Jeremy Corbyn  

Speech, Glasgow 28th. May 2017

Friends,

Let me first of all reflect on this week’s tragic and horrific events in Manchester.

None of us here can understand why any human being would walk into a concert of young people and children and act in the grotesque and depraved way that that this person did.

It was a horrific act of inexplicable violence against innocent people who were intent only on enjoying a concert and spending time with friends and family.

But we cannot allow such acts of terror and hate to divide us.

When I stood on Albert Square at the vigil in Manchester, there was a mood of unwavering defiance.

The very act of thousands of people coming together sent a powerful message of solidarity and love. It was a profound human impulse to stand together, caring and strong. It was inspiring.

In the past few days, we have all perhaps thought a bit more about our country, our communities and our people.

What is totally clear is that goodness, decency and the best of humanity will overcome hate.

The best as well as the worst of humanity was displayed in Manchester last week.

That selfless sense of public service, decency and humanity was shown by our public service workers.

The dedication, the commitment and the sense of responsibility to take care of others of our ambulance men and women, our paramedics, our doctors and nurses and all the staff working in our NHS, our firefighters, our police and all those that keep us safe was on display last week.

The best of humanity was shown by the countless acts of kindness, the community spirit and the tremendous efforts to help people.

The taxi drivers ferrying people around with their meters off, people taking people into their homes and all the others acts of kindness showed the best of humanity.
They are the people of Manchester. But we know that attacks, such as the one at the Manchester Arena, could have happened anywhere and that the people in any city, town or village or community in Britain would have responded in the same way.
That is the solidarity that defines our United Kingdom. That is the country I meet on the streets every day; the human warmth, the basic decency and kindness. That is the country we seek to serve.

It is our compassion that defines the Britain I love. And it is compassion that the bereaved families need most of all at this time. To them I say: the whole country reaches out its arms to you and will be here for you not just this week, but in the weeks and years to come.

Love is stronger than hate and we will not allow the peddlers of hate and violence to divide our communities.

Let us stand together united and express again our love and solidarity with the people of that great city of Manchester.

As always I’m delighted to be in Scotland and to be amongst good friends. I am also delighted to in Glasgow – a city that has so much in common with that great city of Manchester.

Both are cities known for their great football clubs (yes, including Partick Thistle!), for their culture, their music, their politics which has given so much to the Labour and trade union movement, and of course for their people who are well known for their strength, their resilience, and their humour.

Yesterday, I was at Wembley where a team in red - who were deemed the underdogs - won.

It is also brilliant to be amongst such fantastic new and fresh representatives of our party.

Were they not just fantastic, are they not just fantastic?

The future of our party is in good hands, it’s clear from our candidates here tonight and all the rest of them standing across the country that we have the talent, the enthusiasm, the commitment and the dedication to advance and achieve our positive vision for Scotland and for the whole of the country.

What you have heard is young and fresh candidates and I am proud to stand here alongside them here in Glasgow tonight.

I also proud of the campaign here in Scotland during this General Election campaign led by Kezia Dugdale and Alex Rowley. This is a campaign to transform our country and win here in Scotland.

Our party - and our manifesto for the many not the few - is standing in the finest traditions of Scottish Labour. We are the party of Keir Hardie, Jimmy Maxton and Jenny Lee. We are walking in their footsteps and I hope they would be proud of us today.

Campaign activities were suspended this week. It was important we paused campaigning to remember the victims of last week’s terrible events and to reflect on the horrors experienced by people in the Manchester Arena.

It was also vital that we helped to try and soothe the shock and sadness felt in the wider Manchester area and across the rest of the country.

But my friends we must always ensure that terrorism cannot and will never ever win.

This must mean that we do not stop or compromise our values and that we do not stop or indefinitely suspend the institutions that sustain and entrench those values.

If we do that we give succour to those who wish to attack us and who want to divide us.

Our democracy is one of those great institutions.

The democratic process is a cherished expression of our society and is something that understands the importance of providing a voice for the voiceless and hope to those who want to see change and a better way.

Our movement fought for and won the right of all of the people to vote and we were at the centre of the struggle to create the democracy we have and we should never, ever compromise on our democracy.

Today’s event and the way the General Election campaign restarted on Friday are an essential mark of our country's determination to defend our democracy and the unity that the terrorists have sought to attack.

Terror will never prevent us going about our daily lives nor will we allow it to derail our democratic process.

Democracy is about deciding what kind of country we want to live in.

It is right that we still do this tonight and for the remaining 10 days of this campaign.

We have just 10 days left to all get out there and speak to people about the choice at this election and about the future of our country.

So please get out there and do everything you can.

This is a historic opportunity to build the kind of society that transfers wealth and power to the many, offering hope to everyone.

Do we want a country that values our public services? That invests in our NHS, our police, our schools, colleges and universities?

Or do people want a country that manages the decline of public services and a country that does not invest enough in our most essential services and which systematically cuts resources for them?

Do we want to live in a country that values our elderly people and the service and commitment they have made to our society?

Or do we want to live in a country that provides them with enough of pension so that they can live out the rest of their lives with the dignity they deserve?
A country that provides them a social care service that is sufficiently resourced and properly cares for our older people when they need to be and where social care staff are paid what they deserve.

A country that is committed to ensuring our policing is fit for the job – with a determination to have a safer Britain in a safer world.

Or do you want to live in a country where our older people are not guaranteed a proper income and a country that does not invest sufficiently in social care and its staff and which cuts funding to our police?

I know the type of country I want live in. I know what type of country you want to live in.

I want to live in a country that invests in our police, that’s why we have promised an extra 10,000 police on our streets… which will provide additional resources to the Scottish Parliament to invest in Scotland. Something that I know Scottish Labour is committed to.

And I want to live in a country that invests in our public services and a country that looks after our older people.

I want to live in a country that builds social housing again.

I want to live in a country that doesn’t walk on the other side when they see people homeless in the shop doorways.

I want to live in a country that doesn’t crush the hopes and dreams of our young people with debt and insecurity.

That’s why we have committed to the biggest house building programme in recent memory.. . just as Scottish Labour has done with their commitment to build 60,000 homes in Scotland.

We all surely want to live in a country that values work and the wealth creators on the shop floor; not one that values the rigged system that helps the likes of Mike Ashley and Philip Green.

That’s why we have committed to paying people a real living wage of £10 an hour; a policy that I know will benefit nearly half a million people in Scotland. And that why we have vowed to ban zero-hours contracts; which will benefit nearly 60,000 Scottish workers who currently don’t know how much they will earn from one week to the next. That insecurity... it's got to stop.

The truth is that at this election people are facing a fundamental choice.

Only two parties can win this election. It is between the Labour Party offering hope, transformation and renewal of our society and a promise to become again a society of social justice and greater equality.

Or, a Tory party intent on managing decline of our public services, a Tory party that cuts support and services to working people….. while cutting taxes for the very rich and for the biggest businesses.

We can either tax the big corporations and the top 5 per cent a bit more, or we can continue to pay the social price - crisis in our NHS, stagnant wages and a housing crisis.

Let’s be clear, that’s what Conservatives offer - five more years of the many paying the social price of an economy run for the few.

The Tories tried to hide it in their frankly dishonest manifesto.

But the truth is now out.

I quote: “Britain would be subject to at least another five years of austerity.

"The figures in the Conservative manifesto are actually cuts in spending.

"And that means there’s a risk to the quality of public services.”

Not my words. That’s the damning verdict of the Institute of Fiscal Studies – the leading think-tank on tax and spending. I'm glad the truth is out at last.

And that’s the reality of what a Tory government would mean.

They won’t reverse the tens of billions in tax giveaways to their wealthy friends but they will impose on working people another big dose of austerity.

I ask people in Scotland who is it to be? A Labour Party for the many not the few or a Tory Party only concerned with protecting its powerful and wealthy friends and donors.

In Scotland I know you have an added dimension in the shape of the SNP.

I have made my views absolutely clear over the past few months about how their obsession with another referendum is unwanted and unnecessary.

It is a tragedy for Scots that they have not used the full powers of this Parliament to tackle poverty and inequality.

Recent figures show that the numbers of children living in poverty have gone up 40,000 in the past year, to 260,000.

That is 260,000 young people here in Scotland right now, as we speak, disadvantaged from the start of their lives as a result of political and economic decisions made at Holyrood and Westminster.

