Here are my notes from Rachel Reeves speech to GMB Congress. It comes as a surprise to me that she’s a member of GMB, I thought she was in Unite, but possibly like so many MPs , she’s in more than one. The full speech and Q&A session is available online. Some of what she said, I have heard before, but interestingly she promised the biggest programme of in-sourcing in history. Some might call this nationalisation!!!

Another slogan I picked from the speech is having a buy British first policy, admittedly the options are much narrower after Brexit as so many European suppliers now choose not to sell to us because the cost of delivery is so high.

She highlighted the Tories shrinking of the UK’s gas storage capability which is one of the prime causes to the volatility of the level of prices.

Labour will increase SSP, although no targets announced. They will introduce sectoral collective bargaining, starting with social care and prohibit the use of scab agency labour.

She announced that new Infrastructure Bank will only lend on the basis of a jobs/wages contract. She will also ensure that there is a worker director on the board. This was very popular but the jobs contract is the more important promise.

There were a number of questions raised.

London Region asked a question on the WASPI women, while RR condemned the Tories for  letting the problem arise, her promises to put this right were harder to find. Perhaps the question should have covered all the Tory pension theft some of which is much more hidden.

In reply to a question, she announced the end of Tebbit’s Rule, defending people’s right to make a home and the government’s duty to have a comprehensive levelling up programme which brings high pay, high skill jobs to the whole country. It’s a task when one considers that many communities in the UK are the poorest in Europe.

One delegate got the cheer of the week asking why Starmer couldn’t support the rail workers. Reeves did not answer although spoke of her own committent to the Union movement and the labour link. She was very unsure in her reply to this question. She was strong on strikes, less so on Kier on which she was silent.

It’s GMB so I have to report on the question on domestic nukes and hydrogen. We want’em, and she’ll give them to us.

Rachel Reeves at GMB Congress
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