Politics UK: Culloden

Full Version: McIntyre Speech: CLP members in Merthyr Tydfil
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Labour MP Kenneth McIntyre spoke to the local CLP made up mainly of MUN members in support of James McCrimmon's leadership campaign.

Quote:Friends.

I consider myself tremendously fortunate to be speaking to you all here today in Merthyr Tydfil. As an amateur student of history, I cannot help but feel a deep connection to this place and you people as an advocate and friend of the Labour movement and trade unions across our country. And while I had a speech prepared about several policies issues being proposed by James McCrimmon's leadership campaign, while I reflected the location of today's speech, the history of this area-- especially connected to Labour-- and the current state of affairs across all of Wales, the United Kingdom and Northern Ireland, I was more inspired to speak about something unique in politics; simplicity.

Simplicity, my friends is pretty-near divine when we think about it. Often the most logical explanations for the things around us are the simplest. This is not to say that we are dull or dim-witted, on the contrary, seeing the simple things in this world is a unique gift. It is one I find most prevalent among British workers. A simple understanding of our sense of duty, to our families, to our country and to our communities. A simple and real understanding of the world around us. A simplicity that is certainly divine in its manifestation.

And when we talk about simplicity there are certain things that become a given. It is a given in a simple world that what a person says should be aligned with what the person does. Simple, and it makes sense. But that is not what we have today with our politicians, in fact, they are the perfect example of saying one thing and doing the exact opposite. In the case of Thatcher and the Conservative party it is about saying that this and that are best for you, that enforcing the Trade Union Act of 1984, banning secondary picketing and breaking up unions was best for you and you would see advancement in your well-being, rights and employment security. But the exact opposite is what is true. It is anything but simple, it is anything but divine.

If we have simplicity, and an alignment with reality, we have a government that says it cares about workers rights and their families. And what follows is a slew of policies and legislation that actually supports workers and their families. In the case of James McCrimmon what is is being proposed is a full repeal of the Trade Union Act which is a complete work of Orwellian fiction that present a solid case of double-speak wherein we were told it made unions democratic and open but in reality served as a bat to destroy trade unionism across Wales, the United Kingdom and Northern Ireland. That is a profoundly simply policy, it comes from having a government and politicians that align what they say with what they do and the outcomes for you are what you expect; expanded rights, employment protection and better standard of living.

Sometimes simple things apply to the Conservatives but not to anyone else. It is simple to be able to advance your case, as an individual but also collectively as workers. This is something that is certainly present in the corporate and business world. Some of you here have no doubt been on the short stick of owing money to one of their agents. And they all work in tandem to keep you down, and in some cases while mobilizing public institutions of the state such as the police. But when you as a worker try to advance your own interests and rights in the face of a treacherous corporation or industrial boss, you are kept down, told you cannot advance your own cause to all ends. Secondary picketing, the right to secondary picket and advance your case in the face of the business or industry withholding your rights is a perfect example of this. Which is why a James McCrimmon Labour government would repeal all restrictions on secondary picketing. And just as a corporation or business is apparently free to advance their cause in the open market, so too will the workers of this country. It again is a simple proposition and a simple response. But it is true and aligned with reality and that makes it good.

In 1831 during the Merthyr Rising workers cried out a chant that rings in my ears when I stroll around this area. "Caws a bara-- cheese and bread" and how fitting for this speech. Workers cried out for two simple things, but those simple things represented and became profound objects for a new type of Labour movement to rally around. This is what we are calling for today in the face of years of Conservative neo-liberal rule and the erosion of workers rights across Wales, the United Kingdom and Northern Ireland. We go back to bread and cheese, we cry out for the simply and yet alarmingly profound in this country because we need Labour, we need socialism and we need to return to the normal in this country. 

It is time for the worker to take back levers of power from those who are intent in keeping us down. And James McCrimmon is the Labour leadership candidate, with the Second Charter and true socialist policies, that will usher us into the halls of power. Thank you.