The Tories can always find the money for another war but expect public services to be run on the cheap – Corbyn speech

Jeremy Corbyn

These are extracts from the speech Jeremy Corbyn is due to deliver at Durham miners’ gala tomorrow.

This government cannot last. No government that votes to cut the living standards of over five million public sector workers can last for long or deserves to last for long.

It is the hypocrisy that turns the stomach, when in the terrorist attacks or the Grenfell Tower fire, these Conservative politicians give warm words of praise and then a week later vote to cut those same people’s incomes, having cut thousands of their colleagues’ jobs already.

People are fed up with the hypocrisy and the dishonesty of the Conservative Party.

There’s always the money available when they want to start another war.

There’s always the money for tax giveaways to big business or the very richest.

There’s always the money for new grammar schools or the latest hare-brained scheme to benefit their friends.

But they expect our public services to run on the cheap and we’re seeing the consequences:

  • One-quarter of care services are not safe.
  • 20,000 police officers have been cut and violent crime is rising.
  • The NHS has more people waiting longer for treatment than ever.
  • 11,000 firefighter jobs have been cut and deaths in fires increased for the first time in a decade last year.
  • Due to workload and pay caps, more teachers are leaving the profession than joining, meaning our children are being taught in ever larger class sizes.

We cannot keep running our country on the cheap –  services outsourced to the lowest bidder, our national assets like Royal Mail sold off on the cheap.

We saw at Grenfell Tower the terrible consequences austerity and of doing things on the cheap.

The money is there, it’s just in too few people’s pockets, tucked away in tax havens and squandered in tax giveaways and through privatisation.

Corbyn will also highlight the “struggles of the past and victories to come”.

 The Durham Miners’ Gala is a chance to celebrate the extraordinary achievements, the strength and solidarity of the mining communities and the miners’ union, which played such a central role in our movement and our country for over a century.

The spirit of the Gala is the spirit of communities coming together.

And communities coming together is the future for our country that Labour stands for.

We are determined not only to celebrate the best of the past but to invest, rebuild and re-equip the former mining communities many of which have been neglected and bypassed by failed economic policies with the cutting edge industries and high quality jobs of the 21st century.

Labour was built by the working class of Britain. Labour is the real party of the working class. Labour is steeped in working class values of solidarity, social justice and community and Labour under my leadership will be dedicated in and out of government to defending and advancing the interests of working class people in every part of our country.

Labour stands for the many not the few.

Labour is pledged to reverse that outrageous growth in inequality that has seen the share of wages in our country’s income fall for decades while a wealthy elite grab more and more for themselves. We will turn round this monstrosity and build a fairer, more equal Britain.

We stand here today in the shadow of trade unions. In the 1920s and 30s the Durham Miners Association and others were too often told that better pay or better health and safety couldn’t be afforded.

But there was always the money for the shareholders’ dividend and the bosses’ pay rise.

They knew that by standing together in a union, they could challenge the power of the mine-owners and win better pay and conditions.

The lesson for us today is that by standing together we can win. We can end austerity. We can defeat the public sector pay cap. We can elect a Labour government so that we invest in people, invest in our communities and build a Britain that works for the many not the few.

We are no longer just in opposition but a government-in-waiting.

We have a huge opportunity now to change our country for the better if we learn the lessons of this great movement, stay united, stay disciplined and work together.

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