“Changing our party is part & parcel of changing our country, because we are the people who know our communities best.”Nadia Jama.
We are pleased to publish below Nadia Jama’s speech to the #GrassrootsVoice NEC rally last week. You can watch the rally in full here:
Thanks for tuning in to the rally tonight. I want to start by pointing to the difference between the way we do politics and the way the Tories do things. The Conservative Party has the money of the big corporations and the influence of the media barons; we have our solidarity and ability to organise together, collectively.
And that’s why the members of the Labour Party are its greatest asset. We are the trade unionists organising in our workplaces, the activists building in our communities, and the people who go knocking on doors, in all weathers
My message to you tonight is that time and time again it’s the membership of the Labour Party that has stepped-up to the challenges of the 21st century.
- On the economy
- On climate justice
- On supporting a foreign policy built on values of solidarity and social justice,
It’s the members of this party that have championed the radical solutions to the problems we face not only as a country, but as a planet.
At over 500k members, I believe the Labour Party should be a member-led movement for social change – and, yes, a movement for socialism.
It’s been music to my ears to hear Laura Pidcock define what she thinks socialism is for the 21st century, because it’s only those politics that can address the unprecedented public health, economic and environmental crises we face.
We must offer that alternative now. The Tories cannot be allowed to define the terms of debate for the next four years.
So, let me be crystal clear about two things:
First, far from abstaining on war crimes or fundamental issues like granting the intelligence service impunity to commit murder or sexual assault, our Party should carry the torch for human rights:
- No abstention
- No ambiguity
- No to spy cops or state sanctioned human rights abuses – so I send my solidarity to the 34 Labour MPs tonight.
And second, we should offer no support to Boris Johnson on his handling of the covid crisis. There is nothing this government has done since the onset of this pandemic that could possibly justify support for them.
The recently released SAGE minutes make it clear that we are now entering the second wave of the pandemic. That’s because the Government have failed to follow the scientific advice – instead they’ve prioritised corporate profits.
We should be calling for a zero-covid strategy that puts the health, wellbeing and financial security of people first.
Labour must support the public health experts, the Trade Unions and Parents sounding the alarm over the unsafe and rushed return to workplaces, campuses and schools. The local spikes are testament to how badly the Tories have got this.
Serco track and trace has been a £12bn disaster – from data breaches, a failure to phone covid contacts, to the Excel spreadsheet fiasco. Rather than given handouts to outsourcing companies, we should be resourcing local authority public health teams, who know their communities best, to create their own track and trace systems.
The pandemic has created an unprecedented economic crisis with the economy contracting by 20% in the last quarter. Unemployment is predicted to soar to between 10 and 14%.
The Government’s jobs support package is pathetic. People will take a significant pay cut at the same time as they’re expected to pay the bills and rent, as well as buy food.
As a Party we must push for the extension of the furlough scheme at 80% of pay and the extension of the self-employed income support schemes
And we need to close the holes in the system that have left 3 million people unsupported.
And we should raise statutory sick pay making it available to all workers and in line with the real living wage.
There should also be no question or doubt where we should stand with millions of private renters, so we must call for rent cancellation for the duration of the crisis.
We must call for significant investment to protect jobs and keep the economy moving. That should include a Green New Deal to invest in renewable energy, greening our transport infrastructure, refitting the existing housing stock, and building more sustainable housing. These are the things the six of us believe in.
Jeremy was right when he said that we didn’t go far enough or fast enough in the last five years. And that’s’ why all six of us are standing in this election, to continue that fight – we must elect more socialists to all levels of the party, to see that change.
Changing our party is part and parcel of changing our country, because we are the people who know our communities best.
As the voice of our members, The GV6 will champion the socialist politics and policies needed to address the challenges of our time, so please vote for Laura Pidcock, Ann Henderson, Yasmine Dar, Gemma Bolton, Mish Rahman and myself, of course.
Thank you & solidarity.
- Follow the Centre Left Grassroots Alliance on Facebook here and Twitter here. Follow Nadia on Twitter here and support her campaign for the NEC on Facebook here.
- Labour NEC ballots arrive from Monday October 19. Under the new STV system CLPD it is recommended that supporters of the #GrassrootsVoice slate use their preferences in different orders in different regions of the country – visit https://futureweneed.com/preference/ and put in your postcode to find out how best to use your vote.