Jim Murphy – 2010 Speech to Labour Party Conference


Below is the text of the speech made by Jim Murphy to Labour Party conference on 27th September 2010.

Conference, in May we face a big election in Scotland – but we face it with confidence.

Although the general election was painful for us and the millions we stand for, our results in Scotland were stunning. Every seat held. An increase in the share of the vote. All by-election losses regained. Over a million votes for Labour.

We’re not just the Scottish Labour Party – we’re Scotland’s Labour Party. We should be so proud of Scotland’s achievement.

Peculiarly, it was also a good election for the Tories too.

Remember they boasted they would win 12 Scottish seats – and they did. One Tory. 11 Lib Dems.

But not a single person in Scotland voted Li b Dem in order to put the Tories into power.

That’s why people are so angry about what they see.

Let’s be under no illusions. This is a Tory Government and would be cutting hard and fast even if there was no deficit. For them, the deficit is a handy excuse to let them do what they’ve always done.

The Lib Dems haven’t put the breaks on the Tories – they have bolstered them.

Just look at the decisions they’ve made – Tory decisions, most of them, and all supported by a Lib Dem Party that has lost its heart.

Taking away help from pensioners, carers, disabled people.

I believe that we didn’t lose our economic credibility in Government and we all know that we won’t lose it in Opposition.

But the Tory budget will cast 125,000 Scots out of work – remember how much the closure of the Ravenscraig hurt Scotland, it is emblematic of the Tories affection for Scotland. But this current Tory budget is the equivalent of a Ravens craig every two weeks. Under this Government, someone in Scotland loses their job every six minutes. You will be pleased to know that I am going to make a short speech but by the time I sit down, another mum or dad will be without an income.

And the most immoral cut of all – axing the Future Jobs Fund. A simple idea: at the height of recession, instead of paying people benefits – support them to do a job. Not a made up job. A real job in a real firm.

And what a success. 11,000 young Scots. A Future Jobs Fund job created every hour.

The Tories claim it’s not sustainable. No evidence, no research – just assertion.

So I went and asked those in Scotland who took part – how was it for you?

I have never seen more compelling responses. Daily, there were testimonials from people who came to praise the scheme. I saw it for myself. A young man in Buchan said he didn’t think he’d fit in to his company but after 6 months wrote to say “it is wit hout a doubt in my mind, the best thing to happen. It’s not just about paid work – it’s about life experiences.”

That is the policy immorality of this Government laid bare: a gang of Cabinet millionaires whose lives are unaffected by their decisions taking jobs in the Western Isles, in the Central Belt and in the East End of Glasgow.

The Lib Dems are part of a Tory Government that’s going where even Thatcher feared to tread.

It took Thatcher six years to cut support for the unemployed. This government did it in six weeks.

Nick Clegg has sold his soul and lost his way.

Scotland knows that’s hard enough to cope with one Tory party – now we’re being asked to stomach two. Because make no mistake. This is a Tory Government with Tory values.

So conference, Scotland has a message for the Lib Dems. If you vote like a Tory, if you speak like a Tory, if you act like a Tory – Scotland will treat you like a Tory.

The SNP paid for years for heralding Thatcher’s arrival and became the Tartan Tories and the Lib Dems will be known as the Tories Little Helpers for years to come – you’ve sold out and come the next election Scotland is coming to get you.

When Nick Clegg stood on a stage just 30 miles from here in a city that knows unemployment all too well, he spoke eloquently, right into the camera lens, but turned away from the unemployed.

But for all the thousands of words he spoke, he didn’t mention unemployment once. It was almost as if he had his job now and was disinterested in those who will lose theirs in the future.

This coalition is composed of one party that doesn’t seem to care about unemployment and another that doesn’t understand it.

His only message to Scotland is that this won’t be like the 1980s. Too right, Nick.

It wont be like the 1980s because back then a decent Liberal Party stood up to Tory cuts and you’re on the other side this time.

It won’t be like the 1980s because the Labour Party is determined not to spend every day of a decade in well intentioned but futile Opposition.

It won’t be like the 1980s because we wont let the Liberals do to our shipyards what the Tories did to our steelworks.

Because the ideology behind this government is an ideology that says the state is bad.

I don’t have an ideological commitment to the state. I have an ideological commitment to making poor people better off, and know the state can help do that.

Our journey back starts here in Manchester, but the road runs through Scotland and Wales. These are our next big tests as a party and I know our new leader Ed Miliband will offer any and every support to Scotland in May.

Many Scottish families battered by the recession caught in the middle of a perfect political storm: a Tory Government at Westminster that is causing unemployment and an SNP Government at Edinburgh that isn’t doing enough to stop it.

But it doesn’t have to be that way.

So I am delighted to welcome here today my friend and colleague, the next First Minister of Scotland, Iain Gray.

Pat McFadden – 2010 Speech to Labour Party Conference

Below is the text of the speech made by Pat McFadden to the 2010 Labour Party conference.

It’s a strange thing opposing the Business Department.

One minute they’re speaking up for business on the immigration cap.

The next, they’re calling for the abolition of capitalism.

Who ever said the Liberal Democrats were all things to all people?

When Britain was hit by the worldwide recession Labour knew that government could not just stand back and let it run its course.

We saved people from the collapse of the banks.

Stimulated the economy.

Put in place a scrappage scheme for a car industry that was on its knees.

Gave 200,000 businesses extra time to pay their tax bills.

Business and unions too played their part, accepting pay freezes, s hort time working and other changes.

In this recession; unemployment, home repossessions and business failures – all about half the level of the early 1990s.

Don’t let anyone tell you the action we took didn’t make a difference.

Taking this action wasn’t losing control of public finances – it was helping the country through and we were right to do it because we saved people from the pain of a far greater downturn.

But as the world tries to recover, people ask, where will the jobs of tomorrow come from?

Labour must always be a party of wealth creation as well as wealth distribution. Economic prosperity and social justice go hand in hand.

To achieve both we need successful businesses large and small.

We have been through an era when first, finance dominated. Then, finance collapsed.

And we never again want the country to be held to ransom by the banking system.

The huge rewards at the top of banking are totally out of line with anyone’s sense of fairness or worth. That’s why Labour acted to introduce the levy on bankers’ bonuses.

