Socialist Worker

Nine faces of New Labour

Issue No. 1684

Nine faces of New Labour

Blair's 'happy family'

Nine reasons to back London Socialist Alliance

These are nine of New Labour's "first eleven" candidates for the Greater London Assembly elections in May. Ken Livingstone agrees they would not be his first choice. They certainly aren't ours either.

Mr John Biggs the sacker 
City & E London

JOHN BIGGS, when elected as Labour leader of Tower Hamlets council in 1994, said, "The council staff are our greatest resource." A few months later he rammed through compulsory redundancies. Hundreds of workers lost their jobs. Handed over Tower Hamlets street cleansing services to Onyx and backed the privatisation of council homes.

Ms Nicky Gavron the millionaire 
Enfield & Haringey

NICKY GAVRON is a millionaire Labour Haringey councillor. She is the ex-wife of Lord Gavron, chairman of the Guardian Media Group. Not a high profile councillor, she always toes the Blairite line and happily votes to cut essential services. She is part of John Prescott's team whose brief is to privatise the tube.

Mr Toby Harris the lord 

LORD TOBY HARRIS was the leader of Haringey council until 1999. New Labour's key local government figure. He rammed through cuts and the introduction of the Private Finance Initiative into local secondary schools. When he failed to win the election to represent Haringey and was offered Brent he cried, "I can't represent Brent. I am Lord Harris of Haringey."

Ms Meg Hillier the yuppie 
NE London

MEG HILLIER is a leading member of Islington's New Labour mafia. Held on to her council seat in 1998 by promising to save an old people's home. She then broke her promise and voted to close it down. No wonder one Islington pensioner called her "a two faced liar". Married to Dave Simpson, a key figure behind the Dome.

Mr Gurcharan Singh the privatiser 
Ealing & Hillingdon

GURCHARAN SINGH is a defender of John Prescott's privatisation plans for London Underground. An Ealing councillor for 17 years, he is New Labour through and through. His reward for cutting jobs and services is a place in Blair's GLA team. Just like every other Labour GLA candidate he is backing Frank Dobson for mayor of London.

Mr Len Duvall the hypocrite 
Greenwich & Lewisham

LEN DUVALL, as leader of Greenwich council, voted to cut transport for kids with special needs. Yet he himself received special needs education as a child. Pivotal in privatising old people's homes and meals on wheels. Awarded himself a 400 percent pay rise a few years ago. One council worker described him as a "nasty piece of work".

Ms Kate Green the banker 
West & Central

KATE GREEN will bring "a wealth of experience" to representing ordinary Londoners, says New Labour. Her "experience" is that she was a banker in the City of London and now describes herself as a proud businesswoman. Biggest claim to fame is that she helped set up the Victoria Street Business Watch to help the Metropolitan Police.

Ms Helen Gordon the union basher 
Barnet & Camden

HELEN GORDON is a union buster. She gets 66,000 a year as the director of personnel at UCLH hospitals. She is playing a central part in the victimisation of two leading trade unionists at the hospital-Candy Udwin and Dave Carr. Both Candy and Dave have campaigned against the privatisation which Gordon is trying to ram through.

Mr Trevor Phillips the Dobson man Heads up Blair's list

TREVOR PHILLIPS is Dobson's running mate. He defends Labour's privatisation plans for London Underground and is in favour of selling off council houses. He is a director of a TV company. Phillips sends his kids to private school. He boasts, "It was everything that we wanted. For us it was a case of finding the right school for our children."

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Article information

Sat 19 Feb 2000, 00:00 GMT
Issue No. 1684
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