McCluskey to tell Durham Miners’ Gala “I am ready for reform”

13th July, 2013 10:58 am

Speaking at the Durham Miners’ Gala this afternoon, Unite General Secretary will give his backing for Ed Miliband’s reform of the Labour/Union link – but will urge Miliband to lead a Labour Party that will make a clear difference to the lives of working people (making recruitment easier in the process. He will tell the “Big Meeting”:

“The Labour Party must understand it can only exist if it remains the voice of ordinary working people.

“The parliamentary Labour party today does not look like, or think like, the working class communities it seeks to represent. That is a serious problem. It is increasingly the preserve of people who glide from university to think tank to the green benches, without ever sniffing the air of the real world.

“That is what Unite was fighting for in Falkirk – to give the working class a stake in our democracy. I make no apology for that.

“Ed Miliband has now announced the biggest ever shake-up in the trade union Labour link – a link over 100 years old. Yes, it’s a gamble – change worth having always is.

“But let me say this: I am ready for reform. I am ready to engage with the Labour Party to find a way to re-engage hundreds of thousands of trade union members with the party their forefathers and foremothers created.

“A vibrant, stronger, more democratic Labour Party will be a good thing.

“I am ready for reform because the status quo is no longer an option. It has not delivered for those of us represented here today. It did not stop us having a New Labour government that pampered the rich and waged illegal wars, while it left in place the most restrictive trade union laws in the whole of Western Europe.

“Ed Miliband is at his best when he is boldest, when he challenges the media tycoons like Rupert Murdoch, the corporate giants not paying fair taxes and those who protect privilege yet cause inequality and poverty.

“But if we are to go out and convince thousands of working class men and women that they want to sign up to be associate Labour Party members they will not be interested in the rule-book, or even the history. They will want to know will Labour make a difference?

“Will the next Labour government reverse the present Coalition’s disastrous policies? Will it be different not just from Cameron and his crew but from the Blair-Brown years as well?

“If we can say ‘Yes, Labour has learned, and Labour is on YOUR side’ then this scheme will work. But if our people – our members – are unclear as to the answer then no amount of persuading will get them to sign up.

“So I say to Ed: Unite – and the people here today – are your supporters. The future is in your hands. Make Labour the Party we all want.”

  • Steve Stubbs

    So as a matter of interest, how many actual Durham miners are there now?

  • rekrab

    Len, could this be the case of putting the cart before the horse? If the changes are implemented before the election and labour lose the election, where does it go from there? because that’s face it, a trade union movement with less parliamentary support and voices under a returned conservative government is a gamble to far.

  • swatnan

    Well done to Len for wholeheartedly embracing Reform. I can’t quite believe it, but it must be true.

Latest

  • Featured Miliband plans “Home Office Enforcement Unit” to tackle illegal exploitation of immigrants

    Miliband plans “Home Office Enforcement Unit” to tackle illegal exploitation of immigrants

    Ed Miliband will tomorrow lay out the five Labour principles that will underpin the party’s approach to immigration. In what the party are calling a “major speech” in the North West, Miliband will say that while he believes “immigration can benefit our country” he feels it necessary to say that “Labour got this wrong in the past”. His message will be: “We have listened. We have learned. And we have changed.” The five principles Miliband will set out are: Rebuilding […]

    Read more →
  • News Video The Promise of Britain – watch Ed Miliband’s speech announcing an end to unpaid internships

    The Promise of Britain – watch Ed Miliband’s speech announcing an end to unpaid internships

    Ed Miliband today said a Labour Government would bring about an end to unpaid internships, as he launched the party’s manifesto for young people in Lincoln. The Labour leader revisited his idea of the Promise of Britain: “Over the last five years I’ve been talking about what I call the Promise of Britain. The Promise of Britain, to me, says the next generation should do better than the last. I actually think it’s the way you judge the progress and […]

    Read more →
  • Comment Featured Scotland The latest Ashcroft poll of Scottish seats is more than a mere earthquake – it’s a cataclysm

    The latest Ashcroft poll of Scottish seats is more than a mere earthquake – it’s a cataclysm

    If previous Ashcroft constituency polling in Scotland could be described as an earthquake, the poll the Tory peer had dropped this afternoon will require an entirely different word. A cataclysm perhaps. If this is an earthquake it’s certainly not the kind that rattles the windows in the middle of the night, it’s the sort that razes whole cities to the ground. If Lord Ashcroft’s polling is correct, there’s a risk that Scottish Labour leader Jim Murphy could lose his seat […]

    Read more →
  • Comment Shouldn’t Michael Gove be a bit disappointed with himself?

    Shouldn’t Michael Gove be a bit disappointed with himself?

    Michael Gove used to stride around Whitehall like he owned the place. Of all of the Tory Cabinet ministers who took up their posts in 2010, Gove was clearly the one who was most determined to change things. Not in a way that I’d like, admittedly. In my view his treatment of the education as a tool of ideological warfare damaged pupil and teacher alike. But there was no doubt that this was someone on a mission to change Britain. Which […]

    Read more →
  • News Miliband now bookies’ favourite become PM

    Miliband now bookies’ favourite become PM

    Ed Miliband is now the favourite to become Prime Minister, according to bookmakers. Ladbrokes now make the Labour leader odds on to be the politician walking into Downing St after May’s election. They say the odds for Miliband to be PM on July 1st are 5/6, while Cameron comes in at evens. Nigel Farage is a long shot at 100/1, while Nick Clegg is even further out at 200-1. The recalculation comes after last night’s TV debate, which Miliband was […]

    Read more →
Share with your friends










Submit