But the real test in politics isn’t a rhetorical auction of who can bash the banks most.

The real test – the issue that matters – is how to get banks lending again to good businesses so that we get the growth and jobs that Britain needs in the future.

And on that, we have heard precisely nothing from the coalition Government.

The opportunities for new growth and jobs are there. The shi ft to low carbon. The digital economy. Our brilliant creative industries.

We should never resign ourselves to Britain being a post-industrial society.

We stand for both strong manufacturing and great services.

This isn’t nostalgia. We are still a country that makes things. Every week in my constituency I see firms that do so with pride and skill.

The Tories and Lib Dems say that if only we cut the state fast enough and hard enough, the private sector will step up to the plate.

But cut too fast or in the wrong places and you run a risk with recovery and prosperity.

Around the world, our competitors know that Government has a crucial role in creating the capability a successful economy needs.

This doesn’t get in the way of jobs and growth. It’s the foundation for jobs and growth.

You don’t rebalance the economy by cutting £3bn in investment allowances for manufacturing industry.

And you don’t rebalance the economy by abo lishing the Regional Development Agencies that are providing support for business up and down the country.

Eight organisations abolished.

Fifty eight bidding to replace them.

More bodies chasing less money.

That’s what they call the bonfire of the quangos.

And on industry, don’t let the Tories and Lib Dems tell you we were wasting money.

It wasn’t a waste of money to work with Nissan to make sure their first electric car was built here in Britain in the North East.

It wasn’t a waste of money to put a loan guarantee in place for Ford to make the next generation of low carbon diesel engines here in Britain.

And it wasn’t a waste of money to grant the loan to Sheffield Forgemasters to help make Britain a world leader in the civil nuclear supply chain.

Last week Vince Cable made a speech attacking the banks and arguing for corporate change. Fine. We can agree on a lot of that. But in denying this loan the Government behaved just like the banks they like to attack for not supporting industry.

So if they really have a Regional Growth Fund of £1 billion why is its first decision not to reinstate the loan to Forgemasters and put this stupid refusal behind us once and for all?

Conference, together we will keep fighting for this decision to be reversed.

But having jobs and growth in the future isn’t just about individual companies or sectors.

It’s about people.

It’s about giving them a chance to be everything they can be in an age when knowledge is more important than ever.

Before we came to power – just 60,000 apprenticeships. When we left office – 250,000 – apprenticeships a mainstream part of the labour market again thanks to what we did in Government.

All around the world countries are sending more young people to university. Yet here some argue that more achievement means lower standards, as if there was just a small lump of talent that had to be shared among the traditional chosen few.

But more achievement isn’t a decline in standards. It’s people getting chances in life that their parents and grandparents could never have dreamed of. And our movement knows that if you give people a platform, they will achieve.

There are tough decisions coming about how to pay for Higher Education.

And it’s right that if we can get more value out of the system we should.

But I have a message for the ministers in charge who benefited from the best education themselves: stop attacking the goals of more participation in higher education that Labour put in place; don’t pull up the drawbridge up from the generation that comes after you.

Our economic future isn’t just about how far or how fast we cut.

It’s also about shaping something anew out of the crisis we have been through.

Britain isn’t broken.

We could build a recovery that lasts.

But it needs a vision for jobs and growth for our economic future.

It needs belief that more educational opportunity is a goal worth fighting for, not a target to be decried.

And it needs the will and the resources to make it happen.

Jack Straw – 2010 Speech to Labour Party Conference


Below is the text of the speech made by Jack Straw at Labour Party conference on 28th September 2010.

Conference, after thirty years as an adornment on the Labour front bench I’m moving up to that most honourable of places, the back benches.

So, this will be my last conference speech from the platform and I have been promised that no one will be removed, arrested, or even offered a place on the NEC for heckling me.

It has been a huge privilege to serve the party and the British people in the posts I have occupied. Thank you.

My earliest experiences as a Labour front bencher coincided with the initial impact of Margaret Thatcher’s brutal economic policy.

Unemployment was rising fast, interest rates hit 15%, and inflation was on its way t o 22%. Never had the country needed a strong and united opposition more.

But while the people in this country were desperately looking to us for a constructive alternative, we were busily engaged in endless bouts of self defeating internal strife.

All people saw of Labour then, was division and disunity. A divided party is one which detaches itself from the concerns of the British people. It loses their trust and allows its political opponents free rein to scorch the earth across our social landscape.

We allowed the Thatcher-Major governments to last eighteen years. We cannot permit the Cameron-Clegg Government more than five.

So I’m very happy that despite the scale of our defeat in May we have begun our fight back in such a united manner.

For that we should thank, above all, Harriet Harman, for her fantastic leadership since the election. And we should also thank the five leadership candidates who fought their corners in a way which I believe has strengthened the party.

Now that Ed has become our leader we should all back him in the difficult task of developing our response to the Government’s cuts agenda and the social and economic damage which they will cause.

But beware that as the cuts begin to bite, and distress and anger about them rises, so too will the tendency of some people on the left to divide.

We mould our own future. If we are to stay relevant and electable in 2015 we have to learn the lessons of our past.

It took years of work by Neil Kinnock, John Smith, Tony Blair and Gordon Brown, to undo the damage of the 1980s and reconnect us with all the people for whom this party works, recognising a fundamental truth: that we can only help the poorest and most insecure if we are in Government.

And we can only achieve Government by building our support not only amongst the weakest in society but crucially among, as Ed has said, the squeezed middle and amongst those who feel more secure about their incomes and their place.

Equality is the most important idea which separates us from the Conservatives and the Liberal Democrats. We know that the countries which are healthiest, happiest and most secure are also those which offer the most equal societies.

Equality is not uniformity. It’s not about making everything and everyone the same. It is certainly not about levelling down. It’s about recognising and celebrating that every individual is different, and entitled to an equality of rights, of dignity, of the opportunity to realise their dreams to the greatest extent.

And equality too is about opposing private extravagance and public squalor.

It’s because of our values of equality that Labour in Government worked tirelessly to tackle poverty, by promoting economic growth alongside a national minimum wage, tax credits and the transformation of the public’s services.

We have to challenge the myths of Labour in power now being pedalled by the Conservatives and Mr Clegg.

