IT appears that Neil Kinnock (Lord Kinnock of Bedwelty) is something of a forgotten man in political history. Indeed, leaders can become forgotten quite quickly. It was the same for Harold Wilson in the eighties and nineties. There is no doubt that without Neil Kinnock, the modern Labour Party would not have been born. Indeed, the party that only enjoyed power for 26 years in the 20th century could have been torn beyond repair.
Lord Kinnock was at Pitsea Leisure Centre on friday night to support South Basildon and East Thurrock MP, Angela Smith and Billericay PPC Allan Davies. With 50 days to go, Labour seem to be rolling out the big guns early. It will be interesting to see whether the other parties will match them.
Below is a piece of Lord Kinnock’s oratory from the eighties. “Welsh windbag” to some, a master of oratory for others.
“If Margaret Thatcher is re-elected as prime minister on Thursday, I warn you. I warn you that you will have pain – when healing and relief depend upon payment. I warn you that you will have ignorance – when talents are untended and wits are wasted, when learning is a privilege and not a right. I warn you that you will have poverty – when pensions slip and benefits are whittled away by a government that won’t pay in an economy that can’t pay. I warn you that you will be cold – when fuel charges are used as a tax system that the rich don’t notice and the poor can’t afford.
I warn you that you must not expect work – when many cannot spend, more will not be able to earn. When they don’t earn, they don’t spend. When they don’t spend, work dies. I warn you not to go into the streets alone after dark or into the streets in large crowds of protest in the light. I warn you that you will be quiet – when the curfew of fear and the gibbet of unemployment make you obedient. I warn you that you will have defence of a sort – with a risk and at a price that passes all understanding. I warn you that you will be home-bound – when fares and transport bills kill leisure and lock you up. I warn you that you will borrow less – when credit, loans, mortgages and easy payments are refused to people on your melting income.”