Yet new stronger powers are available to the Scottish Government – powers the SNP demanded but refuse to use to solve the problems on their doorstep.

Our mission is first and foremost to make our country one that ends poverty and inequality and ensures that the life chances of a child in Easterhouse or Possilpark are the same as those of the children in Bearsden or the West End.

Our mission is to wipe out the shame of health inequalities, in this great city and every other city across our country.

And it's only Labour’s manifesto, which will annually provide billions of pounds of additional resources necessary to the Scottish Parliament that can achieve that.

So I say directly to people who have recently voted Tory or SNP have a look at our manifesto, listen to our vision for our society and compare that with the records of the SNP at Holyrood and Tories at Westminster.

I am confident you will find that only Labour has a plan for an investment driven economy that will deliver for the many not the few.

I am very proud of our manifesto for lots of reasons.

It is a comprehensive plan to transform Britain for the many not the few.

I am particularly proud that it recognises and seeks to develop the imagination and inspiration of all our people.

Scotland has a powerful tradition of working class writers and artists, who wrote with passion and experience as the voice of the downtrodden against the rich and powerful. That oppositional writing and poetry - from Rabbie Burns to Irvine Welsh - should inspire us all and show what we can achieve.

That’s why I’m so proud that our manifesto includes an arts pupil premium so every child can learn a musical instrument. All of us have a painting, a poem, a song that can inspire others and change lives in us. We will unleash our people’s creativity.

And that creativity of all our people will help build a Britain for the many not the few.

Yes, our vision challenges the notion of Scottish independence because we say that if we all stand together things can and they will change.

We are offering hope to the people of Britain who are crying out for it.

Hope for the young person wanting to go to university but worried they can’t afford to go.

Hope for decent, secure and well paid work – with a real living wage, increased rights in the workplace, the repeal of the Tory Trade Union Act and a ban on zero hours contracts.

Hope for fairness in the workplace for our hard pressed public service workers whose wages have decreased year on year under the Tories – by lifting the pay cap in the public sector.

Hope that local government and the essential services it provides will once again be properly resourced – no longer will we cut local government funding cut to the bone.

Hope to those communities, far too many of whom, have been left behind after their industries were killed off – as we ensure people are paid properly and good quality jobs are created through the massive investment promised by our national investment bank - £20bn worth of investment of that in Scotland.

Hope to pensioners – as we protect the triple lock on pensions, properly resource social care and keep the Winter Fuel Allowance, and bring decency for the WASPI women.

It is Labour that offers a vision that will fundamentally renewal of our society. Labour will renew our NHS, our schools, our social care system, our police, our fire services and our local government.

We know we all sink or swim together.

Labour knows that to achieve a safer Britain and strive for a safer world means that we all have to stand together.

When the Tories offer tax cuts to their rich friends, we say let’s make life livable for the many first.

When the Tories want to balance the books on the backs of the many, we say let’s tell the wealthy and big corporations to start paying the tax you owe.

Actually, these are very simple choices. But choices that will make a difference to millions of people.

And it's a simple choice before the country in this election:

The Labour way of working - for the good of the entire community, or the Tory way which is perpetuating the grotesque level of inequality that already exists within our society.

We know which way works – the Labour way, for the many not the few.

This election is an enormous opportunity for us to put our vision of a Britain for the many not the few into practice.

We have 10 days to go. Just 10 days to realise our hopes and dreams.

This election is different because we, the Labour Party, are truly taking on the establishment and the whole economic consensus that saw wealth flood to the top and hold back the rest of us.

A political consensus allowed that economic consensus to thrive. That's what's known as transactional politics - offer a little bit to group A and a little bit to group B to just get enough to hold onto power.

This election is different because we are putting forward transformational politics - a big vision for a better society run for the many not the few.

The establishment has all sorts of power and tricks, but we have hundreds of thousands of members and millions of voters ready to stand up and be counted...

This is our chance. I ask you all to be strong.

And think of all those who came before us to build a better world. We should celebrate them, their knowledge, hope and strength and turn it into a 21st century vision of opportunity for the many.

We can win and build the society we all want - one that works for the many not the few.

Over to you - go out and win on June 8th.

