Politics UK: Culloden

Full Version: Quinn Speech: Addressing NUM membership
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When I first started working for the union movement decades ago, I never thought I’d end up in front of you all here, spruiking for a future leader of the Labour Party. 

I started out my career with the TUC as a young lawyer, fresh from a big law firm in the City and already completely done with working for the big end of town. I started my new life with some of you out there - in the trenches, fighting against business owners that didn’t give a damn about regular people. We were a force for good together, and we made meaningful change. I look out and see many familiar faces, and a lot of new ones. 

To the familiar faces, I don’t want you to forget the fire we had in our bellies. We fought for our cause. In many cases we won. And now we’ve had a decade of woe unrivalled in our history. Don’t lose hope. We have a pathway forward. We need to get a government in power that puts the lives and livelihoods of everyday British people first. The battles are not the same. We cannot go backwards and fight the fights of ten or twenty years ago. We have seen those fights are not winnable. But we have new hurdles ahead, and let us take the fire of old and leap over them.

To the new faces, don’t feel like the stories your mothers and fathers tell you are just stories. Times weren’t always good, but our battles were honest. Some will say ‘we shall never see their like again’, but I disagree. You are those who will inherit this movement, and you must be the ones who shape our Labour Party. But heed my words: a party is not powerless in opposition, but to get you the deal you need to feed your families and get ahead, you need a party in government. 

To the familiar faces and the new faces both, I like you may occasionally find myself being persuaded by the promises of ten years ago. I find myself listening to the promises of men and women who want to keep fighting battles lost long ago. They want to try to keep promises long unfulfilled. In fact some in the parliamentary party today are still hoping to either keep or make those very same promises. But we are closer to the year 2000 than the year 1970, and we must look forward. We must look toward new promises that can be kept. The man that can take us forward is Griff Morrison.

Griff is not about fancy slogans. Griff isn’t about show. He’s from working class stock, like you and me. And he wants this Labour Party to be principled, and evidence-based. He wants to make it so that when some bloke down the pub asks you what the Labour Party stands for, you’re not left an hour later both scratching your heads. He doesn’t want perfect to be the enemy of good, because he lives in the same real world as you and me - he knows perfect doesn’t exist. He believes that the best leader has to know how to sometimes compromise on the implementation without compromising on the principle.

So if you want real, achievable change; if you want implementation; and if you want a principled leader, then you must support Griff Morrison. As a person who has lived this movement, I know I will be.