Join the Socialist Party Join us today!

Printable version Printable version

Facebook   Twitter

Link to this page: https://secure.socialistparty.org.uk/issue/355/5861

From The Socialist newspaper, 10 July 2004

Whistling To Keep Their Spirits Up

THE FOUNDING conference of the Labour Representation Committee (LRC) took place at the TUC headquarters in London last Saturday. The aim of the LRC is to "reclaim" the Labour Party for the left and for socialism. The speakers included several Campaign Group Labour MPs and a number of left-wing trade union leaders.

Dave Carr

The conference discussion document stated that: "New Labour has meant simply a continuation of the reactionary political agenda of the past." The 10 June election results had brought New Labour "to the verge of destruction" and "voters in Labour heartlands are deserting the party in their millions at the polls". Yet the conference were in denial about New Labour being a capitalist party.

Delegates were at one in saying a Tory government would be worse than the Blair government. However, a member of PCS civil service trade union pointed out that in 1992 when Tory minister Michael Heseltine announced the axing of 30,000 coal miners' jobs there was protests by Labour. But, when Gordon Brown announced in Parliament 100,000 civil service job cuts by 2008, Labour MPs cheered!

Former ASLEF general secretary and LRC convenor Mick Rix described the dire situation facing the Labour left: "Party membership has collapsed... organisation is dysfunctional... individuals have been frozen out..."

Billy Hayes, general secretary of the CWU, admitted to feeling "depressed" after the expulsion of the RMT railworkers' union from the Labour Party and with the recent decision of the fire-fighters (FBU) union to quit Labour.

But he said there was no alternative to supporting Labour, citing the 1.8% national vote in the recent Euro-elections obtained by the Socialist Workers Party-led Respect coalition. He didn't, however, consider the demand campaigned on by the Socialist Party (which did win council seats in the recent elections), that the trade unions disaffiliate from Labour and instead use their financial resources and activists to build a socialist alternative to Labour.

The case for building a new workers' party was actually put forward, inadvertently, by Mick Shaw of the FBU (who supports restoring the Labour link). He said the FBU's decision to disaffiliate was not only the firefighters' seething anger at the government's attacks on the union during and since their pay strikes, it also reflected anger at Labour's policies - the war in Iraq, privatisation, top-up fees, etc.

He reported the question Tony Maguire (a member of the Northern Ireland Socialist Party who had successfully moved the disaffiliation resolution) had put to the FBU conference: "Are they 'our' bastards or just bastards?" Ironically, the LRC delegates applauded!

Donate to the Socialist Party

Coronavirus crisis - Finance appeal

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.
Inevitably, during the crisis we have not been able to sell the Socialist and raise funds in the ways we normally would.
We therefore urgently appeal to all our viewers to donate to our special coronavirus appeal.

Please donate here.

All payments are made through a secure server.

My donation

 

Your message: 

 


In The Socialist 10 July 2004:

Private Hands Off Our Education

Fight The Job Cuts

Union Leaders Facing The Wrong Way On Labour

Whistling To Keep Their Spirits Up

Labour Tells Blair - Keep Away!

Cops Target Asians

Pride In Socialist Ideas


Young workers

Fight For Your Rights At Work


Workplace news and analysis

Solid Action Can Be Built On

What Are The Lessons For The Left?


International socialist news and analysis

White House Tries Its Creature Saddam

Africa's Forgotten Wars

Brando - A Legend And An Enigma


 

Home   |   The Socialist 10 July 2004   |   Join the Socialist Party

Subscribe   |   Donate  




Related links:

Labour:

triangleSocialism Today special issue: Lessons from the Corbyn experience

triangleBlairite general secretary elected - Starmer's takeover of Labour Party consolidated

triangleCouncil finance disaster: set emergency no-cuts budgets and fight for funds!

triangleFurlough: We are not 'all in the same boat'

triangleLessons from the Corbyn experience

FBU:

triangleCoronavirus news in brief

triangleGrenfell watch: Unions challenge 'mockery of justice'

triangleGrenfell fire inquiry spin deflects blame from establishment

triangleMarch planned to save Bewdley Fire Station

Reports and campaigns

Reports and campaigns

5/6/20

Obituary

Ken Douglas

4/6/20

Black Lives Matter

3rd June anti-racist demonstrations across Britain

3/6/20

Equity

Equity union general secretary election

3/6/20

Socialist

Pandemic doesn't stop Socialist Party educating organisers: northern meeting

3/6/20

Labour Party

Blairite general secretary elected - Starmer's takeover of Labour Party consolidated

3/6/20

Racism

Fight racism and class inequality, fight capitalism!

3/6/20

Covid

Hospital closed following rampant spread of Covid-19

3/6/20

JCB

Coordinated union struggle needed to save jobs and nationalise JCB

3/6/20

PCS

PCS pay claim: Vital work unrecognised

3/6/20

Schools

Schools... no going back until it's safe

3/6/20

UCU

Reject the university employers' offer on pay, workload and casualisation

3/6/20

Buses

Fight continues for safety on London buses

27/5/20

Fighting Fund

We need readers' support to fight capitalist crisis

27/5/20

Ferries

Fight P&O's billionaire bosses' jobs cut plan

27/5/20

Schools

Schools aren't safe

triangleMore Reports and campaigns 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: 079 8202 1969

East Mids: 077 3797 8057

London: 07748 534 891

North East: 078 4114 4890

North West 079 5437 6096

South West: 077 5979 6478

Southern: 078 3368 1910

Wales: 079 3539 1947

West Mids: 024 7655 5620

Yorkshire: 077 0671 0041

ABOUT US

ARCHIVE

Alphabetical listing


June 2020

May 2020

April 2020

March 2020

February 2020

January 2020

2019

2018

2017

2016

2015

2014

2013

2012

2011

2010

2009

2008

2007

2006

2005

2004

2003

2002

2001

2000

1999