It was great to be in Liverpool yesterday to address UNISON’s Labour Link Forum – especially at such a crucial time for our movement and our party.
We may not have won the election on 8 June, but we smashed the economic and political consensus that said we could never win from the left.
That establishment consensus is now in tatters, and our union should be proud of the role we played in that.
For years UNISON has argued – through the long and difficult years of austerity – for a different kind of country. Not capitulating to the Tories but taking them on, a position that was vindicated by the election results.
Now we need to push on, and go one step further – and elect the great Labour government that UNISON members and our public services so desperately need. The polls show that the country has turned decisively in our favour, and the next election is in Labour’s grasp, as long as we remain united and focussed.
The recent election showed how much impact our union can have. Our issues became the country’s issues, and our policies were integral to Labour’s manifesto. Now, thanks in great part to the work of so many UNISON members, there are now ten new UNISON MPs joining their colleagues in Parliament.
That’s good for Labour and it’s good for UNISON, because Labour is always strongest when it’s working in real partnership with unions.
Under Jeremy Corbyn, that is what we have – a real partnership, based on trust and respect. Working together we can deliver a radical and transformative Labour government, changing our country for the better. But there is so much to do, and no time to waste.