An effing wipeout: ministers vote to keep their lavish expenses, ask workers to put up with pay cuts

You might be wondering, “What ever happened to Alistair Darling’s call for restraint?

From the boardroom to the shop floor, he said, wages must be held down in the face of rapidly rising living costs.

Our darling Chancellor never said anything about expenses, though, which might explain why over thirty New Labour ministers voted against reforming MPs pay and expenses – ministers like Andy Burnham, Caroline Flint, Tony McNulty, and Jacqui Smith voted for the corrupt status quo.

Gordon Brown didn’t even turn up to vote. He didn’t cajole or bribe his ministers to do the right thing.

Yesterday a letter was leaked showing that Geoff Hoon was either joking about the corruption which took place during the 42 day detention vote, or worse actually promising a bribe to the leader of an influential parliamentary committee.

It’s too much.

John McDonnell, who attempted to challenge Brown’s coronation last year, thinks Labour is heading for “a fucking wipeout“…

I fear that unless those few real Labour members of parliament take action, they will be booted out with the New Labour careerists at the next election.

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Hauliers fight for survival

From The News Line:

HAULIERS HAVE HAD ENOUGH!

Over 900 road hauliers and independent truckers, descended on Parliament yesterday to lobby their MPs to urgently and immediately reduce the price of fuel.

Frustration was building up as truckers parked up on the A40, 600 lorries strong, and made their way to Westminster, to press their demands.

They heard their leaders from the National Transport Association and Transaction, demand a fuel subsidy, to make hauliers ‘essential services’ like trains and buses.

The hauliers leaders are also demanding a standard Euro-wide price for fuel for all users, and an inquiry as to why diesel is now more expensive than petrol.

Andy Sheridan said: ‘I want Brown to listen to reason, and bring down the cost of fuel. If I’m going to lose my business then I’ll go out fighting

‘It took us nearly bringing the country to its knees the last time, just to get them to listen to us, and now we are exactly back where we were.

‘I’m the fourth generation to go into our business and these are the worst trading conditions I’ve seen for a long time.

‘It’s not just my livelihood that is going, its the 35 guys that work for me.

‘I’d like the Brown government to give us an essential users rebate as they do for the railways and buses. What is the logic of making fuel expensive? We deliver the goods, to keep the country going.

‘Brown has to have a mechanism for easing out the peaks and troughs because if we attempt to pass on the increases to customers then we get spiralling inflation.’

‘Stuart Hardman from M&K Green Transport in Warrington Cheshire said, ‘We should block off the whole country. Take all the trucks off the road for a week, or even two days for that matter. There would be nothing in the shops.

Stuart Hosey said: ‘We want the government to offset and moderate the fuel price increases.

‘The government haven’t done their job. They are an organisation that taxes 60p on a litre and are making £14 billion off taxing the oil in the north sea. They are the new “fat cats”.

‘The government have some obligation to put something back, not just for hauliers but for fishermen, farmers and hard pressed families, to keep fragile communities going.

‘I fear that if the government doesn’t listen, we will find people doing things we would find hard to condemn.’

Rob Armaston, an owner driver from Bradbury said: ‘We’ll have to do anything and everything that it takes.

‘Brown should be forced out. He is unelected as far as I am concerned.

Asked what further action Transaction was contemplating in the event there was no movement on the price of diesel fuel in the next few weeks, Seymour Carroll, President of Transaction told News Line: ‘People are so desperate, there is bound to be fringe activity’.

The young David Davis and his plan to crush the dockers

The Socialist Equality Party, whose candidate Chris Talbot is standing in the Haltemprice and Howden by-election, report the following:

Fred, a former merchant sea man, who had also read the SEP manifesto and agreed with it, brought a press cutting from the local Hull Daily Mail, November 18, 1988, to the SEP stall. The article, sub-headed, “We could crush strike”, reported Davis’s paper, “Clear the Decks,” written for the right-wing Centre for Policy Studies, in which he outlined a plan to provoke, and then break, a strike amongst dockworkers.

Davis, now championed by senior figures on the British left, including Tony Benn, explained in 1988 how a dock strike could be triggered just after Christmas, when workers had least money. A final date could be put for the dismissal of strikers to increase pressure on them. Davis’s intention was to break up the National Dock Labour Scheme, which at the time provided a regulated framework of working conditions for thousands of dockworkers in most British ports.

Margo, an unemployed woman, described Davis as a “well-known back-stabber, who was not even loyal to his own party. If he is not loyal to his own party, who is he going to be loyal to? He just wants to be leader of the Tories.”

“I figure, go for the candidate who is against 42 days, who is not David Davis.”

A health service, if you can keep it

What a gift this would be:

A 60th birthday present for the NHS
2nd Jul 2008

— an end to Labour’s privatisation

On the 60th anniversary of the NHS, the Green Party has called for a return to its original principles of public provision of healthcare, run for patients not profit, and free at the point of need. Greens will be joining the Keep Our NHS Public protest outside the Department of Health at Richmond House on Friday 4th July at 4pm.

Green Party Principal Speaker Derek Wall said:

“Nye Bevan’s legacy is being dismantled slowly and deliberately under New Labour’s privatisation agenda. Brown has mortgaged our health with PFI, and handed cash intended for healthcare over to corporate shareholders. His latest idea of closing GP surgeries and replacing them with privatised polyclinics is shocking but not surprising.

“Our birthday present to the NHS must be to turn this around, restore its founding principles, and kick out the corporate profit makers. That means keeping our hospitals public, ending the closure of GP surgeries, and properly valuing the staff of this defining public service.

“The modernisation of the NHS should strengthen, not dismantle, its public service ethos. Local health centres should bring more services from major hospitals closer to patients, not hoover up GP surgeries and make services more remote. Co-operation, not competition, should guide the development of our health service, and patients should control their treatment through a genuine partnership with their doctor, not a bewildering and wasteful internal market.”