 

Revealed : SNP Recommended 1 per cent NHS Pay Cap

25 May 2017

The SNP government recommended NHS pay rises be capped at 1 per cent, it emerged today.

At First Minister’s Questions, Labour health spokesperson Anas Sarwar revealed how the SNP’s own submission to the NHS pay review body recommended a 1 per cent overall cost cap.

Mr Sarwar was speaking after a UNISON rally outside Holyrood called for an end to pay freezes.

The SNP voted against a Labour motion in Holyrood earlier this month to scrap the pay cap.

Previous independent research has revealed that the average nurses is £3,400 worse off due to the pay cap not rising in line with the cost of living.

Labour Health spokesperson Anas Sarwar said:

“NHS staff need a pay rise, but it's now in black-and-white that the SNP want any pay rise to be capped at 1 per cent.

“On Sunday night, Nicola Sturgeon found herself heckled by a nurse over NHS pay. Nurses in our health service have faced on average a real terms cut of £3,400 as a result of the pay cap.

“Nicola Sturgeon has tried to spin her way out of this by saying it was the decision of an independent pay body – but her government's own submission to that body recommended a 1 per cent cap.

"Our NHS staff are the foundation of our health service, but they aren’t getting the support and they resource they need from the SNP government.

“There is a clear choice at this election between Labour MPs who will fight for better wages and public services, or SNP MPs who will fight for a second independence referendum the majority of Scots don’t want.”

The SNP government recommended NHS pay rises be capped at 1 per cent, it emerged today.

At First Minister’s Questions, Labour health spokesperson Anas Sarwar revealed how the SNP’s own submission to the NHS pay review body recommended a 1 per cent overall cost cap.

Mr Sarwar was speaking after a UNISON rally outside Holyrood called for an end to pay freezes.

The SNP voted against a Labour motion in Holyrood earlier this month to scrap the pay cap.

Previous independent research has revealed that the average nurses is £3,400 worse off due to the pay cap not rising in line with the cost of living.

Labour Health spokesperson Anas Sarwar said:

“NHS staff need a pay rise, but it's now in black-and-white that the SNP want any pay rise to be capped at 1 per cent.

“On Sunday night, Nicola Sturgeon found herself heckled by a nurse over NHS pay. Nurses in our health service have faced on average a real terms cut of £3,400 as a result of the pay cap.

“Nicola Sturgeon has tried to spin her way out of this by saying it was the decision of an independent pay body – but her government's own submission to that body recommended a 1 per cent cap.

"Our NHS staff are the foundation of our health service, but they aren’t getting the support and they resource they need from the SNP government.

“There is a clear choice at this election between Labour MPs who will fight for better wages and public services, or SNP MPs who will fight for a second independence referendum the majority of Scots don’t want.”

 

Kezia Dugdale : Send a message to the Nationalists

22 May 2017



 

Food Parcel Figures Should Shame the SNP

15 May 2017

Figures on food parcels should ‘shame’ the Tories and the SNP, Kezia Dugdale said today.

On a visit in Glasgow, the Scottish Labour leader revealed that food banks have handed out nearly half a million emergency food parcels under the SNP and the Tories.

Labour analysis of Trussell Trust figures shows that 488,766 three-day emergency food parcels have been handed out since 2011, with more than 150,000 going to children.

Labour said further cuts would drive more families into poverty and towards food banks. A Labour government would deliver a real living wage of £10 an hour and invest in local services.

Scottish Labour leader Kezia Dugdale said:

“It should shame the SNP and the Tories that working families can’t afford to feed themselves.

“A Labour government will end austerity in the UK. Labour will invest in local services, grow the economy and deliver a real living wage of £10 an hour.

“We need Labour MPs fighting for better wages and more opportunities, not SNP MPs fighting for a divisive second independence referendum."

 

INDYREF2 is “Unwanted and Unnecessary”- Corbyn

15 May 2017

15 May 2017 Labour’s General Election manifesto will brand Nicola Sturgeon’s plans for a divisive second independence referendum as ‘unwanted and unnecessary’.

The manifesto, to be unveiled by leader Jeremy Corbyn tomorrow, will state: “Labour opposes a second Scottish independence referendum.

“It is unwanted and unnecessary, and we will campaign tirelessly to ensure Scotland remains part of the UK. Independence would lead to turbo-charged austerity for Scottish families.”

