I’ll come out from the start and admit that I (proudly) gave Stella Creasy my first preference for deputy leader of the Labour Party, though Tom got my second preference.
After what has been a long, long campaign for all of us, most of all the candidates, Tom returned to his Black Country home for his final speech of the campaign. It is well worth a read.
The stand out section for me was on Labour’s 13years in power, which I’ve copied below.
We made some mistakes in government. But does that mean the entire 13 years of Labour government is a source of shame to me? No, it certainly doesn’t.
We built new schools and hospitals on an unprecedented scale, hugely boosting the pay of the nurses, doctors and teachers who make them run. We were environmentally visionary, we led the world on development, introduced a minimum wage – which even the Attlee government fought shy of, transformed the lives of poorer pensioners with the pensions credit; introduced civil partnerships, the Disability Discrimination Act, the Human Rights Act, paid holidays, maternity leave, paternity leave, union recognition rights, rights for temporary and agency workers, legislation against gangmasters, sure start centres, cutting NHS waiting lists,
etc etc etc. And the longest uninterrupted period of economic growth in memory.
We utterly transformed our country after 18 years of Tory cynicism. We gave hope and security and self-respect back to millions of our people. We made our great country decent again. And then we spent the last five years apologising for it
A timely reminder of how much the Labour Party can achieve – but only if they are power…