LABOUR Party leader Keir Starmer followed up his refusal to support the £15-an-hour motion carried by the conference on Monday by boasting in his main speech to the conference that he had ‘got Labour’s house in order’ to win an election.
During his speech he did not mention ‘Socialism’ once.
He did not deal seriously with the current major crisis of the capitalist system and the struggle for socialism.
He told conference: ‘We have a pay crisis, a goods crisis, and a cost of living crisis all at the same time.
‘We say to the government “Either get a grip or get out of the way and let us step in and clear up this mess”.’
He blamed ex-Labour leader Corbyn for Labour’s loss of the last general election.
‘To those who reluctantly chose the Tories because they did not believe that our promises were credible I pledge to them “We will never go into an election with a manifesto which isn’t a serious plan for government” . . .’
He justified his war against the trade unions, saying: ‘That is why it is so important for us to get our own house in order this week and we have done.’
However some of the audience were holding up home made placards with ‘No Purge!’, underlining the scores of members that have been expelled from the Labour Party recently, in particular supporters of Corbyn.
Many held up red cards to show their opposition.
Starmer was continuously heckled by Labour members who shouted: ‘Nurses need a pay rise! You wouldn’t vote for the £15-an-hour minimum wage.’
Those shouting for £15-an-hour were told by Starmer: ‘We can chant all day. We can chant all day – slogans or changing lives?’
‘The fight against crime, will always be a Labour issue,’ he said.
Beating the Tory law and order drum, he added: ‘I won’t stand for 2 million incidents of anti-social behaviour this year and I won’t stand for record numbers of knife crimes this year and I won’t stand for millions of crimes going unsolved.’
He gave his support to the police: ‘After 20 years of a Tory government we have lost 10,000 police officers. This will never happen under my leadership.’
On the NHS he said: ‘We will change the NHS. We would shift the focus away from emergency care and towards prevention.’
He continued: ‘We have 5.7 million people in low-paid and insecure work. Transport workers, NHS workers, delivery workers. These were the people that kept the show on the road. What was their reward for all their hard work? To continue low pay and job security.’
A delegate greeted these words by shouting ‘Give them £15-an-hour!’
Starmer continued: ‘Under my leadership Labour will be back in business.’
He paid a tribute to the military. ‘In this conference hall we are patriots … I am proud of the military and I am proud of what they did in Afghanistan.’
He sounded like a man ready to form a National Government with the Tories.