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12 April 2007

Workers' lives get tougher under New Labour

THE LEAD story in The Observer on 8 April "Exclusive poll: public says PM has failed to improve country" did not surprise most working-class people, they know life has worsened under Blair's government.

Bob Severn

In the BPIX poll of 2,034 people, 61% do not think that "Britain is a more pleasant place in which to live in 2007 than it was in 1997" - only 10% agreed. 69% said that Britain is now a more dangerous place than ten years ago.

More than half rated the government's performance on the NHS as poor or very poor as hospitals across the country are hit with bed losses, ward closures, job cuts and privatisation. On transport 60% rated Labour's record as poor or very poor, and 45% said the same for education. When asked what Blair's greatest failure was, 58% said the war in Iraq, and 10% said the widening poverty gap.

Blair is now even more hated than Thatcher. Blair has not won such disapproval all by himself, but with the backing of New Labour. When Gordon Brown takes over as prime minister, he will still let the big business vultures pluck out the profitable bits from the remains of our public services.

Why then do the big trade unions, TGWU-Amicus, GMB and UNISON carry on funding Labour while their members suffer the consequences? Why don't they fund socialist and independent candidates opposed to war, cuts and privatisation, rather than a government that has done all three?

The Campaign for a New Worker's Party (CNWP) has been set up to bring together trade unionists, campaigners, students, young people and all those who want a mass party to represent the millions, not the millionaires.

If you agree, read and sign the declaration at and come to the CNWP conference on 12 May.