We did build more schools and hospitals; we did recruit more teachers, nurses, doctors and police officers.

And the results were improved educational outcomes for everybody. School standards in my area alone, Blackburn with Darwen, more than doubled in a decade.

We literally improved people’s life chances through better health care and safer streets and homes as we drove down crime. And we guaranteed individual rights regardless of race, religion, gender, sexuality, or disability.

One of my proudest achievements was the introduction of the Human Rights Act, which came into force ten years ago this Saturday.

It is one of the greatest steps for equality and rights – for the individual against the state – that this nation has seen in over three centuries. And we, the Labour movement, did it.

We introduced the strongest laws against racial discrimination and for racial equality anywhere in western Europe.

We banned religious discrimination – opposed by the Liberal Democrats. We repealed the disgraceful section 28 – introduced by the Tories. By this, and much else, we made Britain a more tolerant and a fairer place. Never forget that.

And keep telling your friends, your work colleagues, your neighbours, because if we don’t honour and celebrate our achievements our opponents certainly won’t do it for us.

If you think about it, crime too is an issue of equality. Indeed an issue of class.

The less well off you are, the more likely you are to be a victim of crime.

There’s no liberty, no opportunity, if you feel trapped in your own home or in fear on the stree ts. And that’s why we were so committed to make people safer from crime.

During those eighteen years of Conservative Government crime doubled. The rise in crime was disproportionately concentrated in poorer areas against poorer people; out of sight and so out of mind for the Conservatives.

And nothing changes – now they say they’re considering the abolition of ASBOs which have made such a difference to tackling anti social behaviour.

Conference, we were the first – the only – Government since the war not just to get crime down, but by a significant amount.

The British people welcomed the fact that crime fell. But Conservatives and Liberal Democrats don’t. They are in denial about the figures.

They’re now talking about changing the way crime is recorded and abolishing the most reliable series of data – the British Crime Survey. They are again tempted down the Norman Tebbitt path. Norman Tebbitt, who when faced with the relentless truth of ever r ising unemployment, changed the way it was counted not once, not twice, but 18 times.

But they’ll find it more difficult to fiddle the figures this time, because there’s something else we did – we put the Office of National Statistics on an entirely independent footing.

Conference, our great legacy on equal rights and public safety is at risk.

The Liberal Democrats have conspired to put the Human Rights Act under review. The Conservatives, meanwhile, are going to cut the use of DNA technology and CCTV, and restricting the ability of the police and local communities to fight the scourge of anti-social behaviour.

And who will benefit from this madness? There’ll be greater freedom for the criminal, less liberty for the law abiding. It’s crazy.

The Coalition Agreement represents the worst of both parties. You’ve got Conservative ministers implementing the most dangerous of the Liberals’ policies on crime, while Liberal ministers are complicit in rushing to implement savage Conservative cuts.

Nick Clegg has said he’s released the “inner Liberal” in many Conservatives. But Mr Cameron has undoubtedly set free the “inner Tory” in Nick Clegg.

Nowhere is that more evident than in Mr Clegg’s willingness to go along with Conservative proposals to gerrymander the boundaries. Even senior Tories have publicly admitted that they are doing this for narrow party advantage.

Nick Clegg boasts about his party’s commitment to localism. Guess what? His Bill bans the Boundary Commission, by law, from daring to set up any local public inquiry into boundary proposals. We’ve had the best, most bi-partisan system for settling boundaries in the western world. So good, that David Cameron used it in 2003 to defend his own West Oxfordshire boundaries and vocally to challenge those who claimed that the numbers of MPs should be cut.

But if Nick Clegg and David Cameron don’t want to listen to the public anymore, we must not ma ke the same mistake. As Ed Miliband has said, the crucial thing is that we listen and stay connected to maintain the confidence of the vast majority of the British people.

This is not about selling out, or any of that nonsense.

It’s about listening, listening carefully – and putting our timeless values into ways which protect and benefit people as their lives – and their circumstances – change.

That’s what we’ve always tried to do in my great constituency of Blackburn – you know the one, with the world’s greatest football team, one of only four ever to win the Premiership.

We’ve now got a terrific Blackburn Labour website.

But new forms of internet communication like this can only ever be a supplement to face-to-face engagement.

In my constituency, we hold residents’ meetings where month in, month out, the halls are full. And soap box sessions in the Town Centre. Don’t dismiss them as “old-fashioned”. They cost next to nothing.

Above all, they work, because there is an equality of arms, of mutual respect, amongst everyone present.

And they work in another way. In Blackburn, Labour won against all odds in 1983.

My majority stayed up in 2005; and this year there was a swing in Labour’s favour.

And there are plenty of other constituencies which defied the national trend, always for the same reason – because we connected with people’s aspirations and their fears.

We didn’t talk over them or at them – we talked with them.

I know that our new leader, Ed Miliband has the same view.

I also know this…with the unity this conference is demonstrating, the effectiveness we’ve seen of our party in Parliament and in the country, and with the development of new policies for new times, we do have the strength and the energy to work relentlessly over the next four and a half years for that imperative for our nation – a Labour victory in 2015.

John Healey – 2010 Speech to Labour Party Conference


Below is the text of the speech made by John Healey, the then Shadow Housing and Planning Minister, to the 2010 Labour Party conference.

Conference, John Healey, Shadow Housing Minister responding to the housing motion, backed first by 28 CLPs and the Labour Housing Group, now, clearly, with every speaker and the whole Conference behind it.

The motion calls on the Shadow Cabinet and Parliamentary Labour Party to campaign with other groups against the new government’s housing cuts and policy changes.

We will.

We will campaign with other groups and we will campaign together with you in your constituencies, your Labour council groups and your trade unions.

We will campa ign together because what we see from the Tories and Lib Dems offends our basic Labour belief in a decent, secure and affordable home for all.

And our job is to help people see more clearly, more quickly not just what this Tory-led government is doing, but also why.

Make no mistake Conference, we must be most concerned about many of the cuts; but if we only talk of spending cuts we miss something more fundamental.

They want a smaller deficit, of course, we all do.

They want a smaller state, of course, they’re Tories.

But they also want a state which sheds its duty to its people on housing.

