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Standing on giant’s shoulders

Unite leader hails Labour as nation’s hope
Len McCluskey, Unite general secretary, Monday, September 25th, 2017


Unite general secretary Len McCluskey, moved composite 1 on growth and investment – here’s what he said:

 

All motions this week, seek to develop the policy of our Party. But they’re not starting from scratch. In fact, they stand on the shoulder of a giant.

 

That giant is Labour’s Manifesto 2017. The manifesto that got us our highest vote this century. For the first time in generations we had a manifesto that made a difference.

 

With policies that cut through to millions of voters. It reminded people why politics can be important, that political parties aren’t all ‘just the same’.

 

Our task now is to build on that manifesto because that means building on the hopes we kindled in our campaign this spring. This composite does that in respect of industrial and economic strategy.

 

And it is the issue that must be at the heart of Labour’s plans to transform Britain. If our first task in government will be ending the austerity which has spread so much misery, our second must be shaping a new economy that works for the many.

 

We need to hear more about the national and regional investment banks, and how they could restore jobs and hope to the forgotten men and women left-behind in industrial wastelands.

 

We need to promote not just growth but balanced growth by using the power of the public purse to back British industry through procurement policy.

 

We need to put the “public” back into the economy generally – starting with the services we all rely on – water, energy, transport.

 

And we need to create jobs, decent secure jobs – properly paid jobs, proper contracts, proper protections. The sort of jobs that are a foundation for a fulfilling life and of strong cohesive communities.

 

Election 2017 was a huge advance for socialist policies. And let me say to those merchants of doom and whingers and whiners who say: ‘We should have done better’; ‘We didn’t win’; I say this: We did win. We won the hearts and minds of millions of people, especially the young.

 

We won

We won the arguments that radical policies can stir the imagination and support of the British people. And perhaps most of all, Comrades, we won back our dignity and pride, making Labour a noble cause to fight for once more.

 

And it was also a triumph for our leader, Jeremy Corbyn. During the campaign the public got the chance to see the real man – his decency, his compassion and his vision of a better Britain.

 

Some people were surprised – the media of course. And maybe some here in Brighton this week.  But conference, my union was not surprised. We were proud to nominate Jeremy Corbyn in 2015 because we knew our Party needed something different.

 

We were proud to stand by him in 2016 when others panicked. And we were proud to have given 100 per cent all-out, full-throttle, support to Jeremy and our Labour Party this spring.

 

Now we are on the threshold of power. In my 47 years in our Party I have never looked forward to a Labour government like I’m looking forward to the next one.

 

To a time when so much of what our parents and grandparents fought for the basic values of community, solidarity and equality can be installed in Downing Street and be placed at the heart of our national life.

 

We owe that prospect to the work of tens of thousands of our activists and the hopes placed in us by millions. And we also owe it to the leadership of Jeremy Corbyn.

 

So let’s make it clear today, “Though cowards flinch and traitors sneer,” We’ll keep the Corbyn flag flying here!

 

See Len’s speech here

 

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