Tuesday, September 22, 2020

Labour Party Conference 2020 Call for New Post-Covid and Post-Brexit Internationalism to Beat Global Inequality

A health worker collects a nasal swab sample to test for Covid-19 in Hyderabad, India

INEQUALITY and conflict around the world are the “biggest root challenges” that we face, TUC general secretary Frances O’Grady said today in her call for a “new internationalism.”

She was speaking at the Labour Party online conference event The Global Response to Covid, also attended by shadow foreign secretary Lisa Nandy.

Ms O’Grady said that there should be an “international commitment to full employment, rising living standards, fair shares of wealth, trade-union rights and collective bargaining, welfare, maternity rights, recreation, and culture for all.”

She stressed that lasting global peace can “only be established by social justice,” and that that is achievable though international co-operation.

Ms Nandy said that a Labour government would construct a foreign policy “fit for this century rather than the circumstances of the last.”

She said: “In a world spinning out of control, our anchor is our values — the values that the Attlee government used to anchor a world reeling from war: human rights, democracy, freedom of speech and the rule of law.

“But new times require new priorities, so to this list we will add new values of human security, feminism, and environmentalism at the core of our approach.”

Ms Nandy also sought to explain the Labour leadership’s slogan of “putting British people first,” especially in the context of internationalism. The slogan was chosen to appeal to former Labour voters who voted for the Tories en masse because Labour threatened to overturn the EU referendum result.

She said: “When we say we will always put British people first, that is a commitment to internationalism rooted in an understanding that working people’s interests are bound together and a belief that things can and must change,” she waffled.

“We will be rooting foreign policy in the interests of working people here and across the world. If globalisation isn’t working for them, it isn’t working at all.”

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