William Wilberforce, a son of Hull led the struggle to abolish slavery.
We have led the way in developing democracy and equality through our Parliamentary system which, although far from perfect has been copied around the globe.
For two long years we stood alone, against all the odds and common sense against the evils of the Nazis. This city was one of the most bombed outside of London, but we carried on and those who perpetrated the Holocaust against anyone who was different were defeated. We did that. Our grand parents did that and we owe it to them to protect that magnificent legacy of standing up for what is right and what is just despite terrible and unimaginable sacrifice and suffering.
We then went on, with a deficit FIVE times what it is now to rebuild our city and our country. An astonishing ONE MILLION new homes were built, the welfare state became the envy of the world and the jewel in this nation’s crown, the NHS opened it’s doors.
We waged war on poverty, not poor people.
We sacrificed, we cared for each other, we looked out for our neighbours, we passed laws for the common good, we made massive technological advances such as TV, radio, penicillin and we built great structures across our city and across our nation that we can be proud of. We cultivated the greatest artists, musicians, writers and scientists. We aspired to intelligence and education for all. We did not belittle each other for that, being educated was something to be proud of. We fought prejudice and discrimination wherever it reared up. And we put the hopes and aspirations of our young people first with free education for all for as long as our youngsters wanted it.
We were able to be all these things, do all these things because we were informed. But above all we were not scared. The first step in solving a problem is admitting that there is one. We have become scared. Of immigrants whom we are told are at fault for the crisis in the NHS. What rubbish! If you were to make a list of the top 100 things that need fixing, this would not make it. This big bad “fraud” is less than 0.001% of the NHS budget!
We are made scared of criminals when crime fell by 40% under the last Labour Government. We are told about millions of people ripping off the welfare state when four times more benefits go unclaimed, than are falsely paid out. There is the impression created by the right wing press that there is a life of unadulterated luxury of offer if only you can con your Doctor to sign you off as sick. That if you don’t work it’s all free beer and pizzas at the taxpayers expense. I am here to tell you from bitter personal experience that nothing could be farther from the truth and there will be many of you here today who find yourselves in that situation, or know people close to you who are genuinely and rightly scared of what dastardly deeds this foul and putrid Government have up their sleeves.
We are scared because this is precisely what the ruling class, our so called betters, want for the working class. Because then we are not asking why the deficit is a big fat lie, why there is £750 billion of OUR money sitting in the Banks un invested, or why £120 billion is avoided in tax every single year, or why billions of pounds of tax goes uncollected on assets held by the rich. Charles Windsor’s Duchy of Cornwall is worth £700 million earning him £18 million Tax FREE! Why on earth do we allow it? We must be quite literally mad!
But today shows us that there is hope. We are all here, standing together and together we can do what is needed to unite our country and our people.
We need three things to stop being scared. We need properly paid jobs for all who need them. We need a mass house building programme to provide homes that we can afford and can be proud of, and we need democratic control of all our public services where the workers run things for the benefit of the people, not fat cat public sector bosses or private companies.
This includes Parliament which needs to look and sound like the country it is meant to represent rather than be stuffed with privately educated middle aged men. I don’t want my MP to represent Virgin Healthcare, or a hedge fund in the city. They should be of, and for the people because this country belongs to us, not the Cabinet of millionaires in London, Barclays Bank, Starbucks, or those multi national companies that are holding our country to ransom.