Saturday, September 4, 2010
We've got the argument. We've got the alternatives. We've got the vision - get out there and organise for it
"This vision, and these values, have always been fundamental to our ethos as a union. Because it's what our members try to turn into reality every day when they go to work.
"So let's not be fooled by the scaremongering about the debt", said Dave. "And let's not fall for the lie that that this society can't afford decent public services. The money is there in our economy, if we want to raise it and put it to good use. But this government doesn't want you to realise that.
"Not because half of the cabinet are millionaires who don't want to pay their share…although half of the cabinet are millionaires who don't want to pay their share.
"It's because of an ideology. An ideology that hates public services. An ideology that loves privatisation. An ideology that sees public service employment - millions of people caring and helping and educating - not as an achievement to be celebrated - but as a problem to be tackled."
Underlining the point, the STUC's Stephen Boyd exploded the myths about the crisis, blow by blow. The STUC's new 'There is a Better Way' campaign (http://www.thereisabetterway.org/) is a crucial resource for showing not only that the cuts are ideologically rather than financial driven - but also how they will hinder a recovery and possibly throw us into a further recession.
But this meeting was not just a talking shop. It was there as the first step in a series of events as participants moved into workshops to develop practical plans to take the campaign forward.
Nobody underestimated the task. As Dave Prentis told UNISON's National Conference in June, "the next four years will test us all. Test our resolve. Test our nerve. But we will pass the test. The world has changed - new worries, new fears. And our members look to us to lead. This is no time to hang our heads. It is time to stand tall."
He returned to that theme in Glasgow "We've got the argument. We've got the alternatives. We've got the vision. What we need to do is get out there and organise for it".