Carolyn Harris – Deputy Leader Speech
Welsh Labour Election Launch
As Deputy Leader of Welsh Labour, it’s my privilege to kick off proceedings today and welcome you all to this campaign launch.
Now, as many of you know, my remit as Deputy includes leading on campaigning. And I’ve done a lot of campaigning in my time.
I’ve done Assembly elections (as were!), Westminster elections, by-elections, local elections – and Deputy Leader elections… If I’m honest, I thought I’d seen it all. But this campaign will be a campaign unlike any other.
We’ve all lived through an incredibly difficult year, and the pandemic has changed our lives in ways we couldn’t have imagined. And as a result, this year’s Senedd election campaign will look very different to what we’re used to.
But it will also be different in some positive ways. It’s the first campaign for election to our Welsh Parliament. This election will mark a coming of age for Wales.
We’ve seen over the past 12 months how devolution enabled our Welsh Labour Government to make different choices for Wales – choices that meant we could offer the best package of business support in the UK;
and that we could ensure those people who thought they couldn’t afford to self-isolate were supported to do so,
and that our vaccine rollout is one of the quickest anywhere in the world.
This election gives us the chance to come together around those choices – to unite around the things which make our country what it is – the absolute bloody best.
Now, we know we’ll face the usual nonsense from our opposition. The Tories will repeat anything their bosses in London tell them – they don’t care about Wales. And Plaid just want to put up barriers and stoke division.
But I’ll tell you what really gets my goat. It when they – the Tories and Plaid – suggest that the reason Wales has elected Welsh Labour Governments for the past twenty years is because the Welsh public are somehow being hoodwinked or tricked – as if they’re stupid. The sheer snobbery of it.
But we know the truth – the people of Wales have elected Welsh Labour Governments because they know we share their vision and their values. Because Welsh Labour values are Welsh values.
And that’s true whether we’re talking about our brilliant Senedd team, led by Mark, or our colleagues in local Government.
It’s true of our trade unions, our Police and Crime Commissioner candidates, our amazing staff, and the lifeblood that is our membership.
And it’s also true of our brilliant group of Welsh Labour MPs, which I’m proud to be a part of.
It’s true of the entire Welsh Labour family.
And we need our family to deliver a Welsh Labour Government in Cardiff so that when we get Keir across the line and chuck the Tories out at Westminster, we can work together to improve the lives of everyone in our communities. That’s the prize we are fighting for – two radical Labour Government’s, working as a team to transform lives.
So let’s resolve – today – to each do everything we can to re-elect our Welsh Labour Government.
Let’s hit the phones, let’s do the leaflet rounds, let’s chip in for fundraising – because it’s no exaggeration to say this is one of the most important elections of our lifetime.
Let’s give Mark and his team the tools to finish the job, and give life to the banner under which we are fighting this election – a promise to Move Wales Forward together.