As Tory Party conference continues, the contrast between Tory values and the Labour values we expressed at our successful conference last week will become all the clearer.
Throughout our conference we both exposed the Tories’ record of failure and outlined our progressive alternative, based on investment in our future.
In my speech on “protecting our communities,” for example, I outlined how cuts do have consequences, especially for all of our safety and that you cannot keep the nation secure on the cheap.
The Tories have a lot to answer in this area. Recently, the chair of the National Police Chiefs Council warned that that counter-terror funding to police forces was to be cut by seven-point-two per-cent over the next three years.
Home Office documents reveal that the budget for the Office for Security and Counter Terrorism will fall by more than £50m over the next two years.
Furthermore, since 2010, Theresa May has been home secretary and now prime minister. But in this time the number of police officers has dropped by 20,000 as £2.3bn has been cut from police budgets.
In contrast to permanent austerity, Labour will recruit 10,000 new police officers working in the community.
This is just one example of how Labour will invest in the many and not the few.
When it comes to the housing crisis, securing the future of our NHS, ensuring education for all and many other areas, it is only Labour that is offering new ideas to protect our public services and offer hope of a better future.
This programme is fully costed and is based on understanding that investment in the economy – for example in transport and infrastructure such as in communications networks and the green jobs of the future – will help achieve robust and sustainable economic growth, something Tory austerity has completely failed to do.
Labour is setting out not only how we would protect public services but how we would rebuild and invest in our economy, with a publicly-owned engine of sustainable growth, driven by national and regional investment banks, to generate good jobs and prosperity in every region and nation.
This is precisely the right programme to transform Britain, because Britain needs a radical change of direction to tackle both our long-term problems and the challenges ahead, not least the challenges posed by Brexit, which are being exacerbated by the Tories rigid and reckless approach to the negotations.
As Jeremy Corbyn said in his speech, our aim is “Not simply to redistribute within a system that isn’t delivering for most people but to transform that system.”
This week we can expect the Tories to repeat their anti-foreign distraction tactics of last year’s conference.
In contrast to this the Labour party under the leadership of Jeremy Corbyn will not scapegoat immigrants – as Jeremy said “We will never follow the Tories into the gutter of blaming migrants for the ills of society. It isn’t migrants who drive down wages and conditions but the worst bosses in collusion with a Conservative government that never misses a chance to attack trade unions and weaken people’s rights at work.”
The watchword for our approach to immigration in government will be fairness and the reasonable management of migration, and only Labour will take action to stop employers driving down pay and conditions.
Furthermore unlike the Tories, who disgracefully continue to use them as bargaining chips, we will stand up for the right for EU nationals.
Last week’s conference showed that in many the Labour party is stronger than it has been for years, and we are advancing in the polls. It was the best-attended conference for years, and the mood was one of unity in taking the fight to the Tories and working to put Jeremy Corbyn into 10 Downing Street.
We are winning the confidence of millions of voters setting out our ideas and plans for our country’s future and have already inspired people of all ages and backgrounds.
But there is much more to do and there is no room for complacency. We have to get rid of this appalling and failing Tory government and then we have to win the general election when it comes.
The stakes could not be higher. As Thursday’s speech on the wonders of the free market from Theresa May showed, the Tories have run out of ideas. Join us in the next stages in our fight – together we can transform Britain, for the many not the few.