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'President' Blair Fails Again
Build a new workers' party
TONY BLAIR'S government is in trouble. His attempts to implement a hurried and botched 'constitutional reform' and hide it behind a government reshuffle without even consulting his own Cabinet have been widely criticised.
Even New Labour politicians fear that Blair's government is more 'presidential' than ever (possibly modelling himself on his hero Bush)! As with the controversy about the Prime Minister lying about weapons of mass destruction, Blair has trodden on the toes of the establishment as well as those of the working class.
He criticises the House of Lords, not for its domination by the rich and powerful but for "old-fashioned time-consuming practices". In other words they've read - and temporarily defeated - hundreds of pieces of New Labour legislation.
He's abolished the Lord Chancellor's role and announced sweeping changes to the judicial and legal systems and to the machinery of devolution.
Blair is trying to cover this fuss with a speech about 'reforming' public services. His 'reforms' such as Foundation hospitals, Private Finance Initiative (another £9 billion worth of PFI deals are due in health, education and housing alone by 2005) are all supposed to prove that the private sector can solve the problems of the public sector.
Blair could hardly have chosen a worse day to try to prove his crass viewpoint than just after the Strategic Rail Authority report on Britain's privatised rail system.
The rail services are getting worse. Nearly a quarter of rail companies are technically insolvent and most of them are getting huge subsidies. Even when privatised firms such as engineering contractor Jarvis (still under police investigation over last year's Potters Bar rail crash) make record profits, they still can't run a service.
One in five trains are late, so services will be reduced to "make them more reliable"! The government claim that to get higher investment, passengers will have to pay 4% higher fares. Where's the money gone from their subsidies and profits?
All this capitalist nonsense is causing people to move away from New Labour.
Opinion polls show a revival even amongst the desperate Tories. Blair says if people don't stop attacking Blairite politics, the Tories will come back. But what has New Labour brought us but Tory policies squared?
Don't just replace Blair with another capitalist liar. Join us in our fight for a new mass workers' party and in our battle for that party to put forward a socialist alternative.
In The Socialist 21 June 2003: