Jim Murphy – 2011 Speech to Labour Party Conference


Below is the text of the speech made by Jim Murphy, the then Shadow Secretary of State for Defence, to the Labour Party conference on 26th September 2011.


Good morning. Right now it is the afternoon in Afghanistan and there are 10,000 of our Forces there, many of them Reservists. And there are two thousand engaged in Libya and deployed in other countries across the world. They bear the burden of their bravery, they demonstrate their patriotism and they carry our pride.

Afghanistan must remain the biggest defence priority for our nation, and now that a timetable has been set for withdrawal it is essential that the military effort is matched by a new political effort. It is in our national interest and our withdrawal cannot precipitate a collapse but rather a continuation of progress. The UK has fought in Afghanistan four times and we have no intention of doing so for a fifth time.

Tragically, since we last gathered 50 of our people have lost their lives in taking on the Taleban. And it’s important that there remains an all-party consensus over our responsibility to remember them and always care for and support their families.

Today I want to reflect on how we support our Forces, talk about our policy and some of our reforms.

Recent events have again shown that we live in a more interconnected world than ever before – global recession, global terrorism, global warming. New threats are emerging and new technologies are required. Defence is becoming more expensive, more intricate and more unpredictable. The contest for clean water supply and population growth demand our attention alongside terrorism and cyber attack. In recent years we have seen states fail and in recent months we have seen governments fall. We are confronted by violent groups and malevolent individuals determined to do us harm. The pace of change is quickening. Wars amongst the people rather than across borders will be increasingly common. There are 27 States of Concern, from Chad to Uzbekistan. Today there is no opt-out. David Cameron is learning that on the job.

But at this very moment our resilience is also tested: funding is constrained and public opinion is wary. And it’s because our values or interests don’t stop at our shores that we believe in a country with the power to persuade and the ability to act.

We will never wrap ourselves in the cloak of jingoism but the Labour Party will always be strong on defence.

But I want to tell you what can often be the most effective defence policy – and it’s not always a new piece of military hardware. It is a world-class international development policy. Investment in education, democratic reform and viable economies can hinder the spread of conflict. The careful prevention of development policy can be so much better than the painful cure of military action.

And I know that when development and diplomacy don’t succeed the decisions about deployment will always be controversial.

This Government was right to act to prevent the slaughter of thousands in Libya, just as a previous UK government was unforgivably wrong to sit idly by and watch the murder of 800,000 people in Rwanda.

I know that post-Iraq these decisions are even more difficult. We will debate, we may not agree, and so it should be – the decision to place our people in harm’s way will never be taken lightly.

I don’t want the anger that many people felt about the action that was taken in Iraq to defeat the shame we all felt about the failure to act in Rwanda.

I was delighted when Ed Miliband offered me this role as Shadow Defence Secretary. Firstly, because I want to do what’s right for our Forces and their families. Secondly, working with a brilliant Shadow Defence Team, I wanted to challenge the ill-informed orthodoxy of the past which says that Labour is the party of the NHS and the Tories are the party of the Forces. At a time when the Tories are proving that they are neither, a Labour opposition needs to be both if we are to be a Labour government.

Just think what the Tories have done since they came to power:

The Army cut 7,000.

An island nation with aircraft carriers but without aircraft. You don’t need to be a military strategist to know what aircraft carriers are meant to carry – the clue is in the name.

Soldiers serving in Afghanistan opening their inboxes for news of loved ones only to read that they have been sacked by email.

Generations of our troops are losing increased pension payments. This change is permanent while we all know that the deficit is temporary. We should be clear it is quite simply wrong that a man in his late 80s who jumped out of a landing craft at Normandy back in 1944 is having his pension payments permanently cut to pay for George Osborne’s economic policy.

Compare it to Labour’s record:

Doubled compensation payments.

Improved housing and healthcare.

A budget up 10% in real terms.

I’m proud of our record. You should be too and we should never let the Tories tarnish it because we don’t win the next time unless we stand up for what we did last time.

But despite everything the truth is that no party has a monopoly of wisdom or experience on defence.

We often talk about the heroes of our Movement: Hardie, Attlee, Bevan or Gaitskill. Brilliant and bold politicians none of whom sought the description as heroes.

But there is another sort of heroism. That is the heroism of service in the Forces. It exists in all parties and has always been strong in ours. And the wisdom that comes from Service is precious. Jim Callaghan was in the Royal Navy before he was Prime Minister and Dennis Healey served in the Army before he served as Chancellor.

There are many others – and that’s the case today. Let me introduce you to:

Dan Jarvis, the first person to resign their Commission to stand for Parliament since the Second World War.

Jon Wheale, who saw service with the Gunners in Northern Ireland, Kosovo and Afghanistan.

Sophy Gardner, RAF Wing Commander, who served in Iraq and Afghanistan, a real ground breaker she was the first woman in every job she had.

Frankie Caldwell, Captain in the Royal Tank Regiment, who served in Iraq and was awarded the MBE for his service.

Each of them believed in a better world so they joined our Forces. Each of them believes in a fairer country so they joined our Party.

We should be clear: we are proud of them and want more just like them.

And that’s why today I’m delighted to announce that that is exactly what we are going to do. If you have served and if you want to be part of our Movement we know that we are stronger with you.

Now, from today, if you are a Veteran you can for the first time ever join the Labour Party for just £1. We are the first and only party to change our rules in this way.

So I want to introduce one more person to you. Stephen Burke, Corporal Tank Commander Stephen Burke, who served in Cyprus, Kuwait and Iraq and the first person to join through ‘£1 for the Forces’ campaign.

Conference, even in opposition we are making things better with plans for procurement reform and success on the Military Covenant. The Covenant is the bond between nation and the Services which proclaims that no one should be disadvantaged in the provision of public services if they have served in our Forces – it is a reflection of our solidarity. When the Government reneged on its commitment to enshrine the Military Covenant in law we supported the work of the Royal British Legion in forcing a u-turn and next month the principles of the Covenant will be written into law. The Covenant is not binding on businesses, charities or political parties, but I want our Party in the future to change the way we do our politics so that we are the first to voluntarily sign up to its principles.

But I want us to go further. Today we are setting up a new organisation – Labour Friends of the Forces. Its patrons include our very own Dan Jarvis MP and former General Secretary of NATO George Robertson. This will be a campaigning body within our Movement to expand our engagement with the service community.

Because of all of these changes and the work that many of you are doing Labour can now be the most welcoming of any political party to our Forces community. That is the challenge to me, the team and to all of us together – changing our Party. So when we talk about refounding our party we are rebuilding a political home – and creating a political Home fit for our Heroes.

Ed Miliband – 2011 Labour Party Conference Speech


Below is the text of the speech made by the Leader of the Opposition, Ed Miliband, at the Labour Party conference in Liverpool on 26th September 2011.

Thank you Conference.

It’s great to be in Liverpool.

Labour Liverpool.

A generation ago a Labour leader came to Conference to condemn the behaviour of a Labour Council in Liverpool.

Today I come to Liverpool, proud to hold our Conference in this great city.

Proud of the work our Labour council is doing.

Conference, it’s been a busy year for me.

There’s one person I want to thank more than any other.

For her love, her support, for her encouragement.

My wife Justine.

Ask me the three most rewarding things I’ve done this year.

Being at the birth of our second son Sam.

Then getting married.

It is 2011 after all.

And starting to tell Daniel, my older son, the stories my Dad used to tell me.

My kids, Daniel and Sam.

A new generation of Miliband brothers.

I know what you’re thinking.

But just to reassure you.

We’re really hoping they become doctors too.

And of course one other big event happened in my life, one that the media was really interested in:

My nose job.

July 27th.

They called it Ed Nose Day.

In case you wondered listening to me, it was a great success.

I had a deviated septum and it needed repositioning.

Typical Labour leader.

He gets elected and everything moves to the centre.

A year ago I was elected your leader.

And I want to thank one colleague in particular for her support over that time.

For her help, her advice, for her friendship, and her commitment to equality and social justice.

Harriet Harman, our fantastic deputy leader.

Conference, let’s get down to business.

This is a dangerous time for Britain, and for Britain’s economy.

The Government’s austerity plan is failing.

You can sense the fear that people have as we watch the economic crisis that stalked our country in 2008 threatening to return.

Stock markets round the world falling.

The United States in difficulty.

The Eurozone struggling.

And people in Britain losing their jobs.

Now is not the time for the same old answers.

From us, on the issues that lost us your trust.

From this Government, on the growth crisis we face.

You need to know that there is an alternative.

You need to know that it is credible.

So people need to know where I stand.

The Labour Party lost trust on the economy.

And under my leadership, we will regain that trust.

I am determined to prove to you that the next Labour Government will only spend what it can afford.

That we will live within our means.

That we will manage your money properly.

As someone who believes that government can make a difference, I have a special responsibility to show you that every pound that is spent, is spent wisely.

The next Labour Government will still face tough decisions.

We won’t be able to reverse many of the cuts this Government is making.

And let me tell you, if this Government fails to deal with the deficit in this Parliament, we are determined to do so.

It’s why we will set new fiscal rules to bind government to a disciplined approach.

And it’s right, as a down payment, to tell you that we would use every penny of the sale of bank shares to pay down the debt.

But I have to tell you frankly.

I have a fundamental disagreement with the Government.

They believe Britain can address our problems of debt without addressing our problems of growth.

They are wrong.

Think of how you pay off the credit card bill.

You need to make savings in the household budget.

But if you lose your job and the money stops coming in, you can’t pay off the bill.

People in Britain are losing their jobs.

They aren’t spending.

