AAs we come together as a nation to celebrate the Queen’s remarkable platinum anniversary, we also unite around our flags and flags in a moment of pure British patriotism. Being patriotic is not something Labor has always been comfortable with, but progressive politics has been most successful and transformative when it captures Britain’s best values, nurtures our world-renowned institutions and inspires the belief that our best days are ahead of us, not just in the past.
A quick overview of British politics today tells us that it is not the Conservatives who enshrine these patriotic principles, but Labour.
Firstly, our British values, which are dear to us and for which we are known worldwide: diplomacy, rule of law, decency and integrity. Our country has always led the way as a measured and decent example to the world, but our government has questioned this. By contrast, Keir Starmer’s public commitment to step down if he were fined was quintessentially British.
The Prime Minister has repeatedly shown that he is incapable of upholding those values, and the reaction of the public in St Paul’s showed they know that too. Division, hatred and culture wars could work elsewhere, but it’s not who the British are, and Labor won’t stand up to these false divides.
The vast majority of decent Brits believe in live and let live, love and let love. In the words of my good friend Jo Cox, we have much more that unites us than that which divides us. Tolerance, openness and generosity are the main British beliefs.
This year we also celebrate the birthdays of some of our great British cultural and sporting institutions known around the world, which underpin some of our biggest exports, from the BBC to Channel 4, the Premier League, FA Cup and Wimbledon. British music, actors, art, TV and film are known and loved both abroad and at home. The anniversary exemplifies our famous culture and pageantry on display and attracts international tourists.
Labor will nurture these institutions and understand the fragile ecosystem they live in and the huge opportunities for UK jobs and UK content they produce. Yes, the digital and streaming revolution is upon us, but short-term policies for “red meat” such as selling Channel 4 as the government has proposed will only damage our global reputation, cost jobs and value, and will destroy British viewers those moments. of being together. Dashing cultural vandalism is not patriotic.
Our beloved NHS and our world-renowned education system need long-term investment, leveraging the latest technologies and research, and educating the next generation of doctors and teachers, rather than a vision for public services owed more to a bygone era than a bygone era. state-of-the-art envy of the world.
But patriotism is also a belief, confidence and determination that our country’s future can be better than our past, and a promise to the British people that the next generation will do better than the last.
Labor will defend and protect our values, traditions and institutions, but also ensure that, like the Queen and the Monarchy, we move with the times and keep Britain on the cutting edge of innovation.
To succeed in the rapidly changing world, towards a net zero and digital future, we need a bold plan to lead the industry of the future so that we can sell goods and services that deliver the carbon neutral world that everyone needs and provide good jobs in every part of the country. Labor’s bold promise in climate investment is just that.
The new spirit of national resilience and security in our supplies, made more urgent by Covid and the war in Ukraine, is at the heart of our “buy, make and sell British” plans. If we had invested in our own capabilities for 5G technology 10 years ago, we wouldn’t feel at the mercy of Huawei and the Chinese Communist Party today. If the Tories hadn’t effectively banned onshore wind in the UK, we would be producing more extra energy than we import from Russia.
Dealing with the cost of living crisis, as the government has recently accepted, means stepping in to protect our people and the economy, while not being afraid to tax excess profits. That’s what patriotic politics and economics look like in today’s global high winds – not going back to imperial measures, or throwing all our high standards and expertise out the window, and offering our greatest commodities and future infrastructure for sale.
When it comes to upholding British values, securing the future of our leading institutions and promising the next generation, it is the Labor Party that puts Britain first.