Steve Turner, Unite the Union

Wednesday, November 20th, 2013

What a fantastic turnout, nearly standing room only, we had to move in there to make sure people could come in. And I know that people are attending during the course of the day so I think this is going to be an event that’s worthy of the effort people have put in to organising. So, firstly, solidarity from Unite, we’re a trade union at the forefront of a number of struggles, certainly over the past month, but I’m very proud to be here today speaking on behalf of Unite. Also as a member of our party of course, in Lewisham, in south London and as chair – co-chair – of the national People’s Assembly. A coalition developed from the political necessity really for a united movement fighting back and organising mass mobilisation against this austerity and the most ideologically driven, most damaging government we’ve seen in over a generation. And of course this is a fightback that Labour needs to be at the forefront and the heart of. And of course this has been an interesting month in terms of what Ed and others within the party have been saying. Banning zero hours contracts, abolishing the bedroom tax, ensuring […]

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Owen Jones

Tuesday, November 19th, 2013

“Well firstly I’m very proud to be on the same platform as these principled campaigners of the labour movement and I want to say first to Lisa [Forbes] – and embarrass Lisa, sorry – I had the honour of going up to Peterborough and doing a big public meeting in support of her campaign. Lisa, you’re going to be a fantastic campaigning MP when you boot out the absolute disgrace of a Tory MP – or human being – that is Stewart Jackson. And I just want to urge every body to get to Peterborough, back her campaign, she stands in the finest traditions of our party, she’s there pushing an alternative to austerity and to kick that man out of Peterborough. It’s also an honour to be on with Katy Clark, a Labour MP who’s been a voice against austerity, who’s been pushing consistently ever since she was elected in 2005. For peace, for justice, fighting for working people, and of course Steve [Turner] who is a leading pillar of Unite which has been savaged and demonised by the media, for good reason, because it’s there trying to offer an alternative to austerity and standing up for the people […]

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Diane Abbott MP

Tuesday, November 19th, 2013

This Thursday, New Yorkers elected somebody called Bill de Blasio as their Mayor, and there are some very interesting things about the campaign he ran. It’s interesting actually, and I say this as an aside, that he is married to a black woman and he has mixed race children. Some of you may say what’s interesting about that? As late as 1967 it was illegal in almost all the US southern states, to have a mixed race marriage. So the fact he could do it and run for mayor is interesting. But the really important point about Bill de Blasio’s election was the platform on which he ran. He talked about more affordable housing. He talked about rent control. He talked about opposition to New York’s version of stop-and-search. Stop-and-frisk, they call it there. He was the only Mayoral candidate who took on stop-and-frisk and talked about the disproportionate effect on BME young people. Even the black candidate in the Democratic primary chose to side with the police on stop-and-search because, just as here, it’s very popular with the police, very popular with a lot of people, but Bill de Blasio took it on. But finally, and perhaps this is […]

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Katy Clark MP

Tuesday, November 19th, 2013

I think Owen has left us with not a lot to talk about as he’s covered so much in his speech. I first met Owen when I first got elected as an MP in 2005 – I don’t know if you talk about this very much – you were working the House of Commons for the trade unions and so Owen was always a friendly face. Always someone there to give support, if any advice was needed, to give information or research in those first few months when we were facing all sorts of challenges by the Labour leadership as they tried to push through all sorts of legislation. Whether it was ID cards, whether it was 90 days detention, Owen was always there giving support. So it’s wonderful to see he’s doing so well, working in the media, and going around the country speaking to people who may not here from a Labour person otherwise. I think we need to be absolutely clear that the big issue that Labour needs to get its act together on is the economy. What the media is saying already is that the next general election is going to be the cost of living […]

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