This week Theresa May unveiled her Queen’s Speech, while in Brighton our union’s national delegate conference continues. The contrast between the two could not be more stark.
At our conference we have discussed some of the real big issues faced by our country and our communities. From the despicable cap on public sector pay, to the reality of life in our workplaces. From the horrors of child marriage to the desperate need for a change in housing policy – now brought tragically and painfully to wider public attention by the Grenfell Tower fire.
Our conference is once again having the real and necessary debate about our country’s future. Unfortunately, the same can’t be said for our country’s government.
Theresa May has shown not only her weakness and desperation to cling onto power, but also her inability to grasp just how much our nation cries out as one to demand change.
People have had enough of austerity, and want proper investment in schools, hospitals, police forces and local services. Yet there was none of this in the Queen’s Speech – because tackling these problems just isn’t in the DNA of the Conservative Party.
Nor was there anything about pay.
Nurses, teaching assistants, council workers, care staff and other public sector employees should be rewarded for their hard work with a long overdue wage rise. This must be the year in which we take the fight to the Conservatives and smash the pay cap once and for all.
The Conservative’s manifesto has been thrown in the dustbin of history – so no more axing of free school meals, no more expanding grammar schools, no more dementia tax and no more fox hunting.
Yet we cannot celebrate just yet. We now have a zombie government stumbling onwards, desperately trying to keep itself alive for as long as it can. It might have no heart, and no brain, but it’s still squeezing the life out of our country as it goes.
That’s why we need a Labour government, led by Jeremy Corbyn. Jeremy will be joining us in Brighton tomorrow and I know that he’ll be setting out his positive, open and inspiring vision for a different kind of country – one that benefits the many, not the few.
I hope that when we next meet for national delegate conference, we’ll be welcoming our friend and comrade back not just as Labour leader – but as our next Prime Minister. And your union will do everything in its power to make sure that happens.