Join the Socialist Party Join us today!

Printable version Printable version

Facebook   Twitter

Link to this page: https://secure.socialistparty.org.uk/issue/409/4648

From The Socialist newspaper, 29 September 2005

What we think

Waiting for Gordon

BLAIR IS going - and should go - but his replacement as prime minister by Gordon Brown, whether in the immediate or medium future, will bring no relief to working-class people in this country.

Blair has more than outstayed his welcome, as opinion polls on everything from the occupation of Iraq to education and the NHS show. Yet, it will be a case of "meet the new boss, same as the old boss" if Brown takes up the reins.

He has promised 'no shift to the Left' and to continue with New Labour's 'scorched earth' policy of handing over public services to private companies. Brown's assertion that New Labour needed renewing shows how deep the mistrust of Blair's government is.

Anyone who needed confirmation that Labour is the natural party of big business need look no further than this week's conference.

Prominent amongst the guest speakers will be CBI leader Digby Jones, who will lecture union leaders and delegates that they should accept public-sector pension cuts and how they should lie prostrate before the incessant 'modernisation' (read privatisation) of public services.

At the conference itself delegates were "welcomed by widescreen TVs rotating advertisements for Capita, Fujitsu and PwC" some of the major companies who benefit from the privatisation of public services.

How much longer union leaders can remain in denial about the true character of New Labour being a pro-big business party in the face of all this is an open question.

Until now, they have comforted themselves with the mantra of 'Waiting for Gordon'. But like Samuel Beckett's play of a similar name, Waiting for Godot, the punchline is that the person they are waiting for never arrives.

The union leaders will get, however, not an 'Old Labour' Social Democratic prime minister in the form of Gordon Brown, but a prime minister who will be as "unremittingly New Labour" as Tony Blair. Brown has confirmed most brutally in recent weeks that Labour's real policy makers will continue to be Murdoch, Bush and the big corporations not the Big Four union leaders.

Whatever resolutions the unions manage to get passed at this week's conference, it will not make a jot of difference to Blair or Brown. It may show the disquiet and anger building up at Blair, but, contrary to Amicus general secretary Derek Simpson's claim, things will not be different under Brown.

Renationalisation

Labour conference last year passed a priority motion calling for rail renationalisation, which should have been included in the party's general election manifesto. But when the election came, rail renationalisation was nowhere to be seen as a policy commitment.

Some of the Left, still clinging on to the wreckage of Labour, believe they can set about reclaiming it more effectively with Blair gone. They say that Labour membership dropping by a quarter of a million under Blair in the last eight years, due to disillusion with his policies on Iraq and domestically, makes it easier for 'fresh' forces to go in and reclaim it.

Yet, those who remain in the Labour Party are, with a few exceptions, likely to be the most ardent Blairites, clinging on to the party machine to maintain their careers as New Labour politicians. The Labour Representation Committee (which wants a return to 'real Labour') claims to have only 500 members and admit, if pressed, that they cannot find the numbers of enthusiastic trade unionists to go in and reclaim the party. Furthermore, the structures no longer allow party members to effect change in the party, leaving the leadership with an iron grip over everything.

Railworkers' leader, Bob Crow correctly says Labour is no longer a party that represents working people and trade unionists.

But, Bob Crow, and other union leaders, as well as the shop stewards and activists in the trade unions, must draw a decisive conclusion from this. That is, they need to call a genuine, representative conference of trade unionists, community activists and young people to discuss how to begin establishing a new party to further the struggles of working-class people against the neo-liberal assaults of Bush, Blair or Brown.


Sixty years ago: Labour's 1945 landslide

Why not click here to join the Socialist Party, or click here to donate to the Socialist Party.


In The Socialist 29 September 2005:

NHS in danger

Labour's great NHS sell-off

Waiting for Gordon

Where are the Lib Dems going?

Anger at occupation of Iraq

Fight for free education

Don't sell off Peabody homes!

Anger grows amongst industrial workers

Morrison's join the 'race to the bottom'

Witch-hunt in Amicus as merger nears

Poland: Right-wing parties win election


 

Home   |   The Socialist 29 September 2005   |   Join the Socialist Party

Subscribe   |   Donate  




Related links:

Labour:

triangleSwansea: Corbyn rally attracts turnout but many can't get in

trianglePrepare now for the struggles after 12 December

trianglePlymouth Blairites side with anti-tenant landlords

triangleEnd council cuts now, to end Tory austerity!

triangleLabour's manifesto: fight to transform hope into a socialist society

Tony Blair:

triangleAttacks show elite fear a Corbyn election win

triangleTony Blair launches manifesto to sabotage a Corbyn government

triangleFor a socialist alternative to the EU - mobilise to kick out the Tories!

triangleGovernment limps on... Corbyn and unions must call urgent, mass action

Gordon Brown:

triangle10 years since the financial crash - the socialist answer to capitalist crisis

triangleHow Blairism sank its claws into the Labour Party

Bob Crow:

triangleNSSN conference 2019: at the heart of trade union struggle

triangleStrike together to kick out the Tories!

Election:

triangleHackney Socialist Party: What will the election result mean for 2020?

News and socialist analysis

News and socialist analysis

4/12/19

Pharmaceutical

End profiteering from health - nationalise big pharma

4/12/19

Labour

Prepare now for the struggles after 12 December

4/12/19

The Socialist

Keep up to date with our election coverage

4/12/19

NHS

News in brief

4/12/19

Hillsborough

Hillsborough justice eluded

30/11/19

London

Unite against terrorism, racism, war and austerity

27/11/19

Northern Ireland

Northern Ireland: strike action by NHS workers

27/11/19

University

Resist attacks against free speech on campus

27/11/19

Council

End council cuts now, to end Tory austerity!

27/11/19

Tories

Tories launch 'non manifesto'

27/11/19

Labour

Labour's manifesto: fight to transform hope into a socialist society

27/11/19

Monarchy

Prince Andrew outrage exposes establishment

27/11/19

Tory

Tory election campaign's dirty tricks and lies

20/11/19

Wages

Wages flatline, while shareholders profit

20/11/19

Internet

Broadband: privatisation has failed to deliver, time for a socialist plan

triangleMore News and socialist analysis articles...


Join the Socialist Party
Subscribe to Socialist Party publications
Donate to the Socialist Party
Socialist Party Facebook page
Socialist Party on Twitter
Visit us on Youtube

LATEST POSTS

CONTACT US

Phone our national office on 020 8988 8777

Email: info@socialistparty.org.uk

Locate your nearest Socialist Party branch Text your name and postcode to 07761 818 206

Regional Socialist Party organisers:

Eastern: 0798 202 1969

East Mids: 0773 797 8057

London: 020 8988 8786

North East: 0784 114 4890

North West 07954 376 096

South East: 020 8988 8777

South West: 07759 796 478

Southern: 07833 681910

Wales: 07935 391 947

West Mids: 02476 555 620

Yorkshire: 0114 264 6551

ABOUT US

ARCHIVE

Alphabetical listing


December 2019

November 2019

October 2019

September 2019

August 2019

July 2019

June 2019

May 2019

April 2019

March 2019

February 2019

January 2019

2018

2017

2016

2015

2014

2013

2012

2011

2010

2009

2008

2007

2006

2005

2004

2003

2002

2001

2000

1999