SPEECH TO RALLY FOR THE MANY – DRYGATE BREWERY, GLASGOW
My name is Pam Duncan-Glancy and I’m proud to stand here as the only woman who stood in Glasgow North, one of the few disabled people candidates in the general election.
I’m delighted to follow my comrade and Labour’s Newest Glasgow MP Paul Sweeney and my friend Kezia Dugdale.
I’m proud to be a Labour party member. And unlike Nicola Sturgeon I’m proud of my party’s name.
I’m proud of our party name and what it stands for. It does what it says on the tin. We’ve always been for workers. Always will be.
Just like the man I’m honoured to share the stage with tonight – our leader and the next Prime Minister – Jeremy Corbyn.
I’ve seen the best of our society. From the strangers who have helped me at the bus stop, to the doctors and nurses in our hospitals. From the shy little boy at school who reached out to befriend the in the wheelchair, to the employer who took a chance on her.
But I’ve seen the worst too – oppression, hate crime, inequality and poverty. I am Labour Party because I have the fire in me to fight all of that and the faith in people to believe we can win the fight.
Everything i have is down the solidarity and kindness of good people. From someone getting me up in the morning, to earning a living to meeting my husband.
I did not build my life alone, no one can. No one should ever stand alone. A Labour government will mean nobody would.
A Labour Government that has our backs. A Government that values diversity, doesn’t fear it. That introduces laws like the HRA, the Equality Act, the minimum wage act, the civil partnership act. A Government that lifts people out of poverty. A Government that gives LGBTQ people the right to serve in armed forces and that scrapped section 28. That is what a Labour Government did then. Think what we could do in power now. And jeezo did we come close!
But instead, our Parliaments are filled with people who don’t represent us. People who are there to protect the interests of their rich friends and keep the world as it is. Paul Sweeney and I stood for Labour, to protect the interests of ordinary people like us – and because we want to change the world.
I’ve been on the sharp end of Tory cuts, and SNP cuts to councils. More cuts means more rough sleeping on the streets. More Food banks. There are more People being exploited at work and More Zero hour contracts.
In Glasgow North, people are doing their best and still struggling to make ends meet. they are working longer hours, taking less home and turning to food banks. They need more affordable homes and a crackdown on unscrupulous landlords.
Women in Glasgow and across the UK cannot afford tampons. Girls are going to school in blood soaked clothes. It is 2017. No-one should have to show what’s in their pants or their purses to have access to sanitary products. We must win the fight against period poverty.
And as we stand here tonight, disabled people across Scotland are living below the poverty line, losing their jobs, benefits, cars and their care. Not somewhere else, here. In socially just Scotland.
Right now, in this country, in Glasgow, disabled people are lying in incontinence pads because there is no money to pay someone to take them to the toilet.
They are dragging themselves upstairs because there aren’t enough accessible houses.
They are taking their own lives because they cant bear the mental torture of assessment after assessment telling them what they can’t have.
But you know what, because of a Labour Government, because a Labour Government signed the UNCRPD into law, as we stand here tonight, the UN is hearing directly from disabled people about these intolerable breeches of our human rights.
There is nowhere to hide.
The state of our nation, from Dingwall to Dover is being laid bare.
I cannot remember a time when the stakes were higher – the end of the UK always hanging over us, a hard Tory Brexit, deeper cuts to our services, a social care system fit to burst and an NHS in crisis.
We should rebuild the UK for the modern era, strong union of nations and workers where power, wealth and opportunity lie in the hands of the many, not the few. With a government championing human rights, here and abroad, better workers rights, a strong economy with shared proaperity; cheaper energy bills, a National Care Service free at the point of use; an affordable accessible subway and transport system; and; more affordable and accessible housing.
This is the Labour vision for Scotland. real, radical change. An extra £3 billion for our schools and hospitals, a £20 billion Scottish Investment Bank to create jobs across the country, a £10 an hour minimum wage, a halt to Universal Credit, and an end to the Work Capability Assessment.
That’s the kind of change we need and the kind of change I believe in.
While the Tories struggle to negotiate their way out of a paper bag, and cry about the end of a bell; whole the SNP argue about the constitution, talk left and act right, we, the Labour Party, the Labour Movement, are a Government in waiting, ready to take on the threats to our economy and our public services – in deeds, not words.
In just 4 weeks, we knocked 90% off the SNP majority in Glasgow North. Now, my mum told me I could be anything I wanted to be but I never dreamt that 11,527 people could put their trust in a wee women in a wheelchair from a working class family. But they did.
And you know what, it’s because of the last Labour Government that this woman had the confidence, the education and the support to stand, and it’s because of our Labour values that the people of Glasgow North put their faith in her. In so many ways, what we achieved in June was remarkable – overturning tens of thousands in majorities, shifting the polls 360 degrees, and a disabled woman beating 3 out of 4 men. 3 down folks, only one more to go.
Our campaign in Glasgow North was powered by people – and to them I say thank you, from the bottom of my heart. Without their commitment, we couldn’t have taken our message of hope to the doorsteps, and without that, we couldn’t have slashed the SNP majority like we did.
So if you’re a member, thank you comrade
An if you’re not a member, join, be part of the biggest Labour movement and socialist party in Europe. Be part of the change we need. I promise, you will not be disappointed. When you look back on this extraordinary time in our history, know that you did your part.
We are a Government in waiting. But the people cannot wait.
Let’s get out there and campaign like never before to bring down this government. Let’s show them that with Jeremy Corbyn our as our leader Labour is not just waiting to govern.
We’re ready; we’re willing and we are more than able to serve the people of this country.
For the many, not few.