Socialist Worker

Make a noise against New Labour policies

Thousands of protesters will gather at the opening of Labour’s conference on Sunday to demonstrate against the government’s polices on trade and debt. MARK CURTIS of the World Development Movement spoke to Socialist Worker about the protest.

Issue No. 1920

THIS IS a public mobilisation to put pressure on the government at their party conference and tell them that people are concerned about international trade and trade justice.

We also want to put some “clear blue water” between what we want and where the government stands. On almost every key issue trade justice campaigners disagree with government policy.

New Labour’s spin doctors have convinced a lot of people—especially the mainstream press—that they somehow play a progressive role on international trade justice issues.

But their agenda in reality is the opposite. The New Labour government is among the worst. Their record is one of vigorously promoting neo-liberal trade policies across the world.

They have got this nice phrase—that they support “free and fair” trade. But it’s just nonsense. Their overall agenda is to promote privatisation, liberalisation and deregulation.

We also want to make sure the government realises that this is an issue of public concern—that it’s a popular issue.

There’s amazing activity at a local level round the country to support the Trade Justice Movement. We’ll be launching a petition where people can sign up to demand global trade justice. It’s a bigger issue than many people in government realise.

Next year will be important for trade justice campaigners. There’s a World Trade Organisation round in Hong Kong at the end of the year.

Also Britain will be hosting the G8 meeting in Scotland and taking on the presidency of the European Union.

We want to make trade justice a major political issue. It’s important that civil society gets involved in the campaign.

Assemble 1pm, Madeira Drive, Brighton, on Sunday 26 September. Bring pots, pans, whistles and drums. Go to

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Sat 25 Sep 2004, 00:00 BST
Issue No. 1920
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