Government is cutting back.

And the recovery has stalled.

Of course, the world economy is suffering.

But our Government is making it worse.

Because the current plan to raise taxes and cut spending more dramatically than any other country is not working.

A year ago, lots of people thought the Government was taking the right course.

The Governor of the Bank of England.

The International Monetary Fund.

But one person in particular stood outside the consensus.

Labour’s Shadow Chancellor, Ed Balls.

He was right.

But he is not interested in being proved right.

And nor am I.

I am interested in the Government doing the right thing by the British people.

So there is a big choice facing the country.

Whether to stick on the current plan or to change course?

There is an alternative:

For Britain and other countries to act together to get our economies moving.

Like a VAT cut now to put more money in people’s pockets.

And action to put our young people back to work.

I say to David Cameron.

Put the politics aside.

Look at the facts.

Recognise what is staring you in the face.

And understand that protecting our economy matters more than protecting your failed plan.

So I’m going to tell it straight.

That’s the lesson I have learnt about this job and myself over the last twelve months.

To be true to myself.

My instincts.

My values.

To take risks in the pursuit of that.

And to stand up for what is right.

The moment it came home to me most was when I heard the terrible news that Milly Dowler’s phone had been hacked.

Someone had hacked into the voicemails of a missing teenager.

Deleted them from her phone.

Given her parents false hope.

As Justine said to me that morning, it was sick that someone could do that.

That’s why I had to speak out.

I knew when I said what I did that I was breaking rule number one of British politics.

Don’t mess with Rupert Murdoch.

I did it because it was right.

That’s the lesson I have learned most clearly in the last year.

The lesson that you’ve got to be willing to break the consensus, not succumb to it.

You know, I’m not Tony Blair.

I’m not Gordon Brown either.

Great men, who in their different ways, achieved great things.

I’m my own man.

And I’m going to do things my own way.

That is what it means to lead.

And I know this.

Nobody ever changed things on the basis of consensus.

Or wanting to be liked.

Or not taking risks.

Or keeping your head down.

It’s a lesson for me and it’s a lesson for my party too.

Don’t believe this stuff about governments losing elections, rather than oppositions winning them.

It sounds to me like a consolation prize for opposition leaders that have lost.

I’m not interested in consolation prizes.

I’ll tell you what I’m interested in.

Winning back the trust of the British people.

Winning the next general election.

My message to the public is this:

We know waiting for the Tories to fail won’t win us back your trust.

And we won’t deserve your trust if that’s what we do.

Paying homage to past leaders won’t win us back your trust.

And we won’t deserve it if that’s what we do.

Asking to carry on where we left off in government won’t win us back your trust.

And we won’t deserve it if that’s what we do.

My top demand of my Shadow Cabinet, my party, my team, is this:


Ambition to change our country.

It’s why we were founded.

It’s in our souls.

It’s the only point in doing the jobs we do.

And it’s the reason I stood to be the leader of this Party.

And it is urgent, at this moment, in Britain 2011.

In every generation, there comes a moment when we need to change the way we do things.

This is one of those moments.

And I believe from our conversations over the past year that you, the British people, know it.

You’ve seen a series of crises hitting our country over the last few years.

This summer’s riots.

Not the first time we’ve seen decent people with the right values losing out to those with the wrong ones.

The banking crisis, MPs’ expenses.

Journalists hacking phones.

From them all a something for nothing culture.

Take what you can.

Fill your boots.

Who cares as long as you can get away it.

And these are just the noisy scandals which grab the front pages.

But you know there’s a quiet crisis which doesn’t get the headlines.

It’s about the people who don’t make a fuss, who don’t hack phones, loot shops, fiddle their expenses, or earn telephone number salaries at the banks.

It’s the grafters, the hard-working majority who do the right thing.

It’s a crisis which is happening in your town, your street and maybe even in your home.

It is a crisis of the promises made over the last thirty years.

The promise that if you’re in work, you will do better each year.

The promise that if you work hard at school the doors of opportunity will open up to you.

The promise that if you teach your kids the difference between right and wrong and bring them up properly, they will get a good job, and a decent home.

These crises point to something deep in our country.

The failure of a system.

A way of doing things.

An old set of rules.

An economy and a society too often rewarding not the right people with the right values, but the wrong people with the wrong values.

So the task of leadership in this generation is no ordinary task.

It is to chart a new course.

And strike a new bargain in our country.

That’s what I want to talk to you about today.

Let’s be clear about one thing.

The problem isn’t the people of Britain.

I saw it when I met our troops in Afghanistan.

Brave men and women.

Called to serve our country.

At this moment, as we meet in the comfort of this hall, hundreds, thousands of our troops are risking their lives.

In harm’s way, so far from home.

We should think of them today and every day.

Let’s all thank them and acknowledge the heroism they show on behalf of our country.

And as always in our history, we see the true British character in moments of crisis.

We saw it during the riots.

It was a terrible moment for Britain.

People looting shops, burning cars.

It even happened right by my old school.

But for every person that looted, there were hundreds, thousands who said this will not stand and came out to help with the clean up.

I saw it in Manchester, people of all generations, who came out the next morning to get the city back on its feet.

Those young people with the brooms.

Those young people who join us at Conference today.

And let us celebrate what they did.

Let us celebrate too those brave police officers who worked day and night to bring order to our streets.

They put themselves in harm’s way and we should thank them for it.

Citizens and public servants alike.

Theirs are the true values of Britain.

They are the true face of Britain.

And when we talk about the places where the riots happened, let’s remember that the vast majority of people who live there are decent, law-abiding, community-spirited.

We must punish those who do wrong.

But I’m not with the Prime Minister.

I will never write off whole parts of our country by calling them sick.

We are not a country of bad people but great people.

Great people in a great country.

Ready to celebrate the Olympics next year.

Olympic Britain 2012, ready to light up the world.

But with such great people, how have we ended up with the problems we face?

It’s because of the way we have chosen to run our country.

Not just for a year or so but for decades.

Now there are hard lessons here for my party which some won’t like.

Some of what happened in the 1980s was right.

It was right to let people buy their council houses.

It was right to cut tax rates of 60, 70, 80 percent.

And it was right to change the rules on the closed shop, on strikes before ballots.

These changes were right, and we were wrong to oppose it at the time.

But while some of it was right, too much of what happened was based on the wrong values.

That’s where New Labour came in.

The rebuilt schools, new hospitals, more police.

The minimum wage, tax credits, the new deal.

Half a million children lifted out of poverty.

Britain with Labour: the only country in Europe where poverty was not going up, but was going down.

My party is proud of that record.

And so am I.

But good times did not mean we had a good economic system.

We changed the fabric of our country but we did not do enough to change the values of our economy.

You believe rewards should be for hard work.

But you’ve been told we have to tolerate the wealthiest taking what they can.

And what’s happened?

Your living standards have been squeezed by runaway rewards at the top.

You believe we owe duties to each other.

But in our economy you’ve been told that duties to each other come second.

And so while many companies do the right thing and train their workforce, others do not.

And what’s happened?

You’ve seen your sons and daughters not getting an apprenticeship, stuck in a job where they can’t progress.

And we have seen immigration policy which didn’t work for the people whose jobs, living standards and communities were affected.

You believe in the values of the long-term.

But in our economy, you’ve been told the fast buck is ok.

And what’s happened?

We’ve ended up with a financial crisis and you’ve ended up footing the bill.

You believe in a society where everybody is responsible for their actions.

But you’ve been told that if companies are big enough or powerful enough they can get away with anything.

And what’s happened?

Big vested interests like the energy companies have gone unchallenged, while you’re being ripped off.

So you have been told for too long that the only way our economy can succeed is if we reward not your values, but a totally different set of values.

Trickle-down economics.

The triumph of finance over industry.

The victory of vested interests over the public interest.

And who’s been rewarded in this economy?

Take Fred Goodwin, who ran the Royal Bank of Scotland.

He was at the heart of the banking crisis.

Compare him to Sir John Rose, former Chief Executive of Rolls Royce, a great British business leader.

Creating wealth and keeping jobs in this country.

He is the true face of British business.

The vast majority of our businesses that have the right values and do the right thing.

Rooted in their communities.

Committed to their workforce.

And creating real, lasting value.

But at the time of the financial crisis, Fred Goodwin was paid over three times more than Sir John Rose.

I tell you something, Fred Goodwin shouldn’t have got that salary.

And I tell you something else:

We shouldn’t have given Sir Fred Goodwin that knighthood either.

You know what your values are.

You believe in looking out for each other.

You believe we are stronger together.

Weaker on our own.

But we have allowed values which say take what you can, I’m in it for myself, to create a Britain that is too unequal.

The people at the top taking unjustified rewards isn’t just bad for our economy.

It sends a message throughout our society about what values are ok.

And inequality reinforces privilege and opportunity for the few.

You know what your values are.

You believe whether you get on shouldn’t depend on where you come from but what you have it within you to become.

Those are Britain’s values.

Reward linked to effort.

Something for something.

But as the rungs of the ladder grow further and further apart, the chance of climbing up, become harder.

Think of some of the kids at school today in my constituency, in Doncaster.

Or in your town.

Ask yourself, what are their chances, however bright, of getting into one of the top universities, competing against people with all the chances in life?

Of having the network of connections that will set them up for their career?

21st century Britain: still a country for the insiders.

What’s my story?

My parents fled the Nazis.

And came to Britain.

They embraced its values.


Who built a life for us .

So this is who I am.

The heritage of the outsider.

The vantage point of the insider.

The guy who is determined to break the closed circles of Britain.