You can see this in their:

Cuts to national housing investment, which means thousands fewer affordable homes built this year, and the end of our new council house building;

Changes to the planning system which remove any national requirement on local councils to plan or agree new homes for their area;

Cutbacks in the national sy stem of help, which leaves people with less support on housing costs and more local variation;

Plans to remove the right to long-term tenancies in public housing, which means local landlords setting their own tenancy terms;

Questions over the national cap on rent rises for social housing tenants and over the nationally-set homelessness duty on councils.

On every front they are looking to withdraw national government with Tory and Lib Dem ministers washing their hands of any national role or responsibility for meeting people’s housing needs and aspirations.

Meanwhile, local councils – increasingly Labour local councils – will be left to pick up the pieces, and, if we don’t help people see clearly what’s happening and why – local councils will also be left to pick up the blame.

Conference, what difference a year makes, what a differe nce a Labour government makes.

Last year, I reported to you as Labour’s Housing Minister.

Last year, as a Labour government, we didn’t cutback housing investment, despite and because of the deep recession, we stepped it up.

Last year, we:

Kept Britain building through recession, starting more new affordable homes than before the downturn;

Launched the largest council house building programme for nearly 20 years;

Made apprenticeships a compulsory condition of getting any government contract;

Set up special help on mortgages, so repossessions have been half the rate of the last recession;

Gave councils new powers to clamp down on the worst private landlords and control the spread of bedsit-barons.

Ed Miliband told us on Tuesday to be proud of what we did well in government.

I am.

He also said he’d back the new government when they’re right.

So will I.

But Conference, I have to tell you that in five months I’ve not found a single change I can support.

Their latest plan is a “new homes bonus”, matching the council tax on any new home built with extra funding for the local council for six years.

They’re right to want to a strong incentive system for councils and communities ready to see new homes built in their area.

But this isn’t it.

There’s no new money. And the government will take a top-slice cut across the grant to all local government to cover the cost.

This scheme robs some councils to pay the rest.

So I’m publishing a detailed analysis of their plans today, which shows:

It will cause chaos in the council tax system, and more cuts to many hard-pressed council budgets.

It blows a huge hole in George Osborne’s promise to freeze council tax.

And our big towns and cities will be hardest hit, as they will have to see many more new homes built every year in their area to “break even” under the new system.

This is the latest in the long line of damaging cuts and policy changes.

This motion and this Conference is right to say we must campaign harder on housing.

Our debate today is a start.

Our duty tomorrow is to fight to stop the worst of what’s to come, and to show there is an alternative, a Labour alternative, a better way, the Labour way.

With you, we will do that, every day until the last day of this Tory-Lib Dem government.

Iain Gray – 2010 Speech to Labour Party Conference

Below is the text of the speech made by Iain Gray, the then Leader of the Scottish Labour Party, to Labour Party conference on 27th September 2010.


I want to begin by congratulating Ed Miliband on his election. I know he is going to expose the Tories and the Liberals for what they are, lead our fightback and be the next Prime Minister of this country.

And you know what, Ed gets Scotland. He knows that Labour is already fighting back in Scotland.

Fighting back as services are cut, capital projects are cancelled and the recovery is choked off.

In Scotland all of this is already happening.

The SNP have cut 3000 teachers from our schools. 1000 classroom assistants are gone. This year alone 4000 posts in the NHS to go, including 1500 nurses.

The SNP ended our school building programme, cancelled our rail link projects to Edinburgh and then Glasgow Airports.

They cut the budgets which support enterprise and economic development, reduced university places by 1000 and cut support for 16 –18 year olds staying on at school.

Unbelievably they did all of this in the good years, the best of times, when they had more money than any Scottish government has ever had.

The price is high.

90% of our new teachers this year have no permanent job. Highly trained, highly skilled, highly motivated, they should be inspiring and encouraging the next generation.

Instead they are sitting at home, on supply, waiting for the phone to ring.

This movement fought to end the curse of casual labour in the docks but the SNP have casualised the teaching profession.

The price is high.

£2 billion worth of schools and hospitals lost. And 37,000 construction jobs gone with them.

The price is high.

Unemployment still ri sing in Scotland. Poverty rising again. Economic growth lagging.

Alex Salmond inherited a Scotland where unemployment was lower than the rest of the country. There were more people in work than ever before. Youth unemployment had all but disappeared. Poverty was falling faster than in any other part of Britain.

He has thrown all of that away.

That is Alex Salmond’s legacy of failure.

Ending it is our challenge. Labour’s obligation.

Because when unemployment rises and poverty flourishes and opportunity disappears, people will look to Labour. They will look to us. And we must not let them down.

In May one million Scots said Labour speaks for us.

And we do: when we campaign for safe streets, clean hospitals, improved literacy in our schools, apprenticeship opportunities for our young people, we speak for Scotland.

When we stand shoulder to shoulder with carers, with knife crime campaigners, with C Diff families, with commun ity groups facing funding cuts, with newly qualified teachers on the scrapheap and nurses in the firing line, then we stand up for Scotland.

We had our election failure in 2007. And we learned the lessons.

We rediscovered the values which bind us, the purpose which drives us and the vision which calls us.

We remembered that we are a movement, not just a party, driven by principle not just a programme.

We came out stronger and we are fighting back.

With an outstanding Secretary of State for Scotland in Jim Murphy we took on our opponents in May and we won the trust of the country once again.

We are ready now to make Labour once again the biggest party in the Scottish Parliament.

People say to me, why would you want to be First Minister when money is so tight, when the decisions will be so hard.

I say: it is when times are hardest that Labour values are needed most of all. Changing our country and our world for the better is one part of Labour’s purpose. But our purpose, too, is to protect those most in need, to see that the lot of the poorest does not diminish, that the limited chances of those on the edge, on the margins of our communities do not slip beyond hope.

So when the time comes to take hard decisions I will not shirk them. I will not hide. But I will take those decisions for the good of the many with Labour values as the touchstone and the guiding principle.

We will need to see pay restraint in the months and years ahead. In particular, I want to see excessive salaries and bonuses at the very top end of the Scottish public sector scaled back.

But those at the bottom of the pay scales must be protected. That is why if I am elected First Minister in May I will introduce a Scottish Living Wage, of over £7 per hour.

