Socialist Worker

Reject Tony Blair's 'party of business'

Issue No. 1687

What we think

Reject Tony Blair's 'party of business'

KEN LIVINGSTONE'S decision to stand as an independent for London mayor is a turning point. The support for Livingstone reflects the fact that millions of people are disillusioned with the government. New Labour is not delivering for ordinary people. It is making things worse. Many who voted for Labour three years ago are questioning whether they were right to do so. Party members are asking whether they can remain in their own organisation. Others have already left in disgust.

These people have not left their party-their party has left them. New Labour insults and scorns its own supporters every time it repeats its favourite mantra: "New Labour is the party of business." They might as well just say that New Labour is the party of Rupert Murdoch, the party of profit and the market, the party of private greed above social provision.

The feeling against the government is not limited to a single issue. It is about privatisation, jobs, schools, housing and the health service. It is about racism, injustice, tuition fees and the minimum wage. It is about arms sales to dictators. It is about how we tackle the terrible poverty that exists all over Britain, and obscenities like homelessness alongside wealth.

In London everyone who wants change for the better should back Ken Livingstone for mayor, and back and campaign for the London Socialist Alliance (LSA) candidates for the Greater London Assembly. The LSA list in the election is headed by campaigning journalist Paul Foot and writer Mark Steel. The LSA wants to stop the privatisation of the tube. It also wants to:

  • Fight for a fully funded NHS.
  • Make the police more accountable and combat police racism.
  • Campaign for a decent minimum wage.
  • Oppose the sell off of council housing and build 25,000 new council homes a year.
  • Introduce tough new controls on pollution.

These issues are relevant in every corner of Scotland, England and Wales. That is why we urge all our readers and supporters to petition on the streets in support of the LSA, and to collect the money the LSA desperately needs for its election campaign. We also urge our readers to raise support for the LSA in their workplaces and trade union branches. The debate about whether it is right to break from New Labour is sharp in every workplace and union. It is a vital debate because it is about how we change our rotten, unequal society for the better.


Are you for the bosses..

JUST SOME of New Labour's candidates for the Greater London Assembly:

  • Helen Gordon, the union-busting boss at UCLH hospitals. She is ramming through privatisation of services and victimisation of trade unionists.
  • Lord Toby Harris who, as leader of Haringey council, began privatising our secondary schools.
  • John Biggs, who sacked hundreds of council workers across Tower Hamlets and rammed through compulsory redundancies and privatisation.
  • Kate Green, who used to be a City banker and now says she is proud to be a businesswoman.
  • Nicky Gavron, a millionaire who is keen to privatise London Underground.
  • Meg Hillier, New Labour yuppie in Islington who broke her promise to save one of the borough's old people's homes as soon as she was elected.

..or for the workers?

JUST SOME of the LSA's candidates for the Greater London Assembly:

  • Candy Udwin, a hospital secretary, trade unionist and fighter for the NHS for 25 years. She is standing against her own boss.
  • Greg Tucker, a rail worker and RMT union branch secretary. He is currently fighting to reinstate a rep who was sacked because she "went to the toilet without permission".
  • Sarbani Mazumdar, a council worker in Wandsworth and branch secretary of UNISON who is resisting the Tory council's attacks on its workers.
  • Weyman Bennett, national organiser for the Coalition Against the Criminal Justice Bill and currently an organiser for the Mumia Must Live! campaign.
  • Christine Blower, former president of the teachers' NUT union.
  • Jim Stanley, the brother of Harry Stanley who was gunned down by the police in Hackney, London.

People before profit

Support the London Socialist Alliance

Help us raise �40,000 for the campaign

  • Join the fight for socialist policies
  • Get speakers for your union branch, election leaflets and posters, collection sheets, details of forthcoming events

CONTACT LSA, PO BOX 20492, LONDON SE11 5WL Phone 020 8981 9243


Lobby the Scottish Labour Party Conference

Assemble Saturday 11 march, 12 noon, Regent Road, 
Edinburgh Details from 07931 798 737


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Article information

News
Sat 11 Mar 2000, 00:00 GMT
Issue No. 1687
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