On the Politics Show, Sunday 24 September 2006, Max Cotton Interviewed Tony Woodley, Leader of the TGWU
'I remember the very bad days under the Tory government'
Interview with Tony Woodley, Leader of the TGWU
MAX COTTON: With me is Tony Woodley, who's the General Secretary of the Transport and General Workers Union. Tony, what do you want to hear from the Leadership this week.
TONY WOODLEY: Well we've got to stop the squabbling and get our message across and remind people of the tremendous successes under Labour. We don't three million people on the dole and it isn't a price worth paying. We have a stable economy. We don't see thousands of homes being repossessed. We have a minimum wage and many good things done for women on maternity and paternity pay. But we've got to remind people what we've done.
MAX COTTON: Gordon Brown, as we were seeing in that film, is making the speech of his political career tomorrow. What specifically do you want to hear from Gordon Brown.
TONY WOODLEY: Well I'd like any prospective leader to start listening and what they can do is listen to Labour voters. We've just done an ITN poll here, and it's making it very clear that we don't want more of the same. We don't want more privatisation of our Health Service. We do want more support for manufacturing. We do want a foreign policy that isn't cow-towing to the Americans and we certainly need to listen to our voters and get them active. Let's start looking at a new leader with a brand new agenda.
MAX COTTON: And do you think Gordon Brown is going to deliver for you that more traditional Labour agenda, which is what you've been calling for. Cos you polled Labour voters didn't you.
TONY WOODLEY: We did indeed. Hundreds and hundreds of Labour voters and these are the people who need to vote of course for us. Mr Brown, if he doesn't listen and if he does become our leader, it will be the shortest Labour leader in history, and that's the last thing we want. I do not have selective amnesia; I remember the very bad days under the Tory government, and as I said, - nothing else, three million on the dole, a price worth paying. We don't want to go back to those days.
MAX COTTON: Now Gordon Brown's speaking tomorrow, Tony Blair of course is speaking on Tuesday. There is a huge debate here on the NHS and privatisation, which the National Executive Committee are talking at the moment. What's your view. What's your view going to be on Wednesday, with the conference, talking about privatisation in the NHS.
TONY WOODLEY: Well two thirds of the voters that we polled said that they did not want to see any more privatisation of the most important public service we have - our National Health Service. And my experience in the private sector is that when you start to see out-sourcing, well that's what it's about here, it just results, results in costs down, on many occasions doesn't see a better service and that cost down normally means poorer wages and bad conditions for workers, we don't want that.
MAX COTTON: All right, thanks very much indeed Tony Woodley.
END OF INTERVIEW WITH TONY WOODLEY
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The Politics Show Sunday 24 September 2006 at 12.00pm on BBC One.
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