Scottish Labour leader Kezia Dugdale will join Mr Corbyn for the manifesto launch in West Yorkshire.

Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn said: “Scotland doesn’t need or want a second independence referendum.

"We need the SNP government to get on with the job of governing. The SNP government should be using the existing powers of the Scottish Parliament to focus on jobs, grow the economy, help family incomes and invest in public services.

"Holding another referendum on leaving the UK is the wrong thing to do for Scotland’s economy, especially when there is so much economic uncertainty from the Tories’ plans for a reckless Brexit.

“Labour will campaign tirelessly to ensure Scotland remains part of the UK. Independence would lead to turbo-charged austerity for Scottish families.”

Scottish Labour leader Kezia Dugdale said: “By voting Labour on June 8, Scots can tell Nicola Sturgeon that we don’t want another divisive independence referendum.

“Voters can reject a second referendum and deeper Tory cuts with one vote for Labour.

“Voting Tory doesn’t send Nicola Sturgeon a message; it sends Theresa May back to Number Ten. A Labour government led by Jeremy Corbyn will work for the many, not the few.”

 

Sturgeon’s Shambles on Currency

15 May 2017

Nicola Sturgeon’s currency plans for an independent Scotland were branded a ‘shambles’ today following her interview with BBC Radio Scotland.

Speaking on Good Morning Scotland, the First Minister refused to say what currency a separate Scotland would use and signalled the pound could ultimately be ditched.

Asked what the SNP’s Growth Commission’s interim report has recommended on currency, she said: “We haven’t got to that stage yet. But the starting point for Scotland is we’d use the pound until we decided to do something else.”

Recently, Deputy First Minister John Swinney refused six times in a radio interview to answer the basic question about currency, SNP Westminster candidate Joanna Cherry was left floundering when asked the question on BBC Question Time, and SNP deputy leader Stewart Hosie has signalled that the SNP wants to ditch the pound.

Scottish Labour’s economy spokesperson Jackie Baillie said: “The people of Scotland deserve some answers from Nicola Sturgeon.

“Her currency plans for an independent Scotland are a shambles. Nicola Sturgeon is the person who wants to use this General Election to threaten a second independence referendum, yet she refuses to give voters the clarity they need.

“SNP politicians have caused weeks of confusion, and now the First Minister has simply added to that.

“The currency we use really matters. It's about how much money we have to spend on schools and hospitals, what money wages and pensions will be paid in, and will determine how families pay the bills. The Nationalists want to drag Scotland out of the UK but haven't even worked out the basics like currency.

“Voters can send Nicola Sturgeon a message on June 8 that they don’t want a divisive second independence referendum by voting Labour.”

 

Nurses are £3,400 Worse Off Under the SNP

10 May 2017

Scotland’s nurses have seen a real terms pay cut of £3,400 under the SNP, Labour can reveal.

Visiting the Royal College of Nurses today, Scottish Labour leader Kezia Dugdale and health spokesperson Anas Sarwar will reveal the analysis showing how the average nurse is worse off as a result of the SNP pay cap on NHS staff.

UK Labour has committed to scrapping the one per cent pay cap – and Scottish Labour will challenge the SNP to meet that pledge in a Holyrood vote on Wednesday.

Previous research from Labour revealed that the number of long-term unfilled nursing posts in our NHS has increased by more than 300 per cent under the SNP, leaving Scotland’s NHS staff overworked and under increasing pressure.

The choice in this election is now clear: Labour MPs who will stand up for working people or SNP MPs who will fight for another independence referendum.

Scottish Labour leader Kezia Dugdale will say:

“Our NHS staff are the foundation of our health service, but they aren’t getting the support and they resources they need from the SNP government.

“In fact, nurses in our health service have faced on average a real terms cut of £3,400 as a result of the Nationalist pay cap.

“The first step in delivering an NHS that delivers the care Scots needs is to give staff the pay they deserve. Labour would scrap the 1 per cent pay cap to give our NHS staff the pay increase they deserve.

“The choice in this election is clear – Labour MPs who will fight for better wages and a stronger NHS, or SNP MPs who will fight for another independence referendum that Scotland doesn’t want.”

