Addressing the Labour conference in Brighton today (Monday) on Labour’s economic policy, Len McCluskey the leader of the country’s biggest union, Unite, said that Labour has proved that political parties are not all the same.
Speaking in the debate on growth and investment, calling for an investment strategy of the scale and scope needed to support the country through and beyond the Brexit process, Len McCluskey, general secretary of Unite, said: “This week, we seek to develop the policy of our party. But we’re not starting from scratch. In fact, we are standing 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’.”
McCluskey went onto say that Labour was the party that will transform Britain: “Our task now is to build on that manifesto, because that means building on the hopes we kindled in our campaign this spring.
“Labour’s industrial and economic strategy is the issue that must be at the heart of Labour’s plans to transform Britain, ending the austerity which has spread so much misery and 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 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.”
Turning to the result of the last election, Len McCluskey said: “Let me say to those merchants of doom and whingers and whiners who say: ‘We should have done better, we didn’t win.’
“We did win. We won the hearts and minds of millions of people, especially the young.
“We won the arguments that radical policies can stir the imagination and support of the British people.
“And perhaps most of all, we won back our dignity and pride, making Labour a noble cause to fight for once more.
“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, 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.
“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!”
For further information please contact Pauline Doyle on 07976 832 861 or Alex Flynn on 07967 665869.
Notes to editors:
- Unite is Britain and Ireland’s largest trade union with over 1.4 million members working across all sectors of the economy. The general secretary is Len McCluskey.