And as young people confront the choices they have in life, they see routes to success today based on a wrong set of values.

The something for nothing of celebrity culture.

The take what you can of the gangs.

And in parts of some of our communities, a life on benefits.

You know what your values are.

But they are not the values being rewarded in our benefits system.

We must never excuse people who cheat the welfare system.

The reason I talk about this is not because I don’t believe in a welfare state but because I do.

We can never protect and renew it if people believe it’s just not fair.

If it’s too easy not to work.

And there are people taking something for nothing.

And if at the same time people who have paid into the system all their lives find the safety net full of holes.

No wonder people are angry.

It’s my job, my Party’s mission

To say: no more.

It’s all got to change.

We need a new bargain.

Based on Britain’s values.

Britain’s values in our economy, in our society, and in the way our country is run.

Let’s confront head on the big challenge we face of building a new bargain in our economy.

Built on values of hard work, something for something, the long-term.

We need a new era of wealth creation in this country.

But it will not happen with the old set of rules.

And we can’t spend our way to a new economy

We are competing not just with Germany and Japan, but with China, India and Brazil.

Don’t believe those who would tell you that the kind of economy we have now will help us to compete in that world.

We can’t pay our way unless as a country we invent things, make things, and sell real services and products.

Britain’s future will be built not on credit default swaps but on creative industries.

Not low wages and high finance, but low carbon and high tech.

Not financial engineering, but real engineering.

Of course, the banks and financial services are important to Britain.

They employ people right across the country.

They will still be important to Britain in the future.

But they must change so that they are part of the solution to our economic future, not part of the problem.

You’ve been told all growth is the same, all ways of doing business are the same.

But it’s not.

You’ve been told that the choice in politics is whether parties are pro-business or anti-business.

But all parties must be pro-business today.

If it ever was, that’s not the real choice any more.

Let me tell you what the 21st century choice is:

Are you on the side of the wealth creators or the asset strippers?

The producers or the predators?

Producers train, invest, invent, sell.

Things Britain does brilliantly.

Predators are just interested in the fast buck, taking what they can out of the business.

This isn’t about one industry that’s good and another that isn’t.

Or one firm always destined to be a predator and another to be a producer.

It’s about different ways of doing business, ways that the rules of our economy can favour or discourage.

Look at what a private equity firm did to the Southern Cross care homes.

Stripping assets for a quick buck and treating tens of thousands of elderly people like commodities to be bought and sold.

They may not have sold their own grandmothers for a fast buck.

But they certainly sold yours.

They aren’t the values of British business.

It must change.

It must never happen again in the new economy we build.

We must learn the lesson that growth is built on sand if it comes from our predators and not our producers.

For years as a country we have been neutral in that battle.

They’ve been taxed the same.

Regulated the same.

Treated the same.

Celebrated the same.

They won’t be by me.

We need the most competitive tax and regulatory environment we can for British business.

But when I am Prime Minister, how we tax, what government buys, how we regulate, what we celebrate will be in the service of Britain’s producers.

And don’t let anyone tell you that this is the anti-business choice.

It’s the pro-business choice.

Pro-business on the side of the small businesses who can’t get a loan.

Pro-business on the side of high value manufacturing that can’t build its business because of the short-termist culture.

Pro-business on the side of the British company losing out to its competitors abroad when their government steps in and our government stands aside.

And that includes companies like Bombardier and BAe systems.

Being sold down the river by this Government.

Just like Sheffield Forgemasters before them.

Having Nick Clegg as the local MP didn’t help much.

You know, the boundary review means his seat will be represented by a Tory after the next election.

No change there then.

Supporting the producers, that is what it means to be pro-business today.

That is why I say all major government contracts will go to firms who commit to training the next generation with decent apprenticeships.

And none will go to those who don’t.

And it is also why I say, the new bargain in our economy must be built on co-operation not conflict in the workplace.

Raising productivity, working together, helping firms to compete.

That is the most important future for the trade unions in this country.

And we must challenge irresponsible, predatory practices wherever we find them.

We need investment in energy here in Britain.

But our energy companies have defied the laws of gravity for too long.

Prices go up but they never seem to come down.

I believe our environment and climate change is a crucial issue for our future.

An essential part of the new bargain.

Responsibility, commitment for the long term:

That’s what my kids will want from us on the environment when they grow up and ask whether we were the first generation to get it or the last generation not to.

So over time there is going to be upward pressure on energy prices.

But that makes it all the more important we get the best possible deal for customers.

So let’s break the dominance of the big energy companies.

Let’s call a rigged market what it is.

And get a fairer deal for the people of Britain.

But as we challenge the predators let’s celebrate Britain’s producers.

Wherever we find them.

If people make money and profit through hard work, hard graft, something for something, let’s praise them.

And let me tell you what the problem is with these Tories.

They don’t understand who the real wealth creators of this country are.

Or the values our economy needs for them to succeed.

They talk as if the CEOs and the executives are the only people who create wealth.

Of course great business leaders make a huge difference to our country, and I applaud them.

But the small businesses that are the lifeblood of our economy are also the wealth creators.

The scientists and innovators are also our wealth creators.

And the young apprentices are also the wealth creators.

The wealth of our nation is built by the hands not just of the elite few but every man and woman who goes out and does a day’s work

The Tories aren’t building a new bargain that supports the right people with the right values.

Young people, doing the right thing, wanting to go to higher education are going to find that their hard work and ambition will be punished with tens of thousands of pounds of debt.

And yet at the same time, George Osborne plans cuts in corporation tax for the banks.

It’s the wrong choice.

Now some of you would like no fees at all.

I understand that.

But it wouldn’t be responsible to make promises I can’t keep.

That’s Nick Clegg’s job.

Let me tell you what I would do.

If we were in government now, we’d be cutting the costs of going to university from a maximum of £9,000 to £6,000.

To the young people who want to get on and contribute to our country my message is simple.

I won’t let you be priced out of your future.

Labour is on your side.

We can’t afford to carry on with so many young people locked out of opportunity.

Three thousand of our brightest young people, at state schools, get the grades to go to our most competitive Universities.

But they never go.

That can’t be right.

It creates a sense that there is no something for something deal.

I went to a fantastic local school.

It was a tough area but it was a school that changed lives.

But the truth is that the problem in some of our schools is not just investment.

It’s also about values.

Of bright children held back when aspirations are low.

Or when closed circles at the top of society shut them out.

In any one year more than a quarter of our schools don’t even send 5 kids to the most competitive universities.

Is anyone seriously telling me that there aren’t pupils at any of those schools who are good enough to go?

It’s got to change.

And we will change it.

Here is my challenge to those schools and Universities.

Raise your game.

To the schools not doing enough I say:

Lift your ambition, lift your sights.

To the Universities not opening up I say:

Open your eyes, open your doors.

Say to the very brightest children at every school: if you get the grades, you’ll get a place.

And it’s not just in our schools that I want to change the values that get rewarded.

It’s right across society.

The new bargain must demand responsibility from all.

We’ve got to put an end to the idea that those at the top can take whatever they can, regardless of what they give back.

It’s why we must end the cosy cartels of the way top pay is set in our economy.

So every pay committee should have an employee on the board.

And the something for something deal requires that sacrifice as well as prosperity is fairly shared.

Have you noticed how uncomfortable David Cameron is when he has to talk about responsibility at the very top?

He found it easy to be tough on you.

VAT went up.

He called it a tough decision.

Tax credits were cut.

He said they couldn’t be afforded.

Help paying for childcare was hit.

He said it was the only thing he could do.

When you have had to pay, it’s always necessary, it’s always permanent, it can never be reversed.

And yet at the same time they are straining at the leash to cut the 50p tax rate for people earning over £3,000 a week.

Only David Cameron could believe that you make ordinary families work harder by making them poorer and you make the rich work harder by making them richer.

It’s wrong.

It’s the wrong priority.

It’s based on the wrong values.

How dare they say we’re all in it together.

So we need a new bargain at the top of society, and in our benefits system too.

So it rewards the right people with the right values.

But it isn’t delivering that.

And we’ve got to fix it.

If you think putting it right means just stripping away welfare then you are better off with Iain Duncan Smith and David Cameron.

But at the same time we have to face the truth.

Even after reforms of recent years, we still have a system where reward for work is not high enough.

Where benefits are too easy to come by for those who don’t deserve them and too low for those who do.

So if what you want is a welfare system that works for working people then I’m prepared to take the tough decisions to make that a reality.

Take social housing.

When we have a housing shortage, choices have to be made.

Do we treat the person who contributes to their community the same as the person who doesn’t?

My answer is no.

Our first duty should be to help the person who shows responsibility.

And I say every council should recognise the contribution that people are making.

David Cameron likes to talk tough on welfare, but do you know who the big losers are from his changes?

Time and again it’s those who work hard, who try to get on.

It’s the cancer patients who have worked all their lives but now lose their support

It’s the couple who have put money aside and saved, but now lose their tax credits

And it is the single mum working as a dinner lady who loses help with her childcare.

It’s wrong.

And we have got to change it.

And while those who do the right thing are hit hard, the demands on those who don’t work aren’t tough enough.

Gone is the something for something requirement that every young person out of work for six months will be required to work.

This Government won’t make the commitment to help our young people back to work.

It’s wrong and we would change it.

Decency, fairness, helping those who do the right thing.

I believe in a benefits system with values.

And I believe in the value of work.


Think about that word.

The party of work.

Now under my leadership, we will be the party which makes welfare work too.

And it’s not just in our benefits system that I want to change the way government works.

It’s in our public services as well.

Millions of public servants deliver a fantastic service every day of every week.

