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“It is not enough to stand here and wave flags and placards”; What Ed Miliband Should Have Told the TUC A Future That Works Rally

“Comrades, the fact that over 150,000 people all over the UK are on the March today is a direct indictment of the pain that this Government is deliberately inflicting on working people. This is the most right wing and reactionary Government in our history, and let’s face it, there have been a few to choose from! 

The TUC didn’t provide the scenario for this March, nor did the Labour Party. The onus for why there are so many of us here today lies fairly and squarely at the feet of David Cameron and his out of touch, incompetent, vengeful and spiteful Government.  

Comrades, when things go wrong it you can measure how civilised a Society is, by how it looks after it’s most vulnerable. 

 In 1909 David Lloyd George declared war on poverty and we in Britain passed the “People’s Budget” which was the first attempt at redistribution and making the rich pay their way and laid the foundations for our Welfare State. In 1945 a Labour Government, facing a deficit FIVE TIMES what it is now, built 2 million homes, and in 1948 the doors of the National Health Service, still (just about) the envy of the world were thrown open meaning that every single UK citizen has full and unrestricted access to World Class healthcare free at the point of use. We will fight, and fight to protect this wonderful legacy left to us by our Grand Parents, and I pledge right here, and right now that the next Labour Government will repeal the detestable NHS Health and Social Care Bill which is set to decimate protection for workers and patients alike in every community across our nation. 

The vindictive policies pursued by Cameron and his Lib Dem backed coalition of the rich  who give a tax rebate of £40,000 to millionaires whilst devastating the NHS, raising VAT to crippling rates and destroying protection for our disabled and vulnerable young people, are the reason why we are here today. 

But let me tell you this, it is not enough to stand here and wave flags and placards, no matter how good that may make us feel. 

The solidarity that we have shown today must be taken back to every workplace in land. 

We must encourage our colleagues not to lose hope, not to give in to feelings that the Tories rampage and trashing of the business economy and the Public Sector is inevitable, to join and get active in their Trade Unions and to join us in campaigning to oppose these policies of austerity and cuts which Nobel Economics Prize winner Paul Kruger called, “Fundamentally mad”. 

We must use the momentum from today’s fantastic event, which sends an unambiguous message to the millionaires in the Cabinet that we in the UK care for and look after each other, to oppose the targeting of those who cannot fight back on their own, and to oppose disgraceful avoidance of tax by multi nationals such as Starbucks which is draining our economy by £120 billion a year. 

But a word of caution here Comrades. This Government is not only the cruellest in our history; it is by far and away the most incompetent. The Bungled Budget and the omnishambles in every area of Government policy mean we have no idea what sort of mess we will inherit in 2015, and doubtless there will be tough decisions to take, and in truth not ones that you or I will like. 

But what I can promise you is this. The next Labour Government will legislate in it’s first month to right the wrongs done to our economy and our Society by the sheer greed and arrogance of the few at the top that have wrecked our Banks with no tangible consequences for them. How dare they continue to pay themselves obscene bonuses when there is a Public Sector pay freeze, a freeze that has been used to drive down wages in Business Sector as well? A Robin Hood tax will be tabled in Parliament along with legislation to provide total transparency in the Banks, which will mean bonuses culture at the top end, must, and will be ended once and for all. 

Finally I promise you these aspirations from the next Labour Government; we will use every last sinew of energy to protect our vulnerable citizens, to pursue full employment as a core objective and to ensure that our youngsters are given the tools to be the best people that they can possibly be through education and housing policies that deliver for all, not just the out of touch and uncaring rich few.”



About dermotrathbone

Writer and co author "Through Red Lenses". Activist Unite the Union, Save Our NHS Hull. Fan of Yorkshire County Cricket Club, Hull FC, Munster and Ireland Rugby. Views are mine alone and may not reflect the organisations concerned.


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