiven for thinking it might not be about the rights of our workers and the success of the solid, fair-minded small and medium businesses so many of them work in. Because it’s so far been clear where their allegiances lie: with multinationals who refuse to pay their fair share and with those who see only the economic value of work, rather than its human one, its value in our lives and our communities.

I have been the first to call for Sir Arthur Stanley to come clean about this and rule out backsliding on worker’s rights. I have been clear about my determination not to support any trade deal that doesn’t prevent a race to the bottom on these rights. And I will keep fighting alongside you for these rights, now and in the future.

But that’s the first step. After nine years of cynicism and neglect, we must show anew the value of work to our communities and our nation - and put it at the heart of the new economy that is emerging in the Technological and Green Revolutions to come. We need working people and their unions up and down this country, in all parts of our economy, to stand up and join their forces to ensure that the New Economy is fairer, more dynamic, and more prosperous for all. That we seize the opportunities of the energy transition and the digital economy, but fight for fairness within it. The Trade Union Movement is a crucial, indispensable part of that new partnership to build an economy where everyone counts.

And Labour will do its part under my leadership to replace a cynical politics that undervalues working people and their hard work with a politics that puts their endeavours at the centre. That ends the exploitation in the gig economy. That provides a safe haven in wage insurance and ample retraining opportunities for those outskilled by technological change or the energy transition. That supports self-employed people with bright ideas to become the forward-looking, responsible and fair small and medium businesses of the future. That reforms the tax system so that finally, the people bearing the heaviest burden will be those with the strongest shoulders. That raises the living wage to a true living wage level, that ends unequal pay between men and women and that finally gives a fair deal to the hard-working heroes who work for all of us in our public services.

But we have an opportunity at this time to reshape the very way we’ve been thinking about the contribution of working people. Since Thatcher we've been playing the workplace politics of confrontation. I want to put the workplace politics of cooperation in its place and forge a new constructive relationship between businesses and unions, between businesses and our workers. Part of that is giving a seat at the table to the workforce - a perfectly normal practice in many countries today which strengthens the position not just of working people, but of the businesses where they work as well. It’s not just right to give working people more of a say in businesses where they work - it’s also smart. Because with their hard work every day and their passion for what they do, our workers can speak up, improve productivity and add even more value to their businesses. And I will legislate to make it a reality.

Because in a changing world with our role as a country uncharted, we can’t afford to waste the potential of our skilled, motivated, hard-working, highly productive workforce. Not with the challenges ahead, which also present opportunities. Only with the support of working people - of engineers and electricians, builders and drivers, and all those whose work is vital to the transition - can we get to net zero emissions by 2030. And when we lead the world in that Green Revolution, we’ll create thousands of good, well-paying, stable green-collar jobs. Jobs that will hopefully revitalise communities that have suffered since their coal pits and their industries were closed.

Comrades, when working people succeed, Britain succeeds. But we can only do that if we end this cynical Conservative government with its each-man-for-himself mentality. Its greed-is-good mentality. Its hypocritical chest-beating and its cold calculations that don’t reflect the reality for hard-working Britons. We need to put in its place an optimistic alternative, a compassionate and inclusive alternative. That revalues work from something you do to make a living to something that makes your life, jobs you can be proud of again, that can be meaningful and valuable. It’s such a missed opportunity to reduce work, as Sir Arthur Stanley does, to a bunch of figures on the screen of a pocket calculator, or an election poster. Together as the Labour Movement, we know that it’s so much more than that. It fosters prosperity, it breeds community, it gives meaning and it looks to the future. And without it, we can’t hope to face the challenges of tomorrow.

So join me and the Labour Party, comrades, to once more carry on our historic mission: to represent and mobilise working people for the good of all this country, to build a country where Everyone Counts. So that through the endeavours of millions, tomorrow’s Britain will be one where no man, no community is left behind, that is fairer, greener and more dynamic. Where we work together rather than be played apart.

That is the mission of the Labour Movement today. That’s the vision this leadership contest is all about - and it’s the vision I want to carry through every day for our Labour Movement.

