John was the first speaker. His main points were as follows
Last week in the Autumn Statement two basic facts were masked by the high numbers namely the hole of £120b in the budget caused not by Brexit alone but by Governemnt mismanagement. Our own people have suffered for six years as a result of a catalogue of failures; the promise to reduce debt, falling wage growth and growth in general falling back.
People are being hit hard.
This Government has ill- equipped the country to deal with Brexit and is causing unceertainty. The fiscal rule has collapsed. Labour offered one but it was refused. They have failed on their own terms. There are food parcels, zero hours, homelessness. The Government cannot feed , house and create sound employment. There is also infrastructure mismanagement.
On Brexit, Labour campaigns to reform not leave . We believe in a new relationaship with Europe and we are working across Europe with a range of parties to achieve that goal. Brexit is too serious an issue to put the Party before country. We need a new relationship. We need certainty for business, a fair tax system. Now is the time to borrow for growth not to waste money on plugging failure. WE need a 10 year investment plan. We hope the Government will see sense and work together.
He restated the decision to hold a series of regional conferences , to hold the May conference again in 2017 and hold one in Wales and Scotland. They will look at regional plans and how they are/ will work.as well as finding out what businesses need from Government.
LABOUR NEEDS A PROGRAMME ON THE SHELF. to transform the economy to transform society and create wealth and income to build a better society.
Finally If there is an early election we need to mobilise members and ideas.
Following questions he said we need to develop the narrative, mobilise through the conferences so that people feel the need for change.