Despite driving rain, North-West Durham MP Laura Pidcock gave a barnstorming speech, electrifying the tens of thousands of sodden socialists with powerful oratory.
She railed against the prospect of Johnson-led Government, stressing the importance of a unified opposition at the 135th Durham Miners’ Gala on Saturday afternoon.
Ms Pidcock said: “Thatcher’s neo-liberal free market dogma reveals fresh wounds every single day and with the blink of an eye through clever legislation and the propaganda of the papers and the greed of the powerful they have sucked the colour out of our communities.
“So many of our schools have been sold off from under our noses, huge chunks of the NHS have been gifted to vultures who could not care less about the health our mothers, our fathers, our children.
People are being paid less and less to work more and more. Exploitation is so commonplace it is invisible.
DISILLUSION, DISAPPOINTMENT HAUNT OUR COMMUNITIES.
The 31-year-old dedicated her speech to late father, Bernard Pidcock, who passed away five months ago and said he had been her inspiration and her closest comrade.
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Durham Miners’ Gala dates, which dates back to 1871 and is the largest gathering of trade unionists in Europe, was said to be his favourite day of the year.
Len McCluskey, the general secretary of Britain and Ireland’s largest union, Unite, urged the labour movement to not ‘let the chance slip’ and to prepare for a Corbyn-led Labour government.
He said: “At a moment of national crisis, our next prime minister is not going to be chosen by the British people, but by a reactionary rag tag brigade of Tories, entirely unrepresentative of the country.
“They will foist on the rest of us a man who’s shown utter indifference to the de-industrialisation of cities and towns in the North-East and across the country, and such contempt for working class people and the poverty forced on them by his party’s austerity programme, that he’s pledged tax reductions for the rich.
Here in the North-East, there are more working people in low-paid, zero-hour, caring, hospitality and other precarious jobs than elsewhere in the country.
Turning to Brexit, McCluskey railed against those who divided the people of the country by simplistic labels instead of understanding the desire for change.
He said: “I reject this new division of the country into ‘Remainers’ and ‘Leavers’.
“I reject the call for a culture war pitting the big cities against the rest. I reject a choice between Nigel Farage on the one hand and the City of London on the other.
People didn’t vote for Brexit because they’ve become part of a nationalism that makes them lost to Labour forever. They did it because they feel cast aside by Westminster, and the Tories’ disastrous handling of Brexit has only deepened the despair and disillusion among these communities.
“It is only Jeremy Corbyn who seeks to bring this country together. And it is only Jeremy Corbyn who will stand up for this country, instead of toadying to Trump and blundering into more disastrous wars.”
full speech LINK