But we all know that sometimes powerful organisations can become unaccountable.

Work not in the interests of those who need them but in their own interests.

That’s what vested interests are.

My task, our responsibility, is to make government work better for people.

The patient frustrated when they can’t be seen by the person they want.

The victim of crime who just wants their case properly investigated.

You know what it’s like.

You stand in the queue.

You hang on the phone.

You fill in the form.

And then all you get?

Computer says no.

We need to change that.

To give power to the public.

Like the power to the elderly couple to choose whether they are cared for in a care home or in their own home.

Or the parents I know struggling with their council on their child’s special needs who want to know who else is facing the same challenges.

So I will take on the vested interests wherever they are because that is how we defend the public interest.

And there is no greater public interest than our National Health Service.

Cherished by all of us.

Founded by Labour.

Saved by Labour.

Today defended by Labour once again.

Why does Britain care so much for the NHS?

Because, more than any other institution in our country, the values of the NHS are our values.

It doesn’t matter who you are.

Or what you earn.

The NHS offers the highest quality care when we need it

I saw it this year with the birth of our son, Sam.

Like millions of other families, mine had the best of care from doctors, nurses.

And nobody asked me for my credit card at the door.

And when I look at everything this Tory Government is doing, it is NHS that shocks me most.


Because David Cameron told us he was different.

You remember.

The posters.

The soundbites.

David Cameron knew the British people did not trust the Tories with our NHS.

So he told us he wasn’t the usual type of Tory.

And he asked for your trust.

And then he got into Downing Street.

And within a year – within a year – he’d gone back on every word he’d said.

No more top-down reorganisations?

He betrayed your trust.

No more hospital closures?

He betrayed your trust.

No more long waits?

He betrayed your trust.

And the biggest betrayal of all?

The values of the NHS.

Britain’s values.

The values he promised to protect.


Hospitals to be fined millions of pounds if they break the rules of David Cameron’s free-market healthcare system.

The old values that have failed our economy now being imported to our most prized institution: the NHS.

Let me tell David Cameron this.

It’s the oldest truth in politics.

He knows it and now the public know it.

You can’t trust the Tories with the NHS.

And let me tell the British people:

If you want someone who will rip the old rules so that the country works for you, don’t expect it from this Prime Minister.

On the 50p tax rate, on the banks, on the closed circles of Britain, on welfare, on the NHS, he’s not about a new set of rules.

He’s the last gasp of the old rules.

The wrong values for our country and the wrong values for our time.

You know Britain needs to change.

Every day of your life seems like a tough fight.

To make ends meet.

To do the best by your kids.

To look after your Mum or Dad.

And it will be a tough fight to change Britain.

But I’m up for the fight

The fight for a new bargain.

A new bargain in our economy so reward is linked to effort.

A new bargain based on your values so we can pay our way in the world.

A new bargain to ensure responsibility from top to bottom.

And a new bargain to break open the closed circles, and break up vested interests, that hold our country back.

I aspire to be your Prime Minister not for more of the same.

But to write a new chapter in our country’s history.

The promise of Britain lies in its people

The tragedy of Britain is that it is not being met

My mission. Our mission.

To fulfil the promise of each so we fulfil the promise of Britain.

Ann McKechin – 2011 Speech to Labour Party Conference

Below is the text of the speech made by Ann McKechin to the 2011 Labour Party conference on 26th September 2011.

Conference, without any doubt 2011 has been a very tough year for Labour in Scotland but it has been an even tougher year for the people of Scotland.

Jobs disappearing – more and more in long term unemployment; incomes frozen; hours cut and the highest youth unemployment since the 1980’s.

Along with rising inflation in the items we need the most – food; energy bills and transport, people across Scotland are really feeling the squeeze on their living standards.

Not surprisingly after the May elections, our critics rushed to claim that labour would never recover; that we no longer have a vision for Scotland’s future; that we have lost our way.

But conference the task to protect what is best about Scotland and to tackle the enormous problems we face today is one where Scottish labour should be at the heart. Be in no doubt that we are determined to be Scotland’s voice for social justice.

Since May our members have shown with an amazing determination that this party will not simply fade away.

When we were hit by the tragic death of our colleague and friend, David Cairns, our activists came from across Scotland and were out in the streets of Inverclyde through wind and rain to secure an impressive victory and the election of Iain McKenzie as our newest Member of Parliament.

Our members have also actively engaged with our party review ably chaired by Jim Murphy and Sarah Boyack, which has already introduced substantial changes to the way we work and there will be more change to come.

By the end of this year, we will have a new Scottish Labour Leader, to lead us in our fight against the equally narrow visions of the Tory-led Government and the SNP Government.

Being a leader when your party is in Opposition is a tough job particularly when you have to cope with disappointment and setbacks. But I want to thank Iain Gray today for his unstinting commitment and loyalty to our party over the last few years – Iain, I know that your lifelong drive for social justice will continue to ensure that you make a difference to our country.

And this year, conference has been one where the constitutional future of Scotland and that of the UK has again been dominant.

Our nationalist opponents don’t miss an opportunity in repeating the constant refrain of our separate history and culture, be it Bannockburn or Culloden.

Yes, conference these were momentous battles but there are many battles which have moulded our lives – much more recent; just as impressive and much more relevant to the way we live now.

All of us wherever we live in the UK share the heritage which began with the Industrial Revolution that witnessed working people taking the opportunity to organise and agitate for a better future:

Votes for women, the creation of free universal healthcare and education, equal pay and the birth of the Trade Union Movement which in turn led to the formation of our great Party.

And Scotland was always integral to these advances for working people.

Keir Hardie recognised that the social challenges of poor working conditions, insanitary housing and inadequate education were problems not just faced by Scots but shared with the whole of the United Kingdom.

His call to arms for social justice is one that this Labour Party still heeds today.

Just 2 weeks ago we celebrated the 40th anniversary of the world’s first ever “work-in” at the Upper Clyde shipyards.

That movement was supported at the time not just by Scots but by thousands of people throughout the UK and it became a potent symbol of the fight by ordinary people against Tory complacency.

Conference, just like 40 years ago, ordinary people want to work and live their lives in dignity.

And yet again we have a Tory-led Government failing to reflect established Scottish values of responsibility and community.

It too often rewards an irresponsible minority at the top of our society while leaving hardworking Scots to feel the squeeze of frozen wages and spiralling costs of living. This is a government that has sat idly by and has watched from the sidelines while its cuts, which went too far and too fast, choked off Britain’s recovery last autumn.

It’s time for action. It’s time to heed Labour’s call to temporarily reverse the VAT hike to get people spending again and to re-introduce the banker’s bonus tax to provide a job guarantee for every young unemployed Scot.

Instead of sitting on their hands, it’s time for Cameron and Osborne to act now.

And Conference, the Scottish Government too has to live up to its responsibilities.

The time for playing games with the people of Scotland should now be over.

Are we seriously to believe that the First Minister, who has spent most of his waking hours for the past 30 odd years on how to achieve separation, doesn’t know the question to ask the Scottish electorate?

Does anyone in the Scottish Government believe that this constitutional uncertainty is a good thing for Scotland?

The Scottish Government has spent the last four years having a national conversation with its citizens but still can’t answer basic questions on defence policy, our currency or our relationship with Europe?

What will it take for the SNP to come clean?

Conference, let us be clear – Scottish Labour have never played games with the electorate on our country’s future and we never will.

We judge the argument for change on whether it will be help secure the social justice we fight for and if it is in Scotland’s interests.

And when there is a convincing argument for change we seek political consensus and objective hard evidence.

That is why Scottish Labour was the party of devolution and gave Scotland its parliament; that is why we have supported the aims of the Scotland Bill and that is why we reject debates fixated purely on process rather than real policies of change.

Conference, it is clear that Scots want us to focus on meeting the challenges of unemployment, the cost of living, protecting our public services and ensuring that the next generation in Scotland do not miss out.

These are shared challenges within the UK and, as we have in the past, we will meet them together.

Ken Livingstone – 2011 Speech to Labour Party Conference

Below is the text of the speech made by Ken Livingstone, the then Labour candidate for London Mayor, to Labour Party conference on 25th September 2011.

If you’re from outside London you may wonder why this election matters.

But with the size of London’s economy, the whole country benefits if London is run on Labour values of fairness.

You may think, why does he want to stand in what the Tories clearly intend to be a brutal fight?

Losing last time was tough.

But these 3 years have given me a chance to listen and to see things in the way ordinary Londoners see them.

London is a great city – but it is going in the wrong direction.

Only a few years ago London was leading the world.

Yet now the image of London is a city of civil disorder and violence on our streets.

But unless we change City Hall nothing will change on our streets.

Boris Johnson campaigned for the Tories to be in power and he got what he wished for.

Unemployment is above the national average.

Cuts to council funding are above the average for the rest of England.

Rail, tube and bus fares are soaring.

So I’m campaigning to put ordinary Londoners first.

I see the impact on young people of Tory policies when I visit colleges and schools in London.

The Tories say we must cut our national debt but they pile debt on our students.

With London’s high cost of living, repaying those debts will be felt sharply by young Londoners.

The next generation needs a champion in City Hall but Boris Johnson did not speak up.

He didn’t lobby MPs against abolition of the Education Maintenance Allowance.

He praised plans for a private university with £18,000-a-year fees as “unambiguously good news.”

Boris Johnson is the problem, not the solution.

Tory Wandsworth wants to charge kids to play in their local playground.

Boris Johnson thinks this is such a good idea he made the leader of Wandsworth his new chief of staff.