In a 21st Century Scotland no one who does a fair days work should receive less than a fair days pay. In a Labour Scotland we will make sure that no one does.

Labour colleagues in Glasgow City Council have shown that a Living Wage works, so beginning in the public sector but building out from there, through partnership, and procurement we will create a movement, a campaign against poverty pay.

Labour in Scotland may well be asked to deal with the choices presented by the Tory cuts, but it is the most vulnerable who will deal with the consequences. I say to every Scot: Labour will be by your side when no one else will dare to care. That is our mission. That will be the hallmark of my leadership in Scotland.

This week a new chapter in Labour history began. But the values which will shape it are the values which have always shaped the story of our movement.

In May we can write a new chapter in the history of Scotland. I want the story of Scotland – my country – to be shaped by those Labour values too. Hard times or not, I want a Scotland of fairness, of opportunity of excellence.

A Scotland to be proud of.

A Scotland to fight and struggle and organise for.

A Labour Scotland.

Sadiq Khan – 2010 Speech to Labour Party Conference

Below is the text of the speech made by Sadiq Khan to the 2010 Labour Party conference.

Good Morning Conference,

This week, we have elected a new leader and we have asked him to lead us on a journey of change, so we can reconnect with the British people, win back the voters we lost and return to power.

To do that, and set out the right vision for the future, we have to learn the lessons of the past.

We must take pride in our achievements.

And we must be humble about our mistakes.

And we must learn from them.

So let me first tell you what I am proud of:

And it’s not being the first ministerial appointment to be announced on twitter.

As we all are, I am proud of our great achievements – the minimum wage, tax credits, the hundreds of thousands of pensioners taken out of poverty.

The progress on equality that allowed me to become the first MP of Muslim faith to attend cabinet.

Amidst all these successes, it would be easy for some to overlook the progress we made for transport.

But not for me.

Because my dad was a bus-driver.

And there was no escape at the in-laws either.

My wife’s dad worked f or London Underground.

Most people feel nagged by their parents from time to time, but very rarely is it about the future of bus regulation.

But talking shop with my family made sure that I never forgot the shambles of a transport system we inherited from the Tories in 1997.

So I am proud of the progress we made.

Embracing market solutions where they are right, but never forgetting the important role government can play.

Time and again challenging the conventional wisdom to stand up for those that rely on our transport network – passengers, motorists, businesses and business people.

Rejecting the ideology that drove the Tory rail privatisation by replacing Railtrack with a body that prioritises safety, not shareholders.

Recognising that access to public transport is more, not less important, in impoverished neighbourhoods and so giving local authorities more control over bus routes.

Opening Britain’s first high speed rail line.

Cutting deaths on the roads.

Nationwide free bus travel for over 60s and disabled people.

Giving millions of people more freedom and quality of life.

And in London, we saw what Labour leadership can mean – upgrades to the tube, electronic ticketing, bus services transformed, the congestion charge, and a deal for Crossrail, a scheme which will contribute billions to Britain’s economy.

All reasons I’ll be proud to campaign once again for Ken Livingstone to become Mayor of London.

We showed the importance of strong regulation, but also that the public sector and the private sector can work together to deliver investment to improve our roads and buses and railways.

It is an approach that was right in the past and will be right in the future.

But this week cannot just be about learning from where we got things right.

We also need to learn from where we got things wrong.

Because to tackle the great challenges to the transport system of the future – rising passenger numbers, growing congestion, the spectre of climate change.

We need to have a clear view about what we need to do differently.

So there are places where we need to change.

We made great strides on ensuring bus services for all communities.

But we could have done more to give local councillors more control and we need to recognise that and move on.

We made great strides on getting children and adults to cycle more.

But we did wait too long to promote cycling as a mainstream form of transport.

As Andrew Adonis reminded us last year… for us “on your bike” is a transport option not an insult to the unemployed.

And we made great strides on tackling carbon emissions.

We have set out some of the most detailed plans in the world, not just on how to cut emissions but also how to support greener motoring, create jobs and ensure that it is in the UK that we manufacture the clean cars of the future.

But we didn’t always get the answers right and we need to recognise that and move on.

Part of moving on means working with this government when they make good decisions, where we agree with them we should support them.

But where they put our transport system at risk we should say so as well.

So we hear that they doubt:

The value of investment in new trains.

The value of supporting bus companies to provide services in deprived areas.

The value of our plans for high speed rail.

Of course, we will support responsible cuts when times are hard, but right wing ideological cuts are wrong, unacceptable and we will expose them.

Under David Cameron, much of what we gained is at risk.

Passengers will not pay more for less.

And that will mean one thing.

People who currently use public transport returning to the roads.

Bad for motorists, bad for businesses, bad for the economy.

Conference, of course there would have been cuts under a Labour Government.

Some schemes would have had to be postponed or even scrapped.

I can’t stand here and tell you that every local transport project would have been funded.

But I can tell you this:

We would not fall into the trap of short-termism, making cuts now which would still be holding our country back in twenty years time.

We would not reduce transport policy to economy, but always remember that it is essential to fairness that people in all parts of our society can afford to get to where they need to be.

We would stand up for ambition and for optimism.

And, because you don’t get real change by tinkering around the edges.

That means being prepared to make radical change as a party.

To help build a fairer and more prosperous society.

Tony Blair told us that we are at our best when at our boldest.

Two days ago, our new leader Ed Miliband told us we are at our best when we are restless reformers.

And of course, they are both right.

We must not let being in opposition stifle our ambition, nor austerity smother our hopes.

We’ll win the next General Election if we show people a vision of a better fairer Britain that they can believe in.

Not just a vision for the next 5 years – but for the Britain that we want to leave behind for the generations to come.

Conference, I believe that we have that vision in us and we’ve shown the world this week that we’re coming back, bolder than ever.

Carwyn Jones – 2010 Speech to Labour Party Conference

Below is the text of the speech made by Carwyn Jones, the First Minister of Wales, to the 2010 Labour Party conference.

Chair, Conference.

I am delighted to bring you greetings from Wales – where Labour is still in Government!

Chair, I come here to Manchester today to bring good news about Welsh Labour – about the reasons we have to be optimistic about the future of our party and how we are looking ahead with relish to the Assembly elections next May.

