Socialist Worker

It is time to bury Blairism

Issue No. 2049

Cleaners and students from Soas in London protesting on May Day (Pic: Guy Smallman)

Cleaners and students from Soas in London protesting on May Day (Pic: Guy Smallman)

Gordon Brown, Tony Blair's proposed successor, gave 'Blair's decade of achievement' in government 'ten out of ten' in the Sun on Tuesday.

He praised Blair for producing 'some of the most memorable moments and achievements in our post-war history'.

But Blair's main achievements are horrific wars around the world, a growing gap between the rich and the poor, and attacks on working people. His policies have succeeded in driving New Labour's poll ratings down to the historic low of the early 1980s.

The anger felt by workers over the attacks they have faced was shown in the brilliant May Day strike by 250,000 PCS civil service workers' union members over job cuts, low pay and privatisation.

Mark Serwotka, the PCS general secretary, said, 'The heart of our public services is being ripped out as services suffer in the race to slash jobs.

'At the same time, the government is using its own workforce, a quarter of whom earn less than £15,400, as an anti-inflationary tool by insisting on capping pay at 2 percent while inflation creeps up to 5 percent.

'Added to which you have a dogmatic hostility to publicly run services and the misguided view that the private sector is always better than the public.'

Many workers from other unions backed the PCS strike. They joined picket lines and May Day marches to show solidarity and the growing mood for unity.

Tony Blair is set to announce his resignation from office soon. Millions will celebrate the warmonger's departure, chased on his way by the anti-war movement and growing workers' struggle.

But Brown is intent on continuing the neoliberal and pro-war policies that have defined the ten years of New Labour government.

Nothing shows this more than his imposition of a 2 percent pay limit on millions of public sector workers. This will mean that workers will face pay cuts.

It will take united strike action by a combination of public sector unions to win over pay.

As postal workers, health workers and teachers move towards industrial action alongside the PCS, joint strikes could break Brown's pay limit and point towards getting rid of Blair's policies.

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Tue 1 May 2007, 19:22 BST
Issue No. 2049
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