Full cry, few full stops: John Prescott

AN extract from John Prescott's bravura speech:

I'm sad when I hear people from one side of the movement attack another - because trade unionists argue with the fervour that they have about this issue, that their conference has made a decision and that we're perhaps a little bit annoyed that they can't change to a different one shouldn't be a reason for attacking them defending a democratically arrived decision in the movement . . . we and the national executive have to understand those differences and try to find an agreement, that's why you elect us . . . in order to try to arrive at a common agreement and consensus . . . and that's what this debate is about. I think the unfortunate thing that again has been reflected in the movement and in this debate came I think from the difficulties that this debate started with - there were people in the movement looked around for scapegoats when we lost the last election and they took the view that the reason was it was the relationship with the trade union movement and what we should do is break that trade union relationship, I don't believe it, I fully reject it and I'm glad that the support of the conference last year rejected it. Let us also recognise that we come from our own different backgrounds and we're influenced by our experiences . . . but can there be any doubt that if John Smith doesn't have the same background as I have, can you have any doubt about a commitment to a strong trade union connection to this party after this week and the TUC only a few weeks ago? So I say to those comrades who started that debate - you did us no favour, you threw doubt on the essential contribution if we are to win the election, there is the unity and the solidarity of this movement to fight a common enemy - the Tories - and not ourselves, and I'd say it came a bit much to hear from them because they were the ones that basically attacked me as the traditionalist that they had control of most of those decisions in those elections - they lost and a little bit more humility from them would have been expected and should have been expected, so I say, let us put that all behind us . . . When I talk to delegates they tell me that the proposals from the executive, some feel, are a direct attack on the relationship of trade union, I will have no part in supporting any motion that I believe does that in weakening the relationship between the trade unions and the Labour Party, and, I might add, many changes in the traditionalists and modernisers I might have seemed to appear since I argued the case for the NEC that I've moved from a traditionalist to be a moderniser - I reject that. I like the traditional views, but let me say this clearly: some of the changes put forward by people being accused of traditionalists in the trade unions - they were the ones that made a number of powerful recommendations for changes that we didn't take on board.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Voices
voices
News
general electionThis quiz matches undecided voters with the best party for them
Arts and Entertainment
Keira Knightley and Matthew Macfadyen starred in the big screen adaptation of Austen's novel in 2005
tvStar says studios are forcing actors to get buff for period roles
News
Prince William and his wife Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge show their newly-born daughter, their second child, to the media outside the Lindo Wing at St Mary's Hospital in central London, on 2 May 2015.
news
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooks
ebooksA celebration of British elections
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Ashdown Group: Trainee Consultant - Surrey/ South West London

£22000 per annum + pension,bonus,career progression: Ashdown Group: An establi...

Ashdown Group: Trainee Consultant - Surrey / South West London

£22000 per annum + pension,bonus,career progression: Ashdown Group: An establi...

Ashdown Group: Recruitment Consultant / Account Manager - Surrey / SW London

£40000 per annum + realistic targets: Ashdown Group: A thriving recruitment co...

Ashdown Group: Part-time Payroll Officer - Yorkshire - Professional Services

£25000 per annum: Ashdown Group: A successful professional services firm is lo...

Day In a Page

Fishing for votes with Nigel Farage: The Ukip leader shows how he can work an audience as he casts his line to the disaffected of Grimsby

Fishing is on Nigel Farage's mind

Ukip leader casts a line to the disaffected
Who is bombing whom in the Middle East? It's amazing they don't all hit each other

Who is bombing whom in the Middle East?

Robert Fisk untangles the countries and factions
China's influence on fashion: At the top of the game both creatively and commercially

China's influence on fashion

At the top of the game both creatively and commercially
Lord O’Donnell: Former cabinet secretary on the election and life away from the levers of power

The man known as GOD has a reputation for getting the job done

Lord O'Donnell's three principles of rule
Rainbow shades: It's all bright on the night

Rainbow shades

It's all bright on the night
'It was first time I had ever tasted chocolate. I kept a piece, and when Amsterdam was liberated, I gave it to the first Allied soldier I saw'

Bread from heaven

Dutch survivors thank RAF for World War II drop that saved millions
Britain will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power - Labour

How 'the Axe' helped Labour

UK will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power
Rare and exclusive video shows the horrific price paid by activists for challenging the rule of jihadist extremists in Syria

The price to be paid for challenging the rule of extremists

A revolution now 'consuming its own children'
Welcome to the world of Megagames

Welcome to the world of Megagames

300 players take part in Watch the Skies! board game in London
'Nymphomaniac' actress reveals what it was really like to star in one of the most explicit films ever

Charlotte Gainsbourg on 'Nymphomaniac'

Starring in one of the most explicit films ever
Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi: The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers

Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi

The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers
Vince Cable interview: Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'

Vince Cable exclusive interview

Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'
Iwan Rheon interview: Game of Thrones star returns to his Welsh roots to record debut album

Iwan Rheon is returning to his Welsh roots

Rheon is best known for his role as the Bastard of Bolton. It's gruelling playing a sadistic torturer, he tells Craig McLean, but it hasn't stopped him recording an album of Welsh psychedelia
Morne Hardenberg interview: Cameraman for BBC's upcoming show Shark on filming the ocean's most dangerous predator

It's time for my close-up

Meet the man who films great whites for a living
Increasing numbers of homeless people in America keep their mobile phones on the streets

Homeless people keep mobile phones

A homeless person with a smartphone is a common sight in the US. And that's creating a network where the 'hobo' community can share information - and fight stigma - like never before