Join the Socialist Party Join us today!

Printable version Printable version

Facebook   Twitter

Link to this page: https://secure.socialistparty.org.uk/issue/359/5906

From The Socialist newspaper, 21 August 2004

Action needed across the public sector

DESPITE TONY Blair taking it easy in the holiday homes of his rich friends in Italy and the Bahamas, there's been no let up in the government's assault on the public sector.

Bill Mullins, Socialist Party industrial organiser

Health minister John Reid has announced that 15 more hospitals will be built under the private finance initiative. This is in effect handing over another large chunk of the NHS into the greedy hands of big business.

This has been followed up by inviting private companies to take control of NHS Logistics, the stores and supplies wing of the NHS, responsible for supplying hospitals with "everything from syringes to Weetabix".

Labour's handing over of schools to big business has allowed evangelical Christian and car dealer Sir Peter Vardy, who runs the West London City Academy and the Kings Academy in Middlesborough, to make a tidy profit out of education as well as encouraging the teaching of creationism.

Wholesale

The wholesale privatisation of the public sector is Labour's goal. The ideologues of New Labour want to reduce the public sector to little more than a core workforce which will oversee the 120 billion a year spent by the government to provide services to its citizens.

Private companies will be able to bid for the contract to supply every public service, at a profit. This affects everybody - parents looking for a school for their children, the sick looking for a hospital, the low-paid looking for help to pay their rents and the unemployed.

To paraphrase Neil Kinnock's warning to the 1992 Labour Party conference about the prospects of a Tory government: "Don't get sick or unemployed under Labour, don't be homeless, don't be dependent on the state under Labour, for you will be in for a shock".

That is why the public sector unions have a huge responsibility, not just for their own members but for all the working class.

Labour wants to smash the public sector unions. They are consciously attempting to isolate the most left-wing unions, the civil service union PCS and the Fire Brigades Union (FBU) from the rest of the union movement. One councillor even told the Financial Times: "A lot of councillors and the government want to smash the FBU. Why don't they want to be honest about it?"

Unfortunately, the strategy of some of the left union leaders is to go along this path and separate themselves from the PCS and FBU. The announcement of civil service cuts was initially all but welcomed by some of them as "just a few backroom jobs". They have had to be more circumspect since chancellor Brown spelt out that 104,000 jobs would be going.

Only direct industrial action by the maximum number of public sector workers will make Blair sit up and listen. He knows that - that is why he is trying to divide and rule the public sector unions.

The Socialist Party, along with our supporters in the public sector trade unions, is launching a campaign to unite public sector workers in a one-day strike. We believe that only this will make New Labour sit up and listen.

All the best-worded resolutions on the TUC conference agenda will be as nothing unless it is backed up by action. What is needed is for all trade union activists to put their union leaders under massive pressure and demand action now in defence of the public sector.

Join the campaign:

Campaign to defend the public sector

Campaign for a one-day public sector strike

Leaflets and petitions are available for use inside and outside workplaces, as well as in general campaigning activities: contact PO Box 24697, London E11 1YD, 020 8988 8764, industrial@socialistparty.org.uk

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 21 August 2004:

Warning: Public Sector Under Attack

Action needed across the public sector

New Labour at war with firefighters

The fighting spirit that saved a pit

Know your rights

Europride Manchester: Stop bullying and discrimination


International socialist news and analysis

Resistance in Iraq

Oil prices set to rock world economy

Armed intervention in Sudan must be opposed

Venezuela referendum - corrupt elite lose again

Boston: Hundreds pack Ralph Nader meeting

Building for a socialist world


Workplace news and analysis

Swansea staff fight outsourcing

Yorkshire bus drivers: Determination pays off


 

Home   |   The Socialist 21 August 2004   |   Join the Socialist Party

Subscribe   |   Donate  




Related links:

Public sector:

trianglePCS elections: Support socialist candidates

triangleProbation privatisation failure

trianglePCS: Vote Yes to strike for better pay

triangleTrade union action to end low pay now!

triangleHarrowing accounts of austerity at Unison women's conference

Labour:

triangleLessons from the Corbyn experience

triangleHull Trades Council debates workers' political representation

triangleCrisis in council services: Labour must fight or stand aside

triangleTrades council debates workers' political representation

Unions:

triangleCovid crisis boosts union membership but TUC leaders want to cosy up to the bosses!

triangleThe 'Lucas Plan'

triangleUnited action can defeat Tories' dangerous school plan

FBU:

triangleCoronavirus news in brief

triangleGrenfell watch: Unions challenge 'mockery of justice'

Reports and campaigns

Reports and campaigns

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

27/5/20

Energy

Energy firm plans to make 2,600 redundant

27/5/20

Hull

Hull Trades Council debates workers' political representation

27/5/20

Covid

Eerily quiet before second wave - don't reopen schools!

25/5/20

Coronavirus

No return to unsafe construction sites

22/5/20

Obituary

Mick Cotter 21-9-57 to 20-5-20

22/5/20

Rolls Royce

Strong union response needed against job cuts

20/5/20

CWU

Postal workers' action results in double victory for union

20/5/20

NSSN

Organising to fight for workplace safety

20/5/20

Peterborough

Posties walk out in Peterborough after manager tests positive

20/5/20

Covid

Johnson claims workplaces safe but HSE cancels inspections

20/5/20

Protest

Safe protests against Tory corona chaos continue

19/5/20

Hull

Trades council debates workers' political representation

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


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