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A New Party Is Needed
AS WORKERS are moving into struggle, the union leaders are coming under increasing pressure to review their link with a party that attacks workers through privatisation, low pay and worsening conditions in the workplace.
Instead of drawing the conclusion from this that it's time to break the link with New Labour and build a new mass workers' party, the union leaders, including those on the Left, talk instead about "reclaiming" the party.
Yet, they never explain exactly how they will go about doing this when the democratic channels in the party have been blocked off.
At a recent conference of the Socialist Campaign Group (see page 10) they seemed to just hope that something will turn up. They did not put forward any concrete strategy for reclaiming the party. Instead, there was a series of assertions that things were going their way.
However, as more and more workers are forced to move into action to defend their interests against New Labour and the bosses the pressure on the union leaders to disaffiliate from the party will grow and the call for a new mass workers' party will be increasingly taken up and turned into a concrete reality.
VICKY INGRAM, Socialist Party member, branch secretary of Derbyshire Unison and newly elected member of Unison's national local government committee, raised at the committee meeting on 13 July that the national strike proposed for September should also involve NUT, NATFHE and FBU, who all have pay claims pending. Her proposal was defeated but the demand for a one-day public sector strike is gaining increasing support amongst public-sector workers.
In The Socialist 26 July 2002: