There was a useful lunchtime joint meeting today, which I attended, hosted by the NUT, ATL (and supported by some private sector non- teacher organisations.) about the value of having a full and varied curriculum, with arts being encouraged; where getting a 'C' at GCSE isn't the only benchmark worth noting, where the parents of students( and students themselves), who struggle to reach a D, E , or lower grade, aren't convinced that they've failed their GCSE exams!!
Jeremy Corbyn arrived at 2.15pm, and his speech ran through all we hoped for! So in tune with the Trades Unions' views, he covered his views of all the areas that we've covered at this conference.
He talked of:
the £6 million members of TU's in the UK currently, highlighting the real strength of trades unions . They are therefore an integral part of society. That is why they need to have a voice.
He talked about international TUs. - who haven't decent H &S support. who have died as a result. Such as the Colombian miners!
'It's a worldwide movement, not just a national movement- never forget that! '
He reminded us of the £30,000 new members of the Labour Party, since Saturday's result!
He explained that on Saturday he went directly to support victims of Human Rights Abuses at the 'Refugees Welcome Here!
The next day, he went to a Mental Health event! He raised his support of 'our' NHS, and is keen for us to help to end the stigma of mental health!
'We have to address the Housing Crisis, as clearly, the free market isn't doing it!.' To do so, we have to create a substantial council housing building programme.
On the strength of the membership, Jeremy noted that he received a lot of votes in his election, in fact, 2x the number of The Conservative Party's entire membership!!
He believes that in his shadow cabinet,, that policy making will be a collective acts, not produced solely by his team, involving branch members. Why? Because
' if you are involved in policy making, then you own it, and will therefore fight to support the policy causes! So, no surprise from the top!
He offered support to the National Gallery staff, who are in the audience today!
Corbyn noted that the Conservatives ( with only 24% of the electorate supporting them) have declared war on the Trades Unions. They attack us purely because we exist!
When Labour wins the next General Election in 2020, we will repeal the TU Bill, and replace it with proper support for TUs.
He rallied against a government who are threatening the Right To Peaceful Protest, and the Right To Free Speech On Social Media.
On Pay, he talked about the reality that better management makes better and healthy and therefore more productive employees.
He called on David Cameron to support the introduction of the on-line secret ballot for unions.
He asked why shouldn't unions be political, or even choose to use some of their funds for political purposes , if they want to. This government has no problem with Hedge Fund money, but it does have a problem with the cleanest money in the UK, namely TU money, and seeks to control and restrict that!
On the Welfare Reform Bill, Corbyn. spoke about the appalling new aspects of the new Disability Benefits, and The Availability For Work Test, resulting in a number of suicides of claimants , whilst waiting long term for, or being denied essential benefits.
The Controlling of Rents and the Raising of Wages to reduce poverty is something he will introduce in 2020.
He had to leave our meeting after his speech to go to the Commons to vote against proposed cuts to Tax Credits To Parents.
Finally, he said:
The Tories call us ' Deficit Deniers'
We call them 'Poverty Deniers'
Austerity is this Government's choice!
Of his Party:
'We will be proud to campaign with TUs.
Remember that we are quite a rich, but unequal society.
Workers founded the TU Movement, and we will build on that!'
Nothing I can add to that!