Link to this page: https://secure.socialistparty.org.uk/issue/804/18363
The Socialist 26 March 2014 |
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Bristol council: Voting for cuts, voting for careers
Bristol council minutes show that in 2013 only one Labour councillor opposed the cuts budget. They don't explain that he did so accidentally, by pressing the wrong electronic button.
This year he mastered the new system and so Labour's support for the £91 million cuts package was unanimous.
Even up to 48 hours before the meeting one or two of them were sidling up to us in the Socialist Party and whispering that the Mayor had 'gone too far' and their leader was 'out of touch'.
They claimed the Labour Group was being corralled into submission by bullying with even the threat of legal actions from a party minder.
Would the worms turn?
Given these particular characters, that was never going to be the most likely outcome.
Threats of subsequent deselection for having defied the whip would no doubt have intimidated some of them. But these days there's also the considerable loss of dosh to consider.
So far better to revert to nodding dog pose and put those lingering principles back into the box where they've been gathering dust for decades.
But then along comes a chance to show they can be after all a rather radical bunch when there's nothing at stake.
Following the death of former local MP Tony Benn, a book of condolence has been opened by the council.
Hundreds of ordinary Bristolians have already signed, but jostling them out of the way and determined to be caught by the television cameras, are those same Labour councillors who by their recent actions support everything that Benn opposed.
On 22 May the Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition will stand against every one of these scoundrels and their Tory, Lib Dem and Green friends with whom they seem to enjoy such banter in the council chamber.