Let us finish the job.
“These,” Unite general secretary Len McCluskey said, “are the scariest words in the English language.”
These words are also the Tories’ favourite mantra – a sinister phrase first coined by chancellor George Osborne in his call for another five years of austerity that’s ravaged the nation.
To finish the job, McCluskey argued, would entail the end of every institution we hold dear.
“It would mean in another five years, our NHS would be gone; social security – gone, workers’ rights – gone, housing – join the never-ending queue. Decent jobs – who are you kidding?”
Speaking at a Unions Together rally yesterday evening (April 27), McCluskey called on voters to take a stand as working people by voting for the only party that represents them – Labour.
“Our nation stands on the brink of change,” McCluskey said. “In 10 days the people will cast their vote. They will pass their judgement on the last five years of Tory Coalition, on the Labour party and on Ed Miliband – as our leader – and our next prime minister.
“It is their votes that will decide the path our country follows,” he added. “And make no mistake these paths are set poles apart. The 2015 general election offers two distinct visions. Tory fear versus Labour hope.”
Indeed, the party’s respective visions for the country could not be any more different.
Read between the lines of the Tory manifesto and Cameron’s cynical view of the British people emerges – a welfare system that punishes the most vulnerable, a health service that’s poised to become nothing more than a profit-making machine, and a tax policy that will only further widen the cavernous gap between the mega-rich and the rest of us.
It’s what prompted McCluskey to say that the Tory party’s campaign “has nothing to offer working people.”
“Over five years in government they have sought to wreak division,” he said. “Pitting public sector against private, the disabled against the able-bodied, and don’t forget those anti-immigrant ‘Go Home’ ad-vans driving round some of the most diverse parts of our capital city.
“The Tory election machine churns out fear and division.”
McCluskey contrasted this machine to Labour’s plan – a vision undergirded by a philosophy of hope.
“Labour is on our side fighting to hang onto what generations have toiled for – our schools, hospitals, homes, our communities,” he said.
“The Tory party may have the millions, but it is Labour that has the millions of people.
“When Labour talks the language of working people, when it speaks to their hopes and dreams, when it voices their worries and concerns, that is when Labour is at its best!”
And Labour is better now than ever, with much bolder policies that go to the very heart of the crisis facing millions of working people up and down the country over the last five years.
These policies, including repealing anti-union laws, freezing energy prices, clamping down on zero hours contracts and tackling tax avoidance, reveal a party that aims to elevate working people and to create an equal, more just and above all, more hopeful society.
“Ed Miliband and the Labour party have put hope back on the agenda,” McCluskey said. “Now we have 10 days to tell as many people as we can.”
“To win people to our cause, to enthuse the change our country needs. To say loud and clear: reject fear, embrace hope, and vote for change.”