New Labour declared dead again

I can’t find the words to describe the situation of the dead arising to declare they’ll go on living. This might be helpful:

AFTER the Labour party defeat at Glasgow East, one of the safest Labour seats in the country, the Prime Minister Gordon Brown has stated that he will not be changing the policies of the Labour Party, it will continue to hand billions to the bankers and cut everybody else’s wages.

Quite succinct, dontcha think?

At Lenin’s Tomb, there’s a terse explanation of why Labour lost:

They gave in to the City and the rich on tax evasion, declared a freeze on public spending, advertised for bids on the privatised delivery of welfare, and announced a ‘revolutionary’ shake-up of benefits for the unemployed and incapacitated that will treat both like criminals.

Tony Woodley, leader of the country’s biggest union, Unite, has called for a purge of the Tory entryists that call themselves “New Labour”:

Just three words from Gordon Brown could transform Labour’s prospects even now: “Blairism is dead.” Already I can hear the objections from remaining defenders of the faith – drop the Blairism that won Labour three elections?

Alas, each victory at the polls was won with 2m fewer voters than the one before. We have run out of road there – and the Tories have had a makeover. But there is a more profound reason why we cannot look to 1997 for lessons. The world has changed. The Blairite “all things to all people but more things to rich people” approach could get by when the world economy was booming. Trickledown theory only works when it’s raining money.

Alas, Gordon thinks that rainclouds will gather within two years, so it’s not going to be easy to reason with him – and besides, he’s made amends with the Blairites.

I look forward to seeing Woodley’s name at the bottom of the People Before Profit Charter alongside those of union leaders Jeremy Dear
(National Union of Journalists), Brian Caton (Prison Officers Association), and Joe Marino (Bakers, Food & Allied Workers Union)…

Inflation and recession are now tightening their grip on the economy with every day that passes. Working people face rapidly increasing prices, especially for food and fuel; government led pay restraint; rising unemployment and a disastrous housing crisis.

At the same time the super-rich continue to enjoy huge profits, salaries and bonuses – yet pay less tax than under the Tories.

The desperation felt by many is having equally serious political effects: the resurgence of the Tories and an increase in anti-immigrant and fascist arguments.

We need a coordinated response to these threats. As part of this response please add your name to this Charter and then move support for the Charter at your trade union, party or campaign organisation.

  1. Wage increases no lower than the rate of inflation as given by the Retail Price Index. No to the government’s 2 percent pay limit.
  2. Increase tax on big companies. Introduce a windfall tax on corporation superprofits, especially those of the oil companies.
  3. Repeal the Tory anti-union laws. Support the Trade Union Freedom Bill.
  4. Unsold houses and flats should be taken over by local councils to ease the housing crisis. No house repossessions. For an emergency programme of council house building.
  5. Stop the privatisation of public services. Free and equal health and education services available to all.
  6. End the occupations of Iraq and Afghanistan and use the money to expand public services. Stop the erosion of civil liberties.
  7. Abolish tax on fuel and energy for old people and the poor. Re-establish the link between wages and pensions.
  8. No to racism. No to the British National Party. No scapegoating of immigrants.
  9. Reintroduce grants and abolish tuition fees for students.
  10. Increase the minimum wage to £8.00 an hour.

Many workers and trade unionists are now engaged in strikes and protests to defend their pay, jobs and services. We pledge ourselves to support their action and to support the campaigns that are dedicated to protecting working people, including:

  • Unite Against Fascism
  • Public Services not Private Profit
  • Defend Council Housing
  • Stop the War Coalition
  • Keep Our NHS Public

Please return to: People Before Profit Charter, BM 6035, London WC1N 3XX or email your name and details to peoplebeforeprofitcharter@googlemail.com

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