Ahead of tomorrow's Labour Party Special Conference, which is being held to vote on reforms to the party's links to the trade union movement, here's a few thoughts of my own on the party and the future.
On the back of my party membership card is the following; Clause IV -
The Labour Party is a democratic socialist party. It believes that by the strength of our common endeavour, we achieve more than we achieve alone, so as to create for each of us the means to realise our true potential and for all of us a community in which power, wealth and opportunity are in the hands of the many, not the few, where rights we enjoy reflect the duties we owe, and where we live together, freely, in a spirit of solidarity, tolerance and respect.
There is only one true "workers' party" in this country, and it's not the Conservative Party. There's only one party that seeks to unite all British people under one banner - the teachers, nurses, factory workers, cleaners, cooks, builders, train drivers - the people who keep our nation going. And there's only one party out there that has set out to represent and fight for those who are unable to fight their battles alone.
One party to represent all people in Britain, regardless of nationality, race, sexuality, beliefs, background, or age. A party that supports those in need and provides for our future. A party that does not abandon huge swathes of society to despair and hopelessness.
I am not a trade union member, but the unions must play a vital role in our society and our party, because it is the very people of whom they are comprised that our party exists to represent and fight for. And that is what unions are there for - to fight for their members' workplace rights and to ensure that they are not being exploited.
It is important that we never lose touch with the majority of people in this country. According to Nigel Farage, "immigration is the number one issue in this country". Not if you actually go and ask people - normal, working people. They're worried about the healthcare system, the education system, the bedroom tax, pensions, wages, a lack of jobs, businesses closing, spiralling energy prices, and whether they'll have enough money to put food on the table for their families. These are the people in society that we need to stand up for, and these are their concerns that we need to be tackling, in order to change our society for the better.
Thirteen years of Labour government helped transform this country from the dark era of Tory rule. The prosperity, health and growth of our services under Labour has stagnated under the Coalition government, who are bumbling along without any real sense of direction, now they've successfully interfered with our education, healthcare and welfare systems on wild, ideological experiments.
The people of Britain deserve better than a Government that holds them in such low regard, a Government that seeks to divide society and exploit it for its own ends. It is time to take the fight to the Government - to show them that we are a united society that has ambitions to improve our country and our quality of life. To form a Government for the people, by the people.
By the strength of our common endeavour, we achieve more than we achieve alone.