by Nick Wright
Ed Miliband was set to make a speech at the 2011 Trades Union Congress. One of my duties was to produce Unity! – the daily newspaper published to delegates by the Communist Party.
Unity! has been continually published since the 1990s and during the sharp struggles with the TUC and Labour Party right wing – the people who brought us wars, privatisation, PFI and class collaboration – Unity! gave expression to the frustration, anger and humour of delegates.
Ed Miliband had made some hesitant but welcome moves to reposition Labour and for his encouragement I wrote the following spoof, billed as an advance copy of the leader’s speech to delegates.
With Jeremy Corbyn on course to lead the Labour Party some of it may come to fruition.
Comrades, sisters and brothers,
Our country is governed by a Cabinet of millionaires and ruled by a cabal of bankers, bosses and bureaucrats. The main force that represents the millions of people in Britain who work for a living — and the millions who are denied the right to work — is represented here in this hall.
My task as leader of the Labour Party – a party that was founded following a TUC decision — is to find a way to ensure that the interests of the people who create the wealth of our nations is expressed in government policy.
A Labour government under my leadership will repudiate the Tory policy of austerity and cuts. You cannot cut your way out of a recession. We will begin an irreversible shift in wealth and power from the parasitic rich to the working people.
The banks and insurance industry will be taken into public, co-oporative and social ownership.
We will initiate a massive programme of job creation involving a strict control over the export of capital and massive investment in British manufacturing, renewable energy creation, housing and infrastructure.
We will legislate for the renewal of a progressive taxation system in which those who live off profits, rent and interest will pay much more while those who live from the sale of their labour will see their taxes spent on a profound renewal of the welfare state.
We will reverse the tide of privatisation. We will say to those who profited from the private finance initiative that any profits will be reinvested in public services and any assets created by such investment or stay public for ever.
We will not mortgage the future of our children. For us people always come before profit.
Rail, bus and a transport will be returned to public ownership and a national integrated freight transport corporation created.
We will end foreign military adventures. Our Armed Forces are for the defence of these isles. We will not ask our service men and women to risk their lives and limbs in defence of corporate profits or foreign despots.
We will squeeze the profit motive out of the NHS.
No child will receive a less privileged education than any other. Education will be free, fully comprehensive with private schools integrated into the state system.
Equal pay will be enforced and no employer will be allowed to profit from discrimination.
The balance of power and responsibility at work will shift towards the workers – with a repeal of the antiunion laws and a restoration of the right to take solidarity action – alongside a vast expansion of worker participation in the management of industry, services and the public sector.
A Labour government cannot do this by itself and I invite the millions of British trade unionists to join us in this endeavour. Accordingly we will introduce a system of one person one vote in the election of our leadership, in the formulation of our policies and in the selection of our candidates. Each individual trade unionist who demonstrates their affiliation to Labour through their union membership,each MP and MEP, each councillor and individual member of a constituency party or socialist society will have just one precious vote. That is democracy. Thank you.