Labour’s reform of the UK will reject ‘the devolution of grievance, or one-upmanship’ Keir Starmer says
Keir Starmer declared in his speech at the Scottish Labour conference today that Labour’s reforms of the UK will reject “the devolution of grievance, or one-upmanship”.
The speech pointed to Labour’s Mayors in England as an example of how devolution can work, but did not mention First Minister Mark Draeford’s Labour government in Wales.
During the speech, he pointed to a commission to which he has appointed former Prime Minister Gordon Brown to “settle the future of the union”.
“That’s why Gordon’s commission is so important because it is examining how to reform the UK,” he said. “Not just to acknowledge or accommodate devolution, but to give it proper respect and unleash the true power of the idea.
“Not the devolution of grievance, or one-upmanship. But the vision of devolution that Anas is talking about and that our Mayors in England are also talking about – pushing power away from parliaments and towards people – and towards great cities like Glasgow, which is being let down so badly by the SNP.
“That’s why the next Labour government will govern for all of Britain. We will change Westminster, and Whitehall and we’ll clean it up at the same time. Under the Tories, our country has become increasingly more unequal. The Tories talk of levelling up is not serious.”
‘Duty to win’
The UK Labour leader also said that to win Labour could not “pursue apparent political purity inside this party” adding that “our greatest hurdle might not be the Tories, but ourselves”.
“We are the party of working people; our founding and defining mission,” he said.
“But too many working people came to see us as far removed from their lives. We put our priorities above theirs; our ideas as more important, than their experiences.
“So yes, our duty to win does mean keeping our discipline. Never losing sight of who it is that we need to convince – working people and especially those who voted for electoral opponents.
“We can win and we can make change or we can pursue apparent political purity inside this party. But please make no mistake, we cannot do both. Running away from the mainstream is running away from voters.”
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