 

Commenting on the Royal College of General Practitioners report on EU GPs

10 May 2017

Commenting on the report, Scottish Labour's Health spokesperson Anas Sarwar MSP said :

The GP crisis began long before Brexit - it is a direct result of the SNP cutting £1.6 billion out of primary care.

“There are hundreds of vacancies across Scotland and people are not getting the care they deserve.

“After a decade of SNP mismanagement, we have a workforce crisis in our NHS.

“A hard Tory Brexit will not help, but four times as many doctors and nurses come from other parts of the UK to work in Scotland's NHS compared to those that come from the rest of the EU.

“That's why we should be guaranteeing that those from the EU already working here can stay.

“But we would go further and call for a special arrangement for NHS staff so we can continue to attract health care professionals to come and work here and make Scotland their home.

“Rather than focusing on how to protect our NHS staff, the SNP is instead only concerned with forcing another independence referendum.

“By backing Labour on June 8 voters can reject a hard Tory Brexit that will hurt our NHS – and tell Nicola Sturgeon to drop her plans for a divisive second referendum and focus on the day job.”



 

Only a vote for Labour opposes indyref2 and austerity – Kezia Dugdale

10 May 2017

Labour is the only party which opposes a second independence referendum and further austerity, Kez Dugdale will say in Rutherglen today.

Speaking as she launches Labour’s General Election campaign, Ms Dugdale will say that Scots do not want to endorse Nicola Sturgeon’s plans for a divisive second independence referendum, or Tory polices like the rape clause, the bedroom tax and hard Brexit.

Ms Dugdale said a vote for Labour is a vote against another referendum, and for a country run for the many, not for a privileged few.

Speaking in Rutherglen, Scottish Labour leader Kezia Dugdale will say:

“A vote for Labour at this election will send Nicola Sturgeon a message that Scotland doesn't want another divisive independence referendum.

“Only Labour is focused on the day job of delivering an economy that works for working people, creating jobs and protecting high quality public services.

“For many Scots the shine is coming off the SNP as they realise it only has one answer for everything – a referendum on independence.

“Scotland’s moderate majority doesn't have to vote for the Tories and endorse the rape clause and the bedroom tax to stop a second referendum. A vote for the Tories won't send Nicola Sturgeon a message - it will just send Theresa May back to Downing Street.

“At this election, people shouldn’t take the risk of voting SNP. In 2015, Labour warned that a vote for the SNP would help the Tories back into Number Ten. That’s exactly what happened, and now we have the chaos of Brexit and the threat of a second independence referendum.

“The only way that people across Scotland can reject this Tory Government and reject the threat of a divisive second independence referendum is to vote Labour on June 8."

 

Labour will only agree to Anti-Austerity Power-Sharing Deals

6 May 2017

6 May 2016

Labour’s Scottish Executive Committee (SEC) today agreed that Labour council groups will only agree to anti-austerity power-sharing deals in local government.

The SEC, which includes leader Kezia Dugdale, deputy leader Alex Rowley, MSPs, trade union representatives and constituency representatives, agreed that council groups will be required to ensure that ‘no power-sharing arrangement will mean increased austerity that will disproportionately impact on the poorest communities’.

All local Labour groups will be required to apply to a working group of the SEC to set out in detail the policy aims of any proposed administration.

The policy priorities will have to be drawn from Labour’s vision for local government, and must oppose any compulsory job redundancies in local government and oppose any further austerity to that already imposed by the SNP and Tory governments.

Since 2011, the SNP has cut £1.5billion from local services – including £170million this year alone.

Scottish Labour deputy leader and local government campaign manager Alex Rowley said:

“Following this week’s elections, Labour remains a major party of local government.

“The SNP failed to win a single majority anywhere in Scotland, and the nature of the voting system means that cross-party deals may be agreed.

“Labour’s approach is clear and consistent: we will categorically refuse to do any deal with another party if it would result in further austerity being imposed on local communities.

“Labour values must run through any deals: the defence of local services against cuts; and the proper funding of the services so many people rely on such as education and care for the elderly.

“Additionally, we will require any power-sharing administrations to protect jobs by opposing any compulsory redundancies.

“Every Labour councillor will always put their local communities first. They will fight against Tory attempts to drive down living standards and will not be distracted by campaigning for a divisive second independence referendum.”

 

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