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From The Socialist newspaper, 26 February 2020

Rebecca Long-Bailey rally for Labour leadership in Birmingham

Council cuts could cost Labour another general election

Rebecca Long-Bailey - would you stand firm against the capitalist class? photo Paul Mattsson

Rebecca Long-Bailey - would you stand firm against the capitalist class? photo Paul Mattsson   (Click to enlarge)

Clive Walder, Birmingham South West Socialist Party

150 people tuned out in Birmingham to hear Rebecca Long-Bailey's pitch for the Labour leadership. The decline in Momentum's influence and the partial demobilisation of Labour members is reflected in the fact that Jeremy Corbyn spoke to an audience of 800 in the same venue in 2015.

A Birmingham Labour councillor, reflecting public despair at the relentless cuts in council budgets, asked what she would do to help Labour councillors who didn't want to vote for cuts. All she said was that she would enable councillors to show people how good things could be under a Labour government, while they are cutting services beyond the bone!

There was no mention of no-cuts budgets or using borrowing powers and reserves to protect services. She was also taken to task by a Labour member for signing up to the International Holocaust Remembrance Association's definition of antisemitism.

Rebecca made many good points that Socialist Party members would agree with. Building 100,000 council houses a year, providing secure, well-paid employment, ending the race to the bottom and blaming the near collapse of public services on underfunding not immigration.

She talked about aspirations for improved conditions of life, but this wasn't linked to the need for socialist policies or the need to change society. The word 'socialist' was only mentioned once.

Rebecca Long-Bailey is a long way from the socialist leader that workers need. The battle for a worker's party needs to continue.

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The coronavirus crisis has laid bare the class character of society in numerous ways. It is making clear to many that it is the working class that keeps society running, not the CEOs of major corporations.

The results of austerity have been graphically demonstrated as public services strain to cope with the crisis.

The government has now ripped up its 'austerity' mantra and turned to policies that not long ago were denounced as socialist. But after the corona crisis, it will try to make the working class pay for it, by trying to claw back what has been given.

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In The Socialist 26 February 2020:


News

Austerity kills

Average wages recover to pre-crisis levels - but we're still over a decade behind

Bezos gives $10bn for climate - nationalise the rest!

Weinstein found guilty


What we think

Immigration: For a system that meets the needs of the majority, not a rich elite


Universities strike

Solidarity with striking university staff

University workers' strike over pay, pensions and workload escalates


Council cuts

Coventry: A socialist councillor who will vote against cuts

Number of women killed by current or ex-partner rises

Leicester: We can't take any more cuts, any more misery, and we are fighting back

Students and workers out together on Budget Day, 11 March

Stop the council cuts

Council cuts could cost Labour another general election


Workplace news

Packed meeting of workplace militants, strikers, socialists and trade union leaders

All out to win Royal Mail strike reballot

PCS union relaunches pay campaign

Workers call on Interserve bosses to recognise union

Anti-academy strikes growing


International news

Germany: Right-wing terror attacks - fight racism, fight capitalism!

Northern Ireland's strike wave


The BBC

This is the BBC: fight the cuts - and the capitalist media


Campaigns

Congress 2020 appeal: Donate to help us renew vital resources

Housing cuts cost lives

Socialist sellers


Readers' opinion

The Socialist Inbox


 

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Cuts:

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Council:

triangleThe Socialist inbox

Socialist:

triangleWest Socialist Party: Fight to end low pay in the NHS and Care

Birmingham:

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