I didn’t bother posting on this weekend’s stories concerning Milibliar’s nudge-nudge-wink-wink leadership challenge.
Suffice to say that the internal conflicts within the PLP are not about bread and butter issues like the rising cost of living for working people, the housing crisis, youth crime, pensioner poverty, etc.
Rather the wrangling is over just how neoliberal New Labour will be in future.
There was something rather comical about the way in which the BBC reported that it had learned of an alternative policy programme that was being put to Brown by “a group of ex-ministers”. As if we would have trouble working out who these people were…
Step forward Stephen Byers, Charles Clarke, and Alan Milburn. Too gutless to stand against Brown last year, this clique of embittered crypto-Conservatives aren’t content with their corporate sinecures, they want New Labour to serve their masters with even greater alacrity and more privatisation. They are joined by current ministers such as James Purnell and John Hutton, so it should not be too difficult for Brown to shuffle them back into ministerial positions.
The WRP’s News Line editorial explains in a characteristically OTT style:
THE ‘DUPLICITOUS TRAITOR’ STRIKES AGAIN
LABOUR MP Bob Marshall Andrews, recently called the Labour Foreign Secretary David Miliband a ‘duplicitous traitor’, after Miliband published an article in the Guardian about the next election, without mentioning the Prime Minister Gordon Brown, making it clear that Miliband was in favour of ditching Brown.
Marshall Andrews called for Miliband to be sacked.
Gordon Brown reportedly told his supporters to ease off on the treacherous opportunist and set about to let it be known that ultra-right Thatcherites such as Milburn, the ex-Health Secretary, who wants to see the NHS replaced by health insurance as in the US, were under consideration to be brought back into his cabinet in a September reshuffle.
Now it turns out that the ‘duplicitous traitor’ was much more than one step ahead of the Prime Minister. He has already made a deal with Milburn that he is going to be the next Chancellor of the Exchequer in a Miliband government, after a September coup that will send Brown into political retirement.
Milburn resigned as health secretary in 1993 in anger at the way he said that Brown was holding back his attempts to privatise the NHS.
In his ‘retirement’ he gained lucrative employment with a private equity company and a number of private companies looking to make profits out of NHS contracts.
No doubt that, with Milburn would return all of the previously dumped discredited and hated Blairites, Byers, Charles Clarke, Blunkett, and Reid, to join ‘new men’ such as James Purnell, the anti-working class Work and Pensions Secretary, to launch a new offensive against the working class to end the Welfare State.
Such a gang would carry out any and every vicious measure against the working class that was required by the bosses.
The message to be drawn from this mess of right-wing opportunist policies and careerist intrigue is clear.
The Labour Party was set up by the trade unions as its representative in parliament to give legal support to the gains that the trade unions made.
The trade unions still finance the Labour Party with millions of pounds from their members’ subscriptions.
Now the trade unions must act to use all of their power to purge the Labour Party of the different gangs of opportunist politicians.
The first thing that they must do is to halt all financial payments to the Labour party. The membership of Unite must force its leaders to rip up their letter of assurance to the Labour Party that they will continue to finance the party into the future.
The next thing is that the unions must call national strike action against the government’s policies of three-year wage cutting deals, while tens of billions of pounds are being handed over to the banks.
The only way to clean up this mess is through indefinite industrial action to bring the Brown government down and to go forward to a workers government that will carry out socialist policies.
A workers government will slash the cost of living through nationalising the gas and oil companies, and slashing the government duty on petrol.
It will ban the repossession of homes by the banks, penalising workers who have either lost their jobs or because of massive inflation cannot service their mortgage debts.
It will solve the housing crisis by organising a national plan to build millions of council homes at minimal rents and to provide millions of youth with jobs and training at trade union rates of pay.
Such a government will resolve the crisis of capitalism by getting rid of it and by going forward to socialism.