Inspiring Conference 2019

Four local delegates from South East Cornwall Labour were in Brighton at the end of September for the party’s national conference. I joined Kate Ewert, Alastair Tinto and Sally Sweeney who all attended as delegates, which allowed us to take part in shaping Labour Party policy as agreed by local Cornish members. The local Party sent a resolution to conference, which was moved by Cornwall constituency chair Kate Ewert and debated by 1,500 other delegates. The housing resolution focused on calling for 100,000 council houses to be built each year across the country for the next 20 years. This would end the housing crisis in the Cornwall and the rest of the country, allowing local families to have secure, affordable housing in their communities. 

In sharp contrast to the Liberal Democrat’s, Labour’s priority is to respect democracy. This is why, at conference, a policy was announced guaranteeing the people of this country the final say on any deal reached between the UK and the European Union and a guarantee that the outcome will be implemented within 6 months of the result. What could be fairer and more democratic than that? It shows once again the Labour Party isn’t the party of the 48% or the 52% but the Party of the 99%.  While at conference delegates were able to listen to speeches by various shadow cabinet members announce new party policy. John McDonnell, the shadow chancellor set out an inspiring raft of policies that “lay the foundations of a new society.” He pledged a three-pronged approach to transforming the economy by expanding free universal public services, driving up wages and driving down living costs, and strengthening the social security system. 

Rebecca Long-Bailey, the shadow secretary of state for business, energy and industrial strategy, presented a People’s Power Plan that will create a National Transformation Fund that will allocate £6.2 billion to jumpstarting a home-grown renewable industry. Her proposals were complemented one of the most important new resolutions passed by conference for a Socialist Green New Deal which promises to tackle the climate emergency by reducing carbon emissions to net zero by 2030. No other party has set such an ambitious target. It will create 400,000 new jobs in a green industrial revolution and look at helping developing countries green their economies too. We’re very proud that one of our local members, Patrick O’Sullivan, was part of creating this ground breaking policy. 

Finally, the news that Boris Johnson had acted illegally by proroguing parliament was announced to the Conference by Jeremy Corbyn who called on the prime minister to consider his position. The recall of parliament the next day meant that many MPs in conference had to head back to Westminster to resume our democratic process and stop a disastrous no deal Brexit, which would have catastrophic consequences for Cornwall and this country as a whole.

Thomas Walsh, Kate Ewert and Alastair Tinto

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