That’s why I’m standing – to remove a Mayor who attacks the youngest in our society, smashing their aspirations with debts and cuts.

Our campaign is about fairness – putting ordinary people first and defending their public services.

I will stand up for ordinary workers who are on the sharp end of this Tory government, from teachers and nurses to pensioners.

Boris Johnson stands for a privileged minority.

He says anger over bankers’ bonuses is “whingeing”.

He campaigns to cut the top rate of tax.

He is the leading Tory in the country demanding a cut in the top rate of tax for the one per cent earning more than £150,000 a year.

Not surprising really.

Instead of sticking to the day job Boris Johnson has a second job on the Daily Telegraph, earning £250,000.

He calls that salary “chicken feed”.

And while fares are rising steeply the number of people on six-figure salaries at City Hall has nearly doubled.

28 members of staff earn over £100,000, up from sixteen just three years ago.

When the Guardian revealed the phone-hacking scandal Johnson dismissed the story as Labour Party codswallop.

Even after the revelations that Milly Dowler’s phone had been hacked he still defended News International and praised Rupert Murdoch’s role.

I’m proud that while Boris Johnson was defending Murdoch our Tom Watson fought to make sure Andy Coulson was forced out of Downing Street.

This is about putting Londoners first. We need to cut crime not the police.

Three police commissioners in three years has been a disaster for morale in the Met.

As the Tories slash the police budget, crime will rise.

But Boris Johnson started cutting police even before Cameron was in office.

And after this election is over he plans to cut another 1,800 police officers.

I don’t want my kids growing up in a city where police are down and crime is up.

I don’t want the police overstretched when there are riots on our streets.

We’re already taking this fight to Boris Johnson.

We won the council by-election in Boris Johnson’s own ward in Islington. Where local people voted against Boris Johnson’s policy of cutting police sergeants from their local neighbourhood teams.

Our candidate in that by-election victory was Alice Perry, one of our hardest working volunteers. Alice, thanks for beating Boris in his back yard.

When I heard about the bombings in July 2005 I was in Singapore for the Olympic vote.

I just wanted to get back to London.

But where was Boris Johnson when the riots happened?

He refused to come back to London.

We had the crazy situation of Londoners having to demand their own mayor come back.

And what personal example does Boris Johnson set?

What is the difference between the rioters, and a gang of over-privileged arrogant students vandalising restaurants and throwing chairs through windows in Oxford?

Come on Boris – what’s the moral difference between your Bullingdon vandalism as a student and the criminality of the rioters?

Neither is an example I want for my kids.

And then there are fares – which this January will rise by seven per cent.

Johnson has done a deal with this government to increase fares by 2% above inflation every year for 20 years.

A bus fare is up 56 per cent under Boris Johnson.

A weekly zone 1-4 Travelcard costs £416 a year more.

This just isn’t fair. People are right to be angry.

And it’s our duty to speak for them.

So this is what I intend.

I will put ordinary Londoners first by protecting policing.

Any cut to front-line police by Boris will be reversed.

I will put ordinary Londoners first by backing Ed Balls’ plan for a cut in VAT not Boris Johnson’s tax cuts for the richest.

Unlike Boris Johnson I am in it for London, not for myself.

So I will freeze my salary and the salary of my senior staff for four years.

And I will take only one salary – no moonlighting.

I will press the case for students struggling to make ends meet.

And our campaign will fight to defend our NHS.

I want you to join our campaign for a fairer alternative.

Over the last few months we have led the way with our online volunteer website yourken.org

Tomorrow will see another step in that campaign.

I will announce my plan for fairer fares and I’m going to do it by text.

Our campaign will be the first to announce a key policy by text. So switch your phones on now.

Behind me you will see our campaign text number.

Text KEN to this number, 66007 and tomorrow you’ll be the first to hear how I will hold down fares.

In every year in every part of London, inner and outer, fares will be fairer under me than they would be under a second Boris Johnson term.

Let Boris Johnson defend his policy of high fares for Londoners and low tax for bankers.

Everywhere he goes, my running mate Val Shawcross and our team of Assembly candidates will send our message to Londoners – Boris is making you less well-off and less safe, with higher fares and less police.

Over this last year I have worked with Ed Miliband.

I’ve watched him stand up to Rupert Murdoch and he won.

Now he’s taking on the appalling unfairness of this government’s policies.

If you want to see a fairer Britain, that means a Labour government under Ed Miliband.

Since we elected Ed as our leader tens of thousands of people have joined us, enthused and wanting to see real change.

A lot of us wonder if we can ever match the great achievements of our past like the NHS.

But when I look at the problems we face

Rebuilding our economy on fairer lines

Being a bridge between Europe and America and the rising new economies in Asia and Latin America

And tackling climate change, the greatest threat to our survival humanity has ever faced

I know our greatest achievements lie ahead.

And in Ed we have a leader, whose combination of principles and vision, mean we can make these changes.

Ivan Lewis – 2011 Speech to Labour Party Conference

Below is the text of the speech made by Ivan Lewis to the Labour Conference on 27th September 2011.


I want to begin my speech today with some thank yous.

To my brilliant team Gloria de Piero, Ian Lucas, Ian Austin and Ian Murray for their commitment and support during the past year. To Sophie, David and my constituency team for their endless patience and sound advice. But most of all to you.

Those of us who sit at the top table of the Labour Party in Parliament should never forget the debt of gratitude we owe to the party activists, trade unionists and party staff who in every community in every part of this country are the heart and soul of this great movement.

Conference, the history of the relationship between this Party and the Murdoch press is a complex and tortuous one. But what can never be complex or tortuous is the responsibility of politicians to stand up for the public interest without fear or favour. That is why today please join me once again in paying tribute to the courage and tenacity of Tom Watson, Chris Bryant and John Prescott for the service they have done to our country in exposing the phone hacking scandal. And let us also recognise that when the country reacted with revulsion to the news that Milly Dowler’s phone had been hacked while the Prime Minister and Deputy Prime Minister dithered, it was our leader Ed Miliband who day after day provided the leadership which was needed and spoke for the nation when he said, enough is enough.

Of course, we must wait for the police to do their work and the Leveson inquiry to report. But there are some lessons we should learn now.

Firstly, never again can one commercial organisation have so much power and control over our media. In the period ahead, Labour will bring forward proposals for new tougher cross media ownership laws.

Secondly, in Britain a free press is non-negotiable. It was brilliant investigative journalism primarily by the Guardian which forced a reopening of the police investigation when too many vested interests simply hoped it would go away. But with freedom also comes responsibility. Neither the current broken system of self regulation or state oversight will achieve the right balance. We need a new system of independent regulation including proper like for like redress which means mistakes and falsehoods on the front page receive apologies and retraction on the front page. And as in other professions the industry should consider whether people guilty of gross malpractice should be struck off.

Thirdly, a message for Mr Murdoch. Your newspapers and Sky TV are popular with millions of British people. Some people in our Movement might find that uncomfortable but it’s true. However, and yes Conference, we should have said this a long time ago. Mr Murdoch, never again think you can assert political power in the pursuit of your commercial interests or ideological beliefs. This is Britain, Mr Murdoch. The integrity of our media and our politics is not for sale.

And Mr Cameron, I believe in second chances too. So, let me give you another chance to level with the British people. Isn’t it time you and George Osborne came clean about why you appointed Andy Coulson in the first place and despite numerous warnings took him to the heart of our democracy at No 10 Downing Street?

Conference, in just over a year Jeremy Hunt, has gone from rising star to the long list of wannabe former potential Prime Ministers. This Tory-led Government have decimated our world-leading school sports system, launched a concerted attack on public investment in the arts, threatened many libraries and are marginalising creativity in our education system. At a time when jobs and growth should be a top priority their VAT increase is bad for tourism, and delayed broadband roll out, bad for business.

The height of their ambition for London 2012 is to deliver a successful event. In stark contrast to Labour’s Olympic legacy vision to deliver the biggest expansion of sports participation in our history.

But Conference, criticising them is not enough. As Ed has said this week, we have to give people a sense of how we would do things differently. So let me give you some examples.

The success of our creative industries is at serious risk due to global competition, the impact of the new digital economy and the policies of this Government. If these industries are to provide the British jobs of the future we need a government committed not to a helpline but an active, industrial strategy. Earlier this month, Ed and I launched Labour’s new creative industry network. The network will pilot a fairness pledge to encourage these historically closed industries to open up their internships, apprenticeships and jobs to people based on talent, not social background or family networks

I am delighted to announce today that Channel 4, Virgin Media, UK Music, The Royal Shakespeare Company, The Advertising Association and the Sharp Project have agreed to sign up to this pledge. We hope many other businesses and organisations will follow suit and break down barriers which have no place in a 21st Century Britain.

Conference, we should be proud of Labour’s ground-breaking free admissions to museums and galleries. And proud of our great local, national and global arts institutions. This party should celebrate, not be embarrassed by cultural excellence. But we should be concerned that in whole swathes of our country north, east, south and west there are still too many communities which don’t have fair access to great theatre, live music, art, opera, history or heritage.

Conference, cultural inequality offends Labour values. In the same way that every community expects fair access to education, the NHS and policing. We should ask how do we harness the excellence of our great cultural institutions to enrich the lives of all our citizens from the great metropolitan centres to the inner cities and rural communities. I am not arguing in these difficult times for more spending. But even after the cuts £542million is being spent via the Arts Council and National Lottery. As we shape new cultural policy for the future let us lead a national debate about what fair access to the arts and heritage should mean.

Conference, in future I also want us to be radical in putting sport at the heart of our policy agenda. Sport is a health policy, an education policy, an economic policy and a community cohesion policy.