But first, Conference, let me start with a word about the person who for most of the last decade, had addressed this Conference as Welsh Labour Leader – Rhodri Morgan.

Today, I would like to pay tribute to Rhodri for his part in not just making devolution the overwhelming success it has become in Wales – but also for his role as the Leader of Welsh Labour throughout those years. Rhodri – thank you!

Conference, it is twelve months ago – almost to the day – since we started the campaign to elect a successor to Rhodri.

As with the UK Leadership contest, the Welsh Labour Leadership election breathed new life into our Party in Wales.

Hundreds upon hundreds of members came to the hustings meetings to talk about the direction in which we needed to travel.

Irrespective of the result, to see the Labour Party back to its democratic roots – debating, challenging and enthusing – was a great spectacle to witness once again.

I was proud, Conference, and humbled, to have been chosen by party members the length and breadth of Wales, to be their Leader.

I promised then to be a Leader for the whole of Wales and our task now is to take the battle to our opponents across the whole of Wales.

To do that, we need to build on the General Election result – not the finest moment in Labour’s long and proud history in Wales – but a million miles from the ‘meltdown’ our opponents so foolishly expected and so rashly predicted, beforehand.

Today, I would also like to pay a tribute to my colleague Peter Hain and the role he played in that election.

Peter – you did us proud.

Conference, as the first Prime Minister or First Minister in Britain to have gone to a Comprehensive school, today I look forward to welcoming Ed to that select ‘club’ in 2015.

Ed congratulations on being elected the new Leader of our party. I am looking forward to working with you in the future.

Incidentally Ed – when you came to Cardiff during the campaign, you publicly proposed that the Leaders of the Welsh and Scottish parties should have ex-officio seats on the National Executive Committee of the Labour Party.

Both Iain Gray and I, wholeheartedly support you in this.

It’s long overdue that our party structure reflects the variou s devolution settlements that exist within the UK.

Next May, Welsh voters will go to the polls to elect their fourth Assembly.

Yes, we will have a serious fight on our hands. Yes, we are taking absolutely nothing for granted.

But I can tell you Conference, we are determined to win – not just for Labour but for Wales as a whole – and especially for those people who depend on us for fair play. Or, as we say in Welsh – “chwarae teg”.

Let’s not forget that it was Labour that had the vision to let the people of Wales find their voice, when we held our referendum to set up the Assembly thirteen years ago.

Far from destabilising the relationship between Wales, Scotland and England, I believe devolution has actually strengthened those bonds.

Labour has remained at the head of Government in Wales throughout the lifetime of the Assembly – and yes we are going for a record fourth term too!

We continue to deliver for the people of Wales on a daily basis in health and education, on the environment and on our economy.

My appeal to you today is to come to Wales for the election in spring next year and help us ensure we keep Wales for Labour and we keep Labour for Wales.

Conference, these are tough times. But it’s in such times this party of ours, proves its credentials and offers leadership.

Aneurin Bevan once told this conference that “the language of priorities is the religion of socialism”.

Well, we have always spoken the language of priorities in Cardiff Bay.

And that’s why we will seek to protect the people’s priorities in frontline public services from the ravages of ConDem excesses.

In short Chair – we do it differently in Wales.

We do it our way – and we make no apologies for that.

In Wales, we are proud to remain true to our principles on such things as comprehensive education.

We are proud that the NHS in Wales is a market-free NHS.

We are proud that we have free prescriptions for all.

We are proud that we have free hospital parking.

We are proud that we will keep our free bus travel for our pensioners.

We are proud that during the darkest days of the recession, we intervened with wage subsidies for those companies in greatest danger to keep 10,000 workers in jobs.

Workers who remain employed to this day.

These are the things we do differently. These are things that make us proud.

But Conference, there are areas that are not in our control. Areas that we will need our MPs – our Labour MPs – to speak up for on our behalf.

We need that voice in London to say loud and clear that when everyone’s focus should be on saving jobs and creating growth and re-stimulating the UK economy, all the Lib Dems and the Tories want to do, is change the way we vote and gerrymander constituencies to get rid of hard-working Welsh Labour MPs .

Colleagues, we will fight this all the way.

Labour must be proud of what we have delivered for Wales.

We have built a more confident Wales.

And this confidence will be no better typified than next week, when we will be the focus of global sporting attention, when we host the Ryder Cup in Newport.

But without the imagination and determination of a Labour Government in Cardiff Bay, this event would never have happened: and without devolution – we would never have had the confidence to have even contemplated hosting it.

This is the spirit that encapsulates our modern Wales. This is the spirit that binds the people to our party.

Next year, we will reach out and offer hope and vision – based on our values of decency, of social justice, of tolerance and mutual respect.

Conference, as you know, Labour in Wales was founded on such a vision.

In a year from now, I hope to report that we have secured a majority Labour Government in Wales – and with your help – we will!

Welsh Labour is now re-discovering its voice. We are re-stating our radicalism and we are re-connecting with our people.

I want us to win back Wales, ward by ward and street by street – in the north, in the West, in the Valleys, in the Vales, on the borders to the East and in the cities to the South.

We will fight back. We will fight to win.

Because Conference, we’re proud to be Welsh. We’re proud, to be British. But above all , Conference, we’re proud to be Labour.

Thank you.

Tessa Jowell – 2010 Speech to Labour Party Conference

Below is the text of the speech made by Tessa Jowell, the then Shadow Minister for the Olympics, to the 2010 Labour Party conference.

Conference, in three weeks time – the Coalition will announce their spending review – a defining moment.

Because then the Coalition will announce a programme of cuts cloaked in the language of the ‘Big Society’.

They’ll say ‘we’re all in this together’, but what they mean is that ‘it’s your problem not ours’.

And, of course, the question is – what does the Coalition mean by the ‘Big Society’?

If they really believe that people should have more control over their lives – then we agree.

If they mean that communities can and should be more powerful – we know.

And we know because we did it while we were in Government.

David Cameron says that he wants the voluntary sector to grow.

And conference it has grown. It has doubled in size.

Under Labour.

He wants more people to participate in civic life.

And they are.

And it happened under Labour.

He wants a civil society to have more power.

And look what civil society achieved.

Remember ‘Make Poverty History’? Campaigns against smoking in public places, and those campaigns for gay rights? Community movements that captured the imagination of the public and found their champion in our government.

They changed the law and they changed our country for the better.

And it’s all happened under Labour.

Conference, we should be proud of what we achieved and be confident that we can win this argument.

Because their ‘big idea’ is to steal our language of fairness, solidarity and responsibility – and to reduce our movement’s founding values to a marketing slogan.

Not so long ago the Tories believed that there is ‘no such thing as society, only families and individuals’.

Now they say that society alone, through the actions of individuals, should become the sole providers of the very structure and essence of our community life.

They think you can have the state or civic action but you can’t have both, indeed – you shouldn’t have both.

And we know that they are wrong.

Because the fact is that community life is created through our shared investment in our local lives – local schools, hospitals, Sure Start centres, libraries, parks and open spaces.

And it is here that the partnership formed between the enabling Government and the community makes our charities, our mutuals and our society stronger than ever.

So Conference our challenge to the Coalition is this:

You can use our language and mimic our values – but when the next election comes the people of this country will judge you in these ways:

They will judge you on whether civil society becomes ‘bigger’ and, indeed, more sustainable;

Whether local people are equipped, willing and able to shoulder the burden of their new responsibilities;

And on whether Britain is a fairer place than when you came to power.

And I don’t know about you conference, but I think that for a Government that says that it wants to build up our communities – it has an odd way of going about it.

£742 million cut from the ‘Big Society’ in its first 100 days.

And that is before the real cuts follow in 3 weeks time.

A survey published today by the National Council for Voluntary Organisations says that confidence among charity leaders is lower than ever before – and that the little platoons required to build the Coalition’s big vision are afraid they’re being led off a cliff.

But to be a credible Government in waiting we need to spell out our own vision of what the ‘good society’ means.

Because while the policy that underpins the ‘Big Society is so flawed, its rhetoric does echo the popular mood.

That in a post-crash post-parliamentary expenses Britain, people want to feel a sense of ownership, control and accountability; something which neither free market fundamentalism nor remote and centralised statism can provide.

Our people are not seeking empty slogans, but a different kind of society where they feel and are more powerful.

Confident that businesses are run as much in the interests of people that depend on them as they are in the pursuit of profits.

Where public services are developed on the experience of users and the wisdom of their staff.

Where power does not just reside in a political class but is part of people’s lives and their experiences – they know it and they believe it.

So where do we start on building our vision for the ‘good society’?

Financial services that command the confidence of the public through long-term security not short term risk. And that means, Conference, that we should look for a mutual future for Northern Rock and a People’s Bank at the Post Office.

Public services that are indeed responsive and, we know, popular – building on co-operative schools and foundation hospitals to give users real power over social care, housing and Sure Start centers.

And our Labour Councillors, so many with a new Labour mandate, forging a new relationship with their communities based on the co-operative values of fairness, accountability and responsibility.

New trusted institutions across our economy, the state and society – that are of the people, by the people and for the people.

Conference, our Party is renewing and you, our activists, must lead the way.

In our communities, our branches, our councils and our CLPs.

So Conference, seize this moment – be brave, be responsible and radical, remembering our traditions of self-help and colle ctive action.

So that when we return to Government – and we will – we are a renewed political movement that can bring the change to this country – the change that this country will by then so badly crave.

Peter Hain – 2010 Speech to Labour Party Conference

Below is the text of the speech made by Peter Hain, the Shadow Secretary of State for Wales, to Labour Party conference in 2010.

Remember last year; the media and the Tories had all written us off, and the fight back started at this conference.

Across Britain, we deprived the Tories of an outright victory when they thought they had it in the bag.

In Wales we stopped them winning the ‘rugby 15′ seats they were boasting about – they only managed four. We stopped the Liberal Democrats in Wales taking any of the three Labour seats they had targeted relentlessly. Plaid Cymru had a truly dreadful election, they came fourth in two of their target seats, and lost their deposit in a quarter of Welsh seats.

And we won back the old Labour stronghold of Nye Bevan and Michael Foot in style with a thumping majority. Nick Smith MP and the local Labour team did a fantastic job. And next year Alun Davies is going to take Blaenau Gwent back for Labour in the Welsh Assembly.

You showed our opponents they can never, ever right off the Labour Party. Our ideas, our vision, our values will never be defeated. Yes – we lost the election and there’s no pretending that wasn’t a terrible result.

But we stopped the Tories winning. And we have immediately bounced back, with council by-election victories right across the land, tens of thousands of new party members flooding in and more support in the opinion polls.

This is not a beaten party. This is a party ready to fight and to win again.

To fight the cruel and callous cuts being rammed through by the Tory Liberal Government.

To stand shoulder to shoulder with our local communities, with trade unionists, with faith groups, with charities, with voluntary organisations, to lead a great peoples movement for change against this right wing government .

We will support pensioners under attack.

We will support disabled people being targeted.

We will support workers faced with the sack.

We will support citizens losing vital public services.

Because the Government’s policies are not only harsh and unjust. They are plain wrong. Of course the deficit has to be cut. But not like this, not so fast or so deep. The Tory Lib Dem government is not cutting like this because it needs to. It is cutting like this because it wants to. Instead of using the power of government to protect our citizens, Cameron and Clegg are deliberately off loading government and leaving citizens to fend for themselves.

And, after a Budget that was unfair to the poor, unfair to pensioners and most unfair to the poorest parts of Britain – Wales and the North East of England – now the Government are also destroying the fairness at the heart of our parliamentary democracy.

Their new legislation changes every constituency in the land in a way that is fair only to the Conservative party. Its grossly unfair to Labour, and especially, and blatantly unfair to Wales. It is also grotesquely unfair to local communities, abolishing independent pubic inquiries: Whitehall just imposing new constituencies from the centre and depriving communities of their traditional rights.

Over the generations, boundary commissions have worked impartially, taking proper account of local views, of community identity, of rurality and sparsity.

The Government have abandoned this fair, practical and sensible system for a new one that is unfair, impractical and arrogant.

Wales will lose three times the proportion of MPs as the average for the rest of the United Kingdom – a reduction in Wales’ voice in Parliament of fully a quarter from 40 to 30.

In the vast rural areas of mid and west Wales, four constituencies – none Labour-he ld, incidentally – covering hundreds of square miles will become two monster ones, each thousands of square miles in size. It could take MPs most of a day to travel from one end to the other – they’ll be needing second homes IN their constituencies at this rate!

It’s obvious the Tories want to fix the boundaries to benefit them at the next election.

But most outrageous, totally unforgivable and totally unjustifiable, is that the new boundaries will be drawn up on a register excluding more than 3.5 million eligible voters, predominantly the young, poor and black and minority ethnic social groups.

And at the same time Nick Clegg says he wants to give prisoners the vote. So some of the most vulnerable, law abiding people in society will be deprived of a vote at the same time as the Deputy Prime Minister wants convicted murderers, rapists and paedophiles to get one.

Today let this conference say loud and clear to the Government: stop trying to rig democr acy and stop riding roughshod over local community views

And now, with Ed Miliband, our new leader, we will rebuild the Labour Party for a new era. To rebuild trust and to rebuild our appeal to voters.

In Wales next spring we will be fighting for outright victory to run the Welsh Assembly Government.

And we will do so not for ourselves, not for our Party, not even just for our new leader! But for the people of Wales and Britain as a whole. Because their values are Labour’s values: the values of caring, community, solidarity, social justice, equality, fairness, liberty, democracy.

These are the values that have always inspired this great Party of ours and these are the values that will inspire Wales to deliver a great Labour victory next year, as we begin the long march back to power in Westminster.

And now the leader of the only Labour Government in Britain today – the man who will be leading Welsh Labour to victory in the Assembly elections next May – the leader to beat the Welsh Tories, the leader to beat the Welsh Liberal Democrats, the leader to beat Plaid Cymru.

Give a rousing welcome to the First Minister of Wales… Carwyn Jones.

John Denham – 2010 Speech to Labour Party Conference

Below is the text of the speech made by John Denham, the Shadow Communities and Local Government Secretary, to the 2010 Labour Party conference.


John Denham,

New Generation. SAGA section.

I want to thank all the Labour Councillors.

Labour changed Britain for the better, and every one of you was part of that story.

Labour councillors aren’t supporters on the touchline of a Labour Government.

You’re real players; you’ve got real passion, real commitment, real power and real responsibility.

And you’re going to be challenged like never before.

There are 4500 Labour councillors today.

We can make sure there will be a lot more soon.

Actually there can’t be many more here in Manchester.

Manchester would be a Conservative free zone already – if their only Lib Dem hadn’t just joined the Tories

Nothing new there then.

The Lib Dems wanted a conference in a Lib Dem City.

By the time they got there Liverpool was Labour.

But look; it’s going to be tough. Being a Labour councillor won’t be a job for the faint-hearted.

The Coalition is going to slash spending far faster, far harder – and far more unfairly – than this country needs or can stand.

People are going to be asking us to look after their interests in the worst possible circumstances; against all the odds.

We’re no use to anyone if we hang our heads in despair or defeat.

Our campaign – supported by CampaignEngineRoom.org.uk – will bring us all together – the people who use public services with the people who provide them…

From village to village, town to town, city to city.

We’ll make Labour’s case in every election from next May to the General Election.

But we also know that marching round the town hall saying ‘no cuts’ – it isn’t going to be enough when we run the Town Hall.

What I know;

What you know;

Is that we’ve always found a way to show that Labour values make a difference even in the hardest times.

We won’t be able to protect everything we care about; but we’ll defend the most important things.

We won’t be able keep everything the way it is; so we’ll find better ways of doing things.

We all know we’d have had to face some tough decisions.

But we wouldn’t be doing what they are doing.

I mean, look at Eric Pickles.

Alright, don’t look at Eric Pickles.

There’s no excuse, Eric, for putting the biggest cuts on the communities that are hardest pressed.

It’s no good telling people they’ve got more say, when you’re telling them how often bins should be emptied o r street parties organised.

It’s no good telling people they’ve got more say, when you’re letting Michael Gove waste £200m of their money on cancelled schools.

It’s no good telling people they’ve got more say, when you’re wasting a fortune on a top down reorganisation of the NHS.

We don’t want elected sheriffs riding off into the sunset with police budgets in their saddlebags, when it’s working closely with councils that brought down anti-social behaviour.

It’s not good telling local people they’ve got more say when, instead of bringing local services together, you are pulling them apart.

You’re not just cutting too fast and too deep; you’re throwing people’s money down the drain.

And when every penny of local taxpayers’ money has to work harder than ever before, there’s no excuse for that.

Frankly, Conference, it’s a dog’s breakfast of muddle and waste.

And this is the mess they call the Big Society.

Conference, when David Cameron talks about people relying too much on the state and not doing enough for themselves, you’d think we were all sat at home waiting for the council to come round and do the dishes.

I’m sure, that like me, you live in a community of extraordinary generosity, where thousands of people help their neighbours and their communities with countless acts of thoughtfulness every day.

We don’t have to choose between state and society.

I know a group in Southampton who befriend lonely older people.

They don’t bathe them, they don’t clothe them or give them medication.

It’s the public services – the carers, the nurses, the financial support which make it possible for them to live at home in comfort.

But it’s the volunteer friends who shop with them, go to the theatre with them, have cup of tea and a conversation with them.

Who give time that, frankly, no state could ever give – who make their lives not just comfortable but rich.

The best of public service; the best of personal giving.

But take the public service away, and personal giving can’t fill the gap.

Conference, we claim no monopoly on generosity, but our party and our members have given birth to countless organisations of change – environmental groups and neighbourhood watches, coops and housing associations, residents’ organisations and community centres.

Our party and our members know the difference between a really big society, a good society; and a narrow and mean society.

And that’s why we will make a difference over the next few years.

Despite the challenges, despite the Coalition cuts, despite the Coalition chaos, we will win the argument that the deficit is no excuse to destroy a good society.

Despite the challenges, despite the coalition cuts, despite the coalition c haos we will win local elections up and down this country.

And despite the challenges, despite the coalition cuts, despite the coalition chaos, this new generation: our members, our councillors are ready to show that being Labour, thinking Labour, voting Labour makes a difference that really counts.