To bring Britain back together - and build that new, green economy where Everyone Counts

Thank you.
the Rt Hon. Emily Greenwood MP
Leader of Her Majesty's Most Loyal Opposition and Leader of the Labour Party (2019-present)
MP for Workington (2010-present)
Shadow Secretary of State for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (2017-2019)

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Re: Trade Union Congress: 2019 Leadership Contest

Post by Dr. James Webster »

Labour Deputy Leadership Candidate Dr. James Webster Spoke to the TUC:

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Comrades,

I’m honored to be able to speak to you today. For last ten years Labour has let workers down, by failing to make sure that we had a Labour Government that would have fought for their rights, and tried to make their lives better, but instead we have had a Conservative Government that has gutted workers rights and made sure that the new wealth generated in this country goes to the wealthiest. I say no more, I say it’s time that Labour gets serious about beating the Tories instead of beating ourselves. The years of factionalism and division must be over if we are going to deliver what this country needs, which is stronger rights for our workers, better public services, and more equality. We need someone who will aim to unite the separate factions of our party instead of constantly pushing to lower the number of voices and ideas in the room, every wing of the party has ideas worth being in the main platform of this party, and only united will we win. We need a party with one united vision, and as Deputy Leader I will be working everyday to make sure that our party is united with the goal of delivering a Labour Government. Let’s win with Webster.

A Labour Government alone won’t solve the problems of inequality. We need a Government that understands just how deep inequality is in this country, and that believes in progressive policies that put working people first. From green spaces, to wages, to political power, to public services. We need a Labour Government that is willing to address everything in this country, to make sure that everyone has a fair chance in life, where your socio-economic status at birth doesn’t determine your status over your whole life. Where we have a world class education available to all citizens. Where healthcare services are the best in Europe no matter which nation you are from. It’s time to have a government that is willing to address the environmental inequality that leads to shorter less healthy lives for the poorer among us, especially those of us from minority backgrounds. This leadership election we can elect a leadership team ready to fight for more equality, and to deliver a Labour government, when the Tory government on DUP life support collapses.

A Labour government must be ready to fight for workers so that they can have a fair chance during negotiations. It’s time for a new Workers bill of rights that not only enshrines collective bargaining for employees at companies with over one hundred workers, but that makes sure that your union can truly fight for you! A Labour Government that fails to deliver strong workers rights post Brexit is no better than a Tory Government. When the Labour Party returns to Government, I will be working everyday to make sure that we not only protect but finally strengthen workers rights from generations of Tory attacks. We have one chance to get this right, because we cannot continue to let down the workers of our nation. We need a workers rights bill that will not only continue to fight the wage gap but will finally end it once and for all. We cannot continue to allow the wealthy in this nation to pay people higher solely on their ethnicity, immigration status, or gender. This bill will need to address sexual harassment at work, and protect LGBTQ+ rights of workers. Everyone has a right to work free of discrimination and harassment.

For a moment I’d like to focus on public service workers, I think it’s time that we had a government that actually recognizes that our public service workers deserve respect. I think it’s time that our public service workers received a real raise. I think that it’s time that we made up for their years of austerity and budget cuts and showed that we do actually appreciate their hard work for this nation. Austerity doesn’t work and it’s time to undo all of the damage it has done to our public services. You have to appreciate the way the conservatives create a problem only to sell the solution. For police and border they cut the number of workers, and then say that we are weak on crime. I believe that a Labour government must fight to make the lives better for all Brits and that requires a strong public sector on all fronts. Anything less is a failure of a Labour Government. We cannot continue to allow for the Conservatives to keep selling off parts of our public services to the private sector. We need to make the NHS stronger, our education system better. Only a Labour Government will bring the UK to once again have the best public services in Europe.

Over the last few ours our leadership campaign has been marred with anti-Semitic charges. Antisemitism has no place in the Labour movement. We must recognize where antisemitism exists in our own beliefs, actions, words, and make sure that we work to make sure that we speak out against it where it does exist. Let me be very clear, I believe actions speak louder than words, and we need new leadership that’s prepared to act. The revelations surrounding Hilda Harrington’s behavior are disturbing, and I for one will not stand for them. Samantha Berman deserves to be respected, heard, and taken seriously. As the next Deputy Leader of the Labour Party I can make this promise: I will prioritize the voices of those who represent the communities we are trying to help, rather than silence and ignore when it’s politically advantageous to do so.

The Labour party has let this fester inside of us for too long, and it’s time that we work towards removing actors that have protected people. We need to make reforms that prevents our leader from intervening in internal party disciplinary actions in order to help protect their political allies, or protect people who are anti-Semitic. The Labour party cannot fix this issue if we do not recognize our own biases and work towards improving the movement every step of the way.

Unity and bold policies are our way back into government. The future is truly bright only if we are ready to be a united party against the Tories. We cannot continue to let down the workers in our nation by continuing to fail to deliver a Labour government. Unity will be our strength, and I will spend everyday making sure that our party can be one united front, for the betterment of all Britons. I believe strongly that my vision of a unified party with one strong message will lead us back to government. We will win with Webster! Thank you all!
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