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From The Socialist newspaper, 14 February 2004

RMT expulsion signals...

Time For A New Workers' Party

BLAIR HAS never been more unpopular. 51% in an opinion poll in The Independent said it's time for him to go. This was just a matter of days after the Hutton report was supposed to have cleared him of any wrong doing. In reality, nobody believed Hutton any more than they believed Blair.

Bill Mullins, Socialist Party trade union organiser

His contortions on his criminal war mongering get ever more twisted. Now, when it comes to WMDs ready to be launched in 45 minutes, he pretends he didn't know the difference between a ballistic missile and a grenade launcher!

It's no wonder that the hatred of Blair has begun to create an unbridgeable gap between the trade unions and the Labour Party.

In an historic decision, the rail workers' union RMT defied a diktat from the New Labour hierarchy forbidding the union from using its political funds to support any party other than New Labour. The RMT is now expelled from the Labour Party.

This has created a storm of debate in the whole trade union movement. It's possible that many other trade unionists will demand that their unions also break the link with New Labour. Workers' anger against all that New Labour is doing to them is spilling over into an organised fight against Blair and Co.

The trade unions donate over 6 million a year to New Labour. Now, because the RMT has said that its Scottish branches can give a few thousand pounds to help the Scottish Socialist Party, this is too much for the control freaks that run New Labour.

The real answer to them is for the unions to go on to the offensive. We cannot leave the field open to the right wing in the unions who attempt to confuse workers by pretending that New Labour is the only game in town.

The RMT leaders, alongside other left union leaders, should now go to their members and explain the crying need for a new, trade union based, mass workers' party - a real socialist alternative to the capitalist Labour Party.

Unions should put up their own anti-cuts/anti-privatisation candidates in elections. At the same time they should organise to call a conference to launch a new workers' party.

This would give hope to tens of thousands of trade union members who are sick to death of their hard earned union subs being given to a party that cuts their jobs, attacks their wages, spends money on war rather than on the services we need and encourages the bosses to use the whole panoply of laws against workers in struggle for a better life.

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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.

  • The Socialist Party's material is more vital than ever, so we can continue to report from workers who are fighting for better health and safety measures, against layoffs, for adequate staffing levels, etc.
  • Our 'fighting coronavirus workers' charter', outlines a programme to combat the virus and protect workers' living conditions.
  • When the health crisis subsides, we must be ready for the stormy events ahead and the need to arm workers' movements with a socialist programme - one which puts the health and needs of humanity before the profits of a few.
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In The Socialist 14 February 2004:

RMT Expulsion Signals Time For A New Workers' Party

"Victims Of Cowboy Capitalism"

"Pinocchio" Blair's Lies Unravel


Socialist Party workplace news and analysis

Fighting Low Pay

RMT Makes Historic Break With New Labour

Socialist Alliance Trade Union Convention: No way forward


International socialist news and analysis

Pakistan's Nuclear Secrets Scandal


 

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