Equally, it is time to ask some fundamental questions about the relationship between grassroots and high level professional sport. To use football as an example. The Premier League is a tremendous commercial success and in many ways has rejuvenated our national game. But can it be right that last year they turned over 2 billion pounds and top flight players are earning an average of 72 thousand pounds per week. While the Football Foundation’s funding which supports improvements to local pitches and changing facilities can only scratch the surface of need and is now being cut. Surely, not only the kids but the thousands of soccer and hockey mums and dads, volunteer coaches and organisers who are the hidden heroes of our grassroots sport have a right to ask how this can be fair. They have a right to expect our Party to ask those questions. We will not let them down. And can I also be clear, as we meet today in this great city of Liverpool, when Parliament resumes Labour wi ll stand shoulder to shoulder with the Hillsborough families in demanding the full disclosure of all government documents relating to that horrific tragedy.

Conference, let me end by saying this. The first Labour Conference I attended was not as a special advisor but a steward. I was told to look out for any dodgy looking delegates. Believe me it was a full time job!

I would never have dreamt that I would have the chance to serve nine years as a minister in a Labour Government and become a member of the Shadow Cabinet.

But I didn’t join the Labour Party in order to join the establishment. I did so because I had a burning desire to help build a more just society. I didn’t want to explain the world as it is, I wanted to change the world. Twenty-two years on that burning desire is as strong as ever. We should oppose this Conservative-led Government when they are wrong with all the strength we can muster. But we must also be the party of change offering a different vision for a better future. That is what I intend to do.

John Healey – 2011 Speech to Labour Party Conference


Below is the text of the speech made by John Healey to Labour Party conference on 28th September 2011.


We’ve heard powerful testimonies today in defence of our NHS from our panel, and in our debate. Thank you.

Today we reject the Tories’ plans.

We back the founding principles of our NHS.

And we dedicate ourselves to winning a Labour government to protect the NHS.

It has been a real privilege to work with an outstanding shadow health team; with many of you in our health unions; and with Norma Stephenson and the Party’s policy commission.

But the greatest privilege has been meeting the men and women of the NHS, and hearing patients’ experiences.

Last week I was with Margaret Pritchard – a long-time community campaigner for Whiston hospital.

She’s never forgotten the NHS under the Tories: ”People were waiting hours on trolleys in the corridor. I know”, she told me, “I was one of them”.

Or Anne McCormack, who I met at Conference this week. Doctors found breast cancer and she said “Thanks to the NHS and what Labour did, I’m here today and not an obituary”.


We take great Labour pride in the creation of the NHS. And in the great improvements people saw during the last 13 years of Labour investment and reform.

Hundreds of new hospitals and health centres.

Thousands more doctors, nurses and specialist staff.

Millions of patients with the shortest ever waits for tests and treatment.


But the NHS was not built by governments.

The NHS was built by nurses and doctors, radiographers and pharmacists, porters and clerks and cleaners.

Built over decades by people from across Britain and the world – committed to curing and caring; sharing their humanity and the high ideal of public service in our NHS.

It was built by working people, through their taxes, willing in the knowledge that care will be there if they need it, free and equal for all.

The NHS – the proudest, greatest Promise of Britain.


Even David Cameron declares he loves the NHS. But he’s never been straight with people.

He’s breaking each and every one of his personal NHS promises:

“Protect the NHS”. Broken.

“Give the NHS a real rise in funding”. Broken

“Stop top-down reorganisations”. Broken. Big time.

That’s why people are starting to see the NHS go backwards again with the Tories. Services cut; treatments denied; long waiting times up.

We’ve seen over a million patients suffer long waits for treatment under David Cameron, breaking Labour’s guarantees to patients.


The Prime Minister is in denial about the damage his Government is doing.

The chaos of the biggest reorganisation in NHS history.

The waste of billions of pounds on new bureaucracy.

The betrayal of our NHS in a health bill which will break up the NHS as a “national” health service and set it up as a full-scale market, ruled for the first time by the full force of competition law.

No one wants this. No one voted for this.

I am proud that it’s Labour that has led the campaign to defend the NHS.

The first to expose and oppose the Tories’ plans last autumn.

Then the long, slow haul of opposition: building alliances behind the scenes; making arguments that others come to accept, then make as well; and – yes – allowing others to claim credit to get results.

David Cameron claimed last month: “The whole health profession is on board for what is now being done”.

Conference, he’s in denial!

He thinks he’s right. Doctors’, nurses’, patients’ groups say he’s wrong.

So this summer we called on the people to help save the NHS.

From the south coast of England, to the northern cities. Labour and union members, together, took to the high streets and the town squares with our campaign.

It’s been a while since many of us can remember people queuing – queuing – to sign up to a Labour petition.


The Tories and the Lib Dems are throwing away Labour’s golden legacy to NHS patients.

Destroying the goodwill of NHS staff to support further reform.

Piling extra pressure on the NHS to make short term cuts, rather than long-term change.

And our health and care services do require reform.

Yesterday Ed Miliband set out our Labour values. He said the rules for care services must change.

People’s confidence in care was shaken by the crisis at Southern Cross. Care for some of the most vulnerable in our society, traded by predatory fund managers who saw elderly people as commodities. Dementia as a high-profit market.

We did not act before but we will in future. So we will regulate for the best business practices as well as the best care standards.

And let us learn lessons for the NHS. The health bill opens up all parts of the NHS to private companies, backed for the first time by a competition regulator and competition courts.

Ministers in private conferences talk about “huge opportunities for the private sector”.

Their civil servants hold secret talks on handing over 22 NHS hospitals to a foreign multinational.

Privatising NHS hospitals will drive a wedge between hospitals and the wider health service.

Companies whose bottom line depends on bringing more patients, more business into their own hospitals, will not collaborate with others to cut admissions, when the treatment for patients can be better and better value elsewhere.

The huge challenge of changing health needs, tighter finances and a more elderly population can only be met through more reform – more say for clinicians; more control for patients; more prevention; more integration of services across hospital, primary and community care.

Let me be clear. There has always been and will be in the future an important contribution for non-NHS providers – including private providers – towards better health care, to supplement not substitute for the NHS.

But let me say now, hospitals are at the heart of our NHS; they should be in public not private hands; dedicated totally to patients, not profits.

So we will oppose any government move to privatise NHS hospitals.

We will guarantee under Labour that NHS hospitals remain in the NHS.

Labour will look instead to develop integrated care organisations to allow primary, secondary and social care to work together. And because our values demand we’re not neutral on who provides care, we will look to promote those that share a true social ethos over those driven by narrow commercial interests.

We make this pledge not because we want no change in the NHS but because we need greater change.

Because our health and care system must reform, and must retain the faith of all who need and use it.


I had an email from a mental health nurse the other day.

He said “you and your Labour colleagues are the last bastion of the NHS; don’t let us and future generations down”.

Conference, the health bill has been through the Commons but the battle is not over.

The NHS was built by the people. It is cherished by the people. It belongs to the people.

Let us tell David Cameron today:

We will give voice to the dissent of people who heard your promises, saw your posters; people who wanted to believe you before the election but are now seeing the truth. You can’t trust the Tories with our NHS.

Bevan said “the NHS will last as long as there are folk with the faith to fight for it”.

Conference, this is our faith. Our fight.

Meg Hillier – 2011 Speech to Labour Party Conference

Below is the text of the speech made by Meg Hillier to the Labour Party conference on 27th September 2011.

Thank you.

Conference, we’ve had an excellent debate, proof that the Labour Party understands the threat to the environment, and we’ve the political will to protect it.

There are people – some of them in the Conservative Party – who are climate change sceptics. They dispute the science, downplay the risks, denounce us as cranks.

Conference, they are wrong, wrong, wrong.

Under Labour, Britain signed up to the toughest carbon reduction targets in the world. We enshrined them in law.

And we did it with Ed Miliband in charge of the Department for Energy and Climate Change.

As Energy Secretary, Ed displayed leadership on the world stage on climate change.

He understood the audacity needed to meet the challenge.

What a contrast with the Department for Energy and Climate Change today. Humiliated almost daily. The laughing stock of Whitehall. Trampled by the Treasury. Undermined by No. 10.

Just look at the government’s record since last year:

The Green Investment Bank – promised in Labour’s manifesto, but hobbled under the Coalition. Delayed, and unable to borrow capital.

Research into bio-fuels – scrapped.

Zero Carbon homes – scrapped.

Charging points for electric cars – scrapped.

Low carbon businesses watching their orders disappear abroad.

A ‘green deal’ for home insulation which promises the earth, but few have even heard of.

Ministers call this the ‘greenest government ever’.

Never has a claim been so much hot air.

The great tragedy is that it doesn’t have to be like this.

The economic recovery could be built on low-carbon growth: growing green firms, world-beating inventions, more apprenticeships, and most of all, what the country is crying out for: new jobs.

Jobs in manufacturing, design and engineering.

On Sunday I met some of the workers at Cammell Laird just across the River Mersey from this conference centre. They’re famed for building battle ships. Now they are gearing up to build wind turbines.

Off-shore turbines the height of the Gherkin in London, blades the span of a jumbo jet’s wings, a diameter the same as the London Eye.

The best of British engineering, delivering green energy.

That’s the way forward.

We need energy security in a dangerous world – a mix of renewables, clean coal, gas and nuclear.

And we should never forget the price some families and some communities pay for coal.

This Movement has always stood shoulder to shoulder with the mining communities. We pay tribute to the four miners who lost their lives. We offer heartfelt condolences to their families and communities.

