Why no campaign?
THE FOURTH Queen's Speech under the New Labour government was set to take place this week. Three issues dominated the political debate-crime, tax and Europe. But what about tackling the destruction that privatisation has caused across Britain?
The scale of the crisis is such that even people and institutions normally seen as right wing Tory bastions are up in arms. Lynda Lee Potter, one of the most right wing Daily Mail columnists, spent the whole of a recent column arguing against rail privatisation. The bosses' paper the Financial Times ran an editorial arguing against the privatisation of air traffic control.
Those usually loyal to Blair, like Polly Toynbee in the Guardian, have argued against privatisation. If this is what the mainstream press are saying, think how popular a campaign against privatisation would be. But where is it? What are the rail unions, and union leaders like John Monks and John Edmonds doing?
If they had launched a campaign over the last few weeks it would have forced renationalisation onto Blair's agenda. Their failure to do so shows sharply the need for a left wing political alternative in Britain.
London teachers protest
ABOUT 200 teachers joined a protest lobby outside Downing Street, followed by a rally, on Tuesday of last week. The protest was called by the Ealing association of the National Union of Teachers as part of a campaign to highlight the chronic shortage of teachers, especially in London. Many younger teachers on the protest told Socialist Worker how they cannot afford to live in London and were looking to move elsewhere or leave teaching as a result.
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National Film Theatre, Sunday 10 December, 12.15pm
CRADLE WILL ROCK
Introduced by Mike Marqusee Tickets 6/4 Phone 020 7517 9196 to book
SELLING OUT FAST!