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Dawson CLP Speech 2 - Tolpuddle
Dawson spoke to CLP members from the South West in Tolpuddle.

Hello Tolpuddle! I’ve come here every year since I turned 25 and along with the Durham Miners’ Gala, the Martyrs Festival is the highlight of my summer. However, this is my first time here in the winter and boy am I happy to see the enthusiasm that our movement to water the roots of socialism once more in the Labour Party has generated through this country. I think whichever Thatcherite true believer in misery economics wins their knife-battle for Leadership – be it the investment banker or the union buster – is going to be shocked at which constituencies they’ll need to defend come 1992. Unfortunately for you, that may mean you’ll be seeing more Tory faces in the South West come election time, when a Labour majority committed to forging the bonds of solidarity at home and abroad are sent to Westminster.

And let me tell you why my good friend and colleague in this fight – James McCrimmon – is the person to lead us to that victory. All across Britain working people are angry. We’re angry that Thatcher’s economic project has intentionally sold our industry off so that speculators could profit. We’re angry that millions suffer from the numbing feeling and constant anxiety that accompanies unemployment and not being able to scrape by as well as the acute pain of inflation. We’re angry at the Tory Poll Tax which deliberately shifted the tax burden onto those already struggling just to get by in a neoliberal economic order predicated on structuring markets for the benefit of those who already on the wealth – and droves are rightfully boycotting payment of that unjust and insulting tax. We’re angry after 11 years of willful neglect of our public services like the NHS which is being intentionally starved out in order to justify future privatisation of the greatest testament to the power of organising the economy to meet human needs the world has seen. We’re angry that the communities we live, which should be spaces of solidarity, co-operation, which should be the places we self-actualise and where our kids enjoy their childhood have been left to rot while the few move into bigger, fancier mansions of splendor without a worry in the world. Our anger is a righteous one and it’s felt all around the country – yes, despite how some may portray it, even in the south. You all already know that but it’s why I am here today. It is critical that our Leadership understands that the working class exists everywhere and that wherever there are those that are exploited so that a few may rise higher the Labour Party will be there to fight to uplift them and channel their righteous anger toward progress.

And we cannot retreat an inch in the fight because the forces we are battling are fundamentally putrid. We have seen what the Tories offer both with the misery the masses feel at home and commitments to continue supporting oppressive orders abroad such as Apartheid. Our Second People’s Charter constitutes a message of domestic solidarity and a full-throated rebuttal of neoliberalism. We will rebuild our communities. We will empower working people everywhere by reviving our trade union movement and by implementing a policy of worker ownership and participation. We will get this country back to performing the socially useful work we must in order to build a better society for all by restoring industry under public ownership. We will ensure that our public services have the funding they need to give all the care and support they need. And we must apply this mission of solidarity internationally as well. James McCrimmon knows that Britain must be a force for good in the world, an ally of the oppressed everywhere. We will fully support the ANC in South Africa and make every possible effort we can muster to end Apartheid. We will support bringing Thatcher’s best friend Augusto Pinochet to justice in an international court on behalf of the victims of his regime’s torture and murder campaigns. We will support the global labour movement in their struggle for just wages and the ability to lead enjoyable lives by supporting programs that bring equity with growth in the developing world and reject IMF and World Bank schemes that entrap developing nations in cycles of debt and austerity while the few in those countries prosper.

The gutter press may say our fight is “extreme” but in reality we all know it is the right thing to do. It’s common sense. So, if you believe that the socialist fight is right, that it is just, that we cannot make any concessions to Thatcher’s ghoulish neoliberalism organise for James McCrimmon and myself in your CLP. If you believe that a better world can be won, in the North, in the South, and wherever people live in despair please organize in your CLPs for James McCrimmon and myself. And now, let me introduce the real star of the show, my comrade from many a picket, Billy Bragg to lead us in The Red Flag with the spirit of the Tolpuddle Martyrs in our heart.

The crowd sings along as our glorious party anthem plays. Dawson raises his left fist in a solidarity salute.
Tommy Dawson
Labour MP for Sheffield Brightside (1979-Present)
Socialist Campaign Group. 9 XP. 15 Marx Visits. Media Darling, Campaign Guru, Issue Champ (Econ Equality)
Deputy Leader (1990-1992), Shadow Chancellor (1990-1992), The Most Dangerous Man in Britain (1992)

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