We should also pay a tribute to their local MP Peter Hain, for his compassion and support in the worst of times.

Safeguarding our environment is not a cost. It is an opportunity, to be seized if we want real growth to return.

The next Labour Government will put the fight against climate change at the top of its agenda, not just because it is the morally right thing to do, to save the lives of millions around the world, but also because we can lead the world in new technologies and create green jobs at home.

We will campaign for poverty and climate change to be tackled at the international summit in Durban this autumn. It’s a vital meeting.

The Energy Secretary didn’t even mention it in his speech last week.

I hear the Prime Minister is not even showing up.

Social justice. Economic efficiency. Environmental protection. The three pillars of the next Labour Government.

And if you have any doubt, look into the eyes of these child workers in Manila Bay.

This stunning, shocking picture is called ‘Where The Pellets Of Poison Are Flooding Their Waters’, words from Bob Dylan’s song ‘A Hard Rain’s Gonna Fall’.

The lives and communities of these little children are being damaged by actions on the other side of the world. Actions we could do something to stop.

Hard Rain is the name given to an amazing series of photographs by Mark Edwards. He’s been documenting the effects of pollution and climate change for over 20 years.

For the sake of children like these, we must stem dangerous climate change.

It’s a hard rain that doesn’t have to fall.

Finally Conference, I must turn to a great national scandal that’s brewing up in every community, every household. Labour has been warning about it for months.

I mean, of course, the scandal of soaring gas and electricity prices.

One after the other, the Big Six energy companies have hiked their prices this summer.

This winter we’ll all start to pay.

There’s a winter fuel crisis coming down the track, and ministers seem helpless to prevent it.

Increasingly, people think the Big Six energy companies are behaving unfairly.

As Ed Miliband said this weekend, they represent a vested interest – a stark example of unaccountable power.

They may be private companies, but they should deliver a public service.

This winter, many thousands will be unable to heat their homes. Many will find their pre-payment meters running out. Many more will struggle to pay the bills.

The people shivering under blankets need an Energy Secretary who can act, not just talk.

This Government has not moved on since Edwina Currie told cold, poor people to put on an extra woolly jumper.

So I am putting the Big Six on notice – the next Labour Government will break up your strangle-hold. More powers for consumers. More players in the market. More Co-ops and social enterprises.

Fairer prices.

And we will insist that they make their tariffs and their bills crystal clear so we can all see the true cost of our energy.

Fair energy prices, green jobs, action on climate change.

A decisive shift to a low-carbon economy.

Leadership on the world stage.

That’s Labour’s promise – one worth fighting for, one worth winning for.

Thank you, Conference.

Harriet Harman – 2011 Speech to Labour Party Conference


Below is the text of the speech made by Harriet Harman, the Deputy Leader of the Labour Party, to Labour Party conference on 26th September 2011.

Thank you, Maryan, for coming to our conference. There can be no end to the suffering in Somalia without an end to the conflict.

And thanks to Islamic Relief and all the aid agencies who are doing such heroic work.

No one listening to Maryan and seeing the work of Islamic Relief can be in any doubt about the terrible suffering in the famine.

And no-one should be in any doubt that our aid is alleviating suffering and saving lives.

Everyone in this country who contributed so generously to the Disasters Emergency Committee appeal should be really proud of what the money they have given is doing.

Everyone is entitled to be proud of what our Department for International Development is doing.

And we should also pay tribute, too, to the massive support that comes from the communities of African origin in this country who are working hard here and sending money back home.

Our aid matters.

It matters to the girls in Afghanistan – who go to school now.

It matters to the villagers in Pakistan whose homes were swept away by the flood – who are getting shelter now.

It matters to the Sierra Leonean women I met in the slums of Freetown – who can get free health care for their children now.

It is harder to make the case for international aid when in this country the government are cutting the police and putting up tuition fees.

We must not make the world’s poorest pay the price of a global financial crisis precipitated by the greed and irresponsibility of the world’s banking system.

But when people are dying unnecessarily and – we can help – that is what we must do.

That is Labour’s longstanding commitment to international development – and why Tony Blair and Gordon Brown made it a huge priority every single day of our Labour government –

– We set up the Department for International Development

– We trebled our aid budget and

– We led, internationally, to drop the debt which hung like a millstone round the neck of people in the poorest countries.

Development helps this country too, by growing the market for world trade and reducing the poverty which ferments instability and conflict.

In their election manifesto, the Tories promised to stick to Labour’s commitment of aid growing to 0.7% by 2013.

We want them to do that.

But while Andrew Mitchell is – to his credit – fighting to live up to our 0.7% promise, most of the Tories are against it – including his fellow cabinet ministers who’re blocking the legislation they promised to put it into law.

We mustn’t let aid be just the next Tory broken promise.

That is why – with the Labour Campaign for International Development – we launched the Keep the Promise campaign.

But there are crucial things on development which no Tory government will ever do.

They’ll never tackle the unfair trade which sees rich countries get richer and the poor get poorer.

They will never tackle the obscene global speculation on food and land that sees profits soar while the poor go hungry.

They will never tackle climate change – which hits first and hardest at the poorest countries. That’s what Ed Miliband did when we were in government. We hear nothing of that now.

The Tories’s team of men only development ministers will never be able to lead the way internationally in empowering women and girls in the developing world.

The Tories will never lead internationally. This government is not doing what Tony and Gordon did – making sure this was raised at every summit and that other countries play their part. We’re doing our bit, but it can’t just be left to us.

Ed Miliband has rightly talked about responsibility. From the top to the bottom. And it’s the same with international development.

We, in the developed world, are responsible for doing what we can to save lives

Governments in developing countries are responsible for spending that aid carefully and fairly. That is their responsibility to us – who give the aid – and above all it is their responsibility to their people – who need that aid.

And there is responsibility – too – on global companies not to rip off developing countries.

Africa has huge reserves of oil, gold, iron, diamonds. The biggest companies make billions of profit. They must publish what they get in profits from each country and what they pay in taxes to each country. Global companies all say they are committed to transparency – but they are not doing it.

No-one can accept the situation where we have to give money to poor countries but those countries – which are rich in natural resources – don’t get their fair share of the profits from their mines.

The truth is, more is lost to people in poor countries from tax dodging by global companies than is paid in aid.

We need to be able to see global companies acting as a force for good – not undermining development as an engine of exploitation.

The government have said they want this to happen – but they are doing nothing about it. That must change.

Conference, international development is not about charity, it’s about rights.

It’s not just about philanthropy, it’s about justice

We are in the Labour Party because we hate injustice and inequality and together we will fight against it

Our fantastic DFID front bench team – Glenys Kinnock, Mark Lazarowicz, and Rushanara Ali – together with faith groups, aid agencies, diaspora communities and Labour members will fight for a fair and equal world.

Sadiq Khan – 2011 Speech to Labour Party Conference

Below is the text of the speech made by Sadiq Khan, the Shadow Secretary of State for Justice, to the Labour Party conference on 28th September 2011.


It’s a privilege and a pleasure to be here today for the first time as your Shadow Secretary of State for Justice.

This past 12 months the challenges of our criminal justice system have become all too apparent.

The groups and campaigning organisations; I’ve met the prisons, young offenders institutions and courts; I’ve visited the judiciary and legal professionals I’ve listened to; and the victims whose experiences I’ve heard.

Take Barry and Margaret Mizen who, following the tragic and unprovoked murder of their young son Jimmy, have channelled all their energies into working towards a safer community for young people across London through the Jimmy Mizen Foundation.

I’m honoured to have Barry advising my policy review.

And the probation officer in Preston with 30 years of experience who spoke of her frustration and disappointment at seeing several generations of the same family come into conflict with the law.

These experiences have shaped my thinking and have reminded me of the progress we made in government but highlighted the hard work that still needs to be done.

As you know, I shadow the Justice Secretary Ken Clarke.

Someone once said that a downside of being in the Shadow Cabinet is that you begin to resemble the cabinet minister that you shadow!

Well, so far, I don’t wear hush puppies.

Don’t smoke cigars.

And manage to stay awake during my leader’s speeches.

Ken and I are very different.

Unlike Ken, I’m not hopelessly out of touch on the issues of crime and justice.

I grew up on a council estate in my South London constituency of Tooting.

I know that often victims and criminals live side by side.

And I understand how important it is for communities blighted by crime to gain important respite from persistent and serial offenders by the handing down of custodial sentences.

Over the past year some of you may have agreed with the tone and sentiment of Ken Clarke’s verdict on our justice system.

And I admit he can sometimes talk a good talk.

After all, who could disagree in principle with a ‘rehabilitation revolution’?

But, Conference, do not be hoodwinked.

Because of Ken Clarke’s and this Government’s policies the Ministry of Justice faces a budget cut of a quarter risking the effective functioning of our justice system.

Dedicated experienced professionals in our prison and probation service face uncertainty about the future of their crucial work.

Even his own Chief Inspector of Prisons, Nick Hardwick, said this month he’s found no evidence at all of a rehabilitation revolution!

However, I’m not going to pretend that had we won the last election I wouldn’t have made cuts.

I would’ve closed down some courts.

We would’ve introduced a new scheme for contracting solicitors for criminal legal aid.

I would’ve continued Labour’s work on payment by results!

But let’s be clear, not only are the Coalition’s cuts deeper and faster than we would’ve made but Ken Clarke along with Teresa May has simply rolled over to the Treasury without even a whimper.

Because of their timidity and complacency, communities up and down the country will pay the price for botched law and order policies.

With no strategy for cutting crime, this Government’s policies on crime and justice are a shambles.

