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Friday 28th December 2012 | 00:01
Labour press release
A few days ago just before Christmas I went to a food bank here in London, I met an amazing woman called Daphine who runs the food bank, she’s been doing it for two years, she volunteered through her local church.
I also met some of the people using the food bank, some of them out of work and some of them in work.
The story that stuck with me the most was a man who told me his story he said: “I walked eleven miles to a job interview because I couldn’t afford the bus fare, I got the job then I walked eleven miles back," he was still looking for somewhere to live because he hadn’t got his first pay cheque and he was using the food bank.
Such a long way away from the normal stereotype you’d have about the people using food banks.
And what does it tell me? It tells me something about the incredible spirit of people like Daphine who set up the food bank that’s such grounds for optimism about Britain.
It tells me about the indomitable spirit of people trying to find work even in difficult circumstances, but it also teaches me about politics and what politics must do. We’ve all at least got to imagine walking in the shoes of others, to be the man who walked eleven miles to the job interview, that’s what it means to be a One Nation Prime Minister.
We’ll never eliminate struggle but we can tip the scales towards hope, that’s what a One Nation Government is about. And it teaches me most of all we have got to use the talents of all.
We cannot write anybody off in our country, that is what One Nation is all about. And that is what you will be hearing about from the Labour Party in 2013.
How you create a One Nation economy, not based on the old idea that wealth trickles down from those at the top to everyone else, but that we need to reward the forgotten wealth creators of our country.
The people doing two jobs, the people coming home after our curtains are closed at night and going back out to work again the next morning before our curtains are open.
The small businesses struggling against the odds, we need to help them succeed.
And we need to help our young people too, including the forgotten 50 per cent who don’t go to university who want a qualification, an apprenticeship and a job.
We need to help our small businesses so they don’t find they’re serving the banks rather than the banks serving them. And we need to change the rules of the game for business. So that we have rules that encourage long term wealth creation which is what our country needs. In a world where there is less money around that for the Labour Party is the route to a fairer society. A country where people look at the way our country is run and say "yes it is run according to my values, everybody showing responsibility, from corporations paying their fair share of tax, to people who can work doing so."
You know take our young people, so many of the young people I meet are desperate for work, government has a responsibility to make sure the work is available for them but they’ve got a responsibility to take the work on offer.
That’s what One Nation is all about, a country we rebuild together where everyone plays their part and One Nation Labour is about reaching out to every part of Britain, it’s about a party that is as much the party of the private sector as the public sector, a party of south as well as north, a party determined to fight for the future of the United Kingdom, and a party rooted in every community of our land.
You know since the 2010 General Election I’ve learnt lessons from the best teachers of all, the British People, and I’ve acknowledged hard truths about what the last Labour Government got wrong, from banking regulation to immigration.
I’ve set out a vision of what this country can be, One Nation, and in 2013 we will be setting out concrete steps on making that vision a reality from business to education to welfare.
I don’t offer easy answers and I’m not going to offer false promises either. But I do believe Britain can be better than it is. There can be hope for people again.
This Government is a government of broken promises and broken dreams.
They want you to believe that we have a good government being let down by bad people. We don’t. We got a bad government that is letting down the good people of this country.
Just think about the spirit of the Olympic Games that we saw in 2012, that’s what we’ve got to harness for the good of each and the good of all. That is what One Nation Labour is about and if we work together we can create One Nation Britain.