Video: Sultana's excellent maiden speech signals hope for Labour's future

New Coventry South MP’s first speech promises an end to ‘forty years of Thatcherism’ and a working-class movement
Labour MP Zarah Sultana

New Coventry South MP Zarah Sultana made her maiden speech in the Commons this week – and it holds out hope for the Labour Party as a movement that genuinely represents the working class and which will not bow to Establishment interests.

Ms Sultana noted that, as a young MP, she has known nothing else as an adult but Tory austerity – but she knows that the true causes lie with bankers and profit-driven ruling elites who continue to blight the lives of working-class people in every country.

Listing the cuts to services and housing, the massive and widening inequality, the debt piled onto the shoulders of the young and the vulnerable and the damage to the environment that mar our society, Sultana also delivered a snub to Tony Blair – including his time in office as part of ‘forty years of Thatcherism’.

And she said that while despairing would be easy, there is no room for it – because her generation needs to be able to say at the start of the next decade that they ended exploitation for profit, the contempt for the poor and vulnerable and the reckless disregard for our planet that characterises the Tories and all their ilk:

SKWAWKBOX view:

There were very few silver linings for the people in the general election result – but the modest increase in the proportion of genuinely left, genuinely working-class MPs with a genuine commitment to real change on the Labour benches is something that holds out hope for the future.

But as Zarah Sultana noted, that future will be hard-fought and hard-won.

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12 responses to “Video: Sultana's excellent maiden speech signals hope for Labour's future

  1. Nadia Whitome
    Last night on Peston
    Could of bliddy cried,
    Future is secure, just need to survive current crop of Cockwombles

  2. As she says: we need to work internationally. Stop thinking about Britian and think about the international working class.

  3. So the future is from the backbench and she’s a brave mp to take on the moderates,.The few socialist mps need to work together and stand together to survive the enemy within including the new leader who will be looking to have a witchunt against the left of the Labour party..None of the candidates can be trusted to look after the democratic socialist Labour party…..only deputy leader Burgon if the if he survives..And I like the sound of Deputy leader Burgon..?

  4. She needs to understand that she may be marked out for smearing. From within her own party! But still a cause for hope in the long term.

  5. This grovelling acceptance of Tory narratives – cowering like whipped dogs before false accusations – I first remember from Gordon Brown at the end of his premiership when he and everyone around him failed to defend against Tory accusations of “Labour overspending” having caused the ’08 global financial crash.
    Spending to prevent bank failures, whilst I disagreed with it, wasn’t “overspending” in the commonly understood sense and was supported – demanded in fact – by the Tories too.
    Brown’s shame over his own prior hubris (I singlehandedly cured boom & bust) stopped him defending Labour’s record and placing the blame where it belonged – that cost us the 2010 election and handed Tories the perennial jibe “Labour can’t be trusted with the economy” which they still use whenever they’re losing an argument on any subject.
    Had Brown and Bush let the banks fail there’d have been nationalised banks and pain for the rich but we’d have climbed out of the crash sooner, healthier, wiser and with sensibly regulated institutions and markets.
    There’d still be a Labour government, a modern “New Deal” would have been implemented instead of austerity, the 1% wouldn’t be all-powerful and risk wouldn’t still be nationalised while profits are privatised.
    Neoliberalism would be dead and gone.
    Thanks, Gordon.
    Cowering didn’t work then, doesn’t work now, will never work.

    Explaining, even at this late date, how Thatcher’s & Reagan’s deregulation caused – forced – reckless gambling to become endemic in huge financial institutions and that that, not “Labour overspending” caused the crash – and that it was no coincidence that the bankers and whizz-kids who thought themselves financial geniuses were all Tories – will cause angry Tory denials so we better have our arguments ready.
    Scotching one big lie puts others under a bright light.
    Like the AS scam.

    • Brown’s shame over his own prior hubris (I singlehandedly cured boom & bust)

      …and I also sold off our gold reserves at the bottom of the market. Let’s hear it for Scottish fiscal prudence!

    • Explaining, even at this late date, how Thatcher’s & Reagan’s deregulation caused – forced – reckless gambling to become endemic in huge financial institutions and that that, not “Labour overspending” caused the crash – and that it was no coincidence that the bankers and whizz-kids who thought themselves financial geniuses were all Tories – will cause angry Tory denials so we better have our arguments ready.
      Scotching one big lie puts others under a bright light.
      Like the AS scam.

      Yeah, but we’ll need something snappier for a doorstep soundbite when campaigning next election! As with explaining the “Labour Brexit”, the plebs have demonstrated an inability to process more than 4 syllables (Get Brexit Done) at a time! 😀

      • timfrom, I wasn’t intending the argument to be made by canvassers on the doorsteps but by our MP’s on TV, whatever the reason for the invitation.
        Thoroughly briefed, rehearsed in the reasoning, loudly making the argument – relating it to the issue under discussion if possible but firmly talking over the angry protests of interviewers and Tories when it’s not – is what’s needed.
        The Tories have no arguments, just worn out soundbites – goad them into anger and then take them apart – humiliate them like the Brown government should have.
        Liam Byrne at least acknowledged the imbecility of his “no money left” suicide note – I’m not aware of Brown ever apologising in more than the most general terms for losing in 2010, and never for failing to scotch the overspending lie which cost us the election.
        I think he owes us at least that.

  6. The problem wasn’t bailing out the banks – it was probably the only realistic short-term option.

    The problem was never demanding a pay-back. Can you imagine those same banks giving you a loan and not requiring a pay-back so that it becomes a no-strings gift?

    • No, RH, the banks should have been allowed to fail and then have been purchased by the state at full market price. No compensation. Bank nationalisation at an affordable price – a once in a lifetime opportunity missed.
      Once nationalised private customers’ deposits could have been guaranteed perfectly easily by the state at no cost and wealthy investors including pension funds allowed to lose their shirts – the market working as intended according to the theory it claims as justification.
      Pension funds should not have been held sacrosanct.
      Speculators stop at nothing to manipulate, beat and cheat the markets they claim to venerate – the crash proved the public were being milked dry by ‘respectable’ institutions.
      Showing the electorate the gigantic lie that keeps them poor was another historic opportunity missed.
      Jailing the guilty was another.
      The banner carried along Wall Street reading “JUMP, you FUCKERS!” should have become the guiding principle and motto for the changes to the financial system that could have saved society and the planet.

  7. This is the type of MP we need not the useless spineless reactionary Blairites who typically make up the PLP. Have mandatory reselection and get rid of the lot of them.

  8. Is she saying there has been no improvement in working class standard of living, welfare, health, wealth or opportunities in the last 40 years? She effectively is parroting Jeremy in the recent GE campaign and we know what working class labour voters thought of it. This sort of lazy doctrinaire nonsense plays well with the wine bar socialists but not working class voters who are mainly traditional labour. It is a speech for the metroplitan public sector elite, not the working classes.

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