The truth is the Tories cannot be trusted on law and order.

Ken Clarke has not only fallen asleep on the job but he’s also dangerously out of touch.

Remember his insensitive and offensive comments on rape?

On Radio 5Live, and in response to the statement “rape is rape, with respect?”

He said, and I quote: “No, it’s not”.

Mr Clarke, let me tell you rape is rape.

On our watch, we prioritised victims of rape.

We strengthened the law on consent.

Trained 500 more specialist rape prosecutors.

Increased investment on centres offering help to victims of rape and sexual assaults.

And, because of human rights legislation, rape victims are no longer put through the traumatic experience of being cross-examined in person by their alleged assailants.

And remember this Government’s proposals for a 50% reduction in sentence for early guilty pleas?

This would’ve meant that someone pleading guilty to rape being back on the streets after only 15 months.

I believe we should all worry that this Coalition Government threatens to undermine our hard work.

This Government inherited crime 43% lower than in 1997.

We were the first government in history to leave office with crime lower than when we began.

Leaving a justice system much better resourced be it the prison estate, probation services, youth justice or diversion and rehabilitation policies.

More joined up than ever, building the necessary multi-agency, cross-government approach to tackling re-offending.

Investing in prevention policies like Sure Start, parenting classes, early intervention projects, Educational Maintenance Allowance and much more.

Record numbers of police and community support officers.

And yes, being tough on crime and tough on the causes of crime.

As relevant in 2011 as it was when Tony Blair first uttered it in 1993.

But, Conference, I know all wasn’t rosy on our watch.

Re-offending rates nudged down far too slowly.

Too many in our justice system are repeat offenders.

The public perceive non-custodial sentences as a soft option.

And there’s the challenge of moving on from the overly-simplistic “prison works” versus “prison doesn’t work” debate.

Of course, society should seek to prevent crimes taking place in the first place.

That’s what we mean by being tough on the causes of crime.

Recognising the complex and deep roots of criminality.

In government we drew together agencies to work on improving education, health, housing, employment opportunities, seeking out and eradicating inequality.

Sure Start through to EMA.

All now threatened by this Government.

But, it’s also about having enough police to catch those who still commit criminal acts.

Yet under this government, police numbers are falling.

Getting prevention right should make the job of Secretary of State for Justice easier!

Less crime and less repeat crime would mean fewer people in our criminal justice system.

But Conference, we shouldn’t forget that we must also punish those that commit crime.

That’s what we mean by ‘tough on crime’.

It’s an absolutely fundamental part of any justice system that for those committing serious and violent offences, custody is the only appropriate option.

My own background has shown to me that we owe it to communities blighted by crime to give them respite from criminals through custodial sentences.

We owe it to victims to punish criminals.

But we also owe it to communities and victims to prevent offenders drifting back into criminality.

And this isn’t about being easy on offenders it’s ultimately about making communities safer by preventing offenders from returning to crime.

The National Audit Office estimate that the economic cost of offending by young people alone is £11billion a year.

But the social impacts blighted communities, frightened residents, victims of crime are huge too.

For Labour, we’ve an economic and a social imperative to reduce crime.

It’s a win-win. We want to eradicate the economic and social costs, reform offenders, and support communities and victims dealing with the consequences of crime.

Justice relies on the public having confidence in those in authority holding to account those responsible for criminal actions and victims need confidence they’ll be treated properly.

During our time in government:

We made progress with victims

We introduced victim impact statements

We increased investment in victims support

We established a Victims Commissioner and did much more.

Yet, all this is in danger of being undone by this Government.

They’ve slashed resources to victim support services.

Compensation for victims of overseas terrorism such as those affected by bombings in Mumbai and Bali has shamefully yet to materialise.

They’ve refused to create the Office of Chief Coroner – a post that would provide an appeals system for families unhappy with a coroner’s decision on the death of a loved one.

They are planning to slash the budget of the Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority.

By restricting the definition of domestic violence, Ken Clarke has removed access to legal aid for some of the most vulnerable women in society posing a threat to women’s safety and that of any children in the family.

And, in fact, this Government is cutting legal aid altogether for housing, debt, benefits and employment issues at a time when people need this the most.

Advice deserts being created as law centres and CABs close down.

And their changes to “no-win, no-fee” cases mean that people like Milly Dowler’s family and other victims of wrong doing by organisations wealthier and more powerful won’t be able to hold them to account.

I want the Labour Party to build a justice system with victims at its heart.

Giving the public, including victims, the confidence that the justice system is on their side.

My policy review will be reporting next year on policies to strike the right balance between punishment and reform, setting out what works to protect the public, support victims, and stop crime.

But, Conference, I am able to announce today that a future Labour Government will introduce a new Victims Law as called for by the Victims Commissioner, Louise Casey, enshrined in statute so that the rights of bereaved families of victims of homicide are honoured.

Delivering effective justice, and treating victims with respect and dignity.

Supporting victims through all stages of the process, including the deeply traumatic experience of when a case reaches court.

Under Labour, victims will be at the heart of our criminal justice system.

And I will work with victims groups to ensure we get this right.

This summer’s riots show that we need a government that isn’t out of touch.

Our country deserves better than knock down justice.

We need to make the important decisions on crime and justice at the same time as making tough fiscal choices.

But Ken Clarke and this Government are simply getting these choices wrong.

It will be down to us to put it right.

There’s only one party that can be trusted on law and order.

That’s us – the Labour Party.

Carwyn Jones – 2011 Speech to Labour Party Conference

Below is the text of the speech made by Carwyn Jones to the Labour Party conference on 26th September 2011.

Cadeirydd, cynhadledd. Diolch am y croeso.

Chair, Conference. Thank you for that welcome.

Forgive me if I look a tad pleased this morning but I am sure you will understand the reason is that Wales have just beaten Namibia in the Rugby World Cup!

Colleagues, on the 5th May our Party had the best ever result since devolution, and Labour formed the Government!

On every measure – the number of seats won, the number of votes cast and the share of vote – Welsh Labour won the election.

And importantly for this Party, it sent a message across these islands.

A message that despite the outcome of the last General Election, Labour is back in the ‘saddle’ – setting out an alternative vision to people right across the UK.

A message that amidst the laissez faire trademark approach of the Tory and Lib Dem coalition – we in Wales have shown that people from all backgrounds will come out and vote positively for a set of policies that offer them vision and hope for the future.

Be in no doubt colleagues – our Party can replicate the success we have enjoyed in Wales across the rest of the UK.

But the election of a Labour Government on the 5th of May was not our only success this year.

On 3rd March, the people of Wales voted overwhelmingly in favour of the Assembly having powers to make ‘Welsh Laws’.

Laws made in Wales, for the people of Wales.

This is the year that Wales truly came of age. And at the heart of this change was the Labour Party.

I would like to thank Ed personally for his support – not just during ‘Yes’ campaign, but for his frequent visits to Wales since becoming Party Leader.

Diolch i chi Ed – you are a true friend of Wales!

Also, I would like to thank Peter Hain for the way he has thrown himself into the ‘Refounding Labour’ debate over recent months.

Peter – you have done the Party a fantastic service – well done!

So, you may ask – “What was this vision that you offered to the people of Wales back in May?”

Well Conference, our manifesto was the most comprehensive ever put before the Welsh people.

And it was born of travelling the length and breadth of Wales over many months – talking to doctors and patients, to those providing social care and those relying on it for their everyday needs.

Listening to teachers and pupils, to the people who collect our rubbish.

To the voluntary groups who work tirelessly in their local communities to ensure youngsters get a chance.

Our Programme for Government – which will be published tomorrow – will have at its heart the five pledges that we offered to the people of Wales at the election and a great deal more.

We will deliver:

More apprenticeships and training for young people – unlike the Tories, we won’t accept another lost generation of young people;

Better access to GP surgeries in the evenings and on Saturdays and health checks for the over 50s;

More funding for all our schools;

An extra 500 police community support officers to keep our streets safe; and

More children benefiting from free childcare and health visiting.

Conference, the world economy is in a difficult state. However, that does not mean we can just sit back and let the tide wash over us. Far from it.

In Wales, whilst we don’t have all the economic levers at our disposal, we can still make a difference to people’s lives.

Unlike the Tories, we will not fail in our duty to help our people during difficult times.

This Party was founded on standing shoulder-to-shoulder with the people through hard times.

We will never abandon that principle!

Conference, I just want to say something about the NHS.

We are watching with great sadness the mess the Tories and Lib Dems are making of the health service in England.

An NHS being dismantled by Tory dogma and their obsession with the market. One where waiting lists are running out of control, and where people are still subject to a ‘tablet tax’ on prescriptions.

Welsh doctors are telling me they’d much prefer to work in Wales.

That’s because:

In Wales, we will not privatise the NHS.

In Wales, we will not introduce market principles and competition in the NHS.

And in case anyone is any doubt, in Wales, free prescriptions are here to stay.

The NHS – made in Wales and safe in Wales – under Labour!

Conference, I know the people I serve, are people to whom fairness – or chwarae teg – comes as second nature.

People who know the true meaning of community.

Indeed, it was that sense of community that was witnessed by the world in recent days, following the tragic events at the Gleision mine in the Swansea Valley.

We must build on that sense of community.

Conference, our Party in Wales is in a truly privileged position and I am in no doubt that now we have to deliver:

On jobs and growth in the Welsh economy;

Equipping our youngsters with the skills they need for the future;

Providing more and better quality homes; and

Underpinning it all, the Labour values of social justice and equality of opportunity for all.

Conference – together, we can make that future a reality.

Together, we will build a better Wales.