Join the Socialist Party Join us today!

Printable version Printable version

Facebook   Twitter

Link to this page: http://www.socialistparty.org.uk/issue/307/12655

From The Socialist newspaper, 5 July 2003

Building A Mass Alternative To New Labour

FOR THE first time since September 2000 - the time of the fuel protests - the Tories have inched ahead of New Labour in a national opinion poll. As Andrew Rawnsley explained in The Observer (29 June): "This does feel more significant than the spasm of anger against the government over the price of petrol. This time, it seems to mark a much more general and steadily accumulating discontent, sourced not by one grievance but a diverse spread of them".

The Tories are gaining ground, not because they are viewed positively as a viable alternative, but because of disillusionment with New Labour over issues such as privatisation, top up fees, foundation hospitals etc.

With the furore over 'dodgy' and 'sexed up' dossiers and the failure to find weapons of mass destruction in Iraq, it's no wonder that 66% think New Labour have not been honest and trustworthy.

Now, with the economy in its most parlous state for ten years (see page 3), New Labour should consider changing their theme tune to 'things can only get worse'.

It's against this backdrop that the final rally at Socialism 2003 (see centre pages) discussed 'How can we build a mass alternative to New Labour'.

Over the past two years, the Socialist Party has consistently argued that a new workers' party is needed to fight for the interests of working-class people, and that the trade unions can play a key role in building such a party.

What relationship the unions should have with New Labour has been a dominant theme at almost every trade union conference this year. But the union leaders, including most of the paid-up members of the 'awkward squad', do not want to break with New Labour, believing instead that the Party can be 'reclaimed'.

Even RMT leader Bob Crow said "In England at the moment, we haven't an alternative and that's why we are sticking with New Labour" (Scotsman 30 June). He does not see that as a left-wing union leader he has the responsibility and the authority to help build a viable trade union based alternative.

The Socialist Party does not believe that, at a time when workers are moving away from the Labour Party in their droves, the union leaders will succeed in mobilising thousands of workers to claim the Party back.

The 'summit' of union leaders proposed by Tony Woodley of the TGWU, if it were to seriously pursue its goal of reclaiming the Party, would need to adopt a fighting programme which demanded, as a minimum, an end to privatisation and nationalisation of those parts of the public sector already in private hands; the scrapping of tuition fees and no foundation hospitals. It would need to call for the democratisation of the Party and a new socialist clause for the constitution as well as the reinstatement of all those socialists expelled by the Labour leadership.

Are the union leaders prepared to seriously campaign for such a programme to be adopted? If so, the Socialist Party would wish them every success. But if, as we believe will be the case, they are blocked by the New Labour apparatus then the question of building a new mass workers' party will be starkly posed.

Why not click here to join the Socialist Party, or click here to donate to the Socialist Party.


In The Socialist 5 July 2003:

Bosses Get £Millions: Workers Get Sacked

Kick Low Pay Out Of The NHS

Words Of Mass Distraction

Fuel price rises provoke general strike in Nigeria

LGBT rights: 'Family values' fears produce confused equality measures

Socialism 2003: Enjoyable And Inspiring

"There's A Woman Out There Asking Questions!"

Rail Union's Historic Rule Change

Glad to be groovy at TGWU conference

Building A Mass Alternative To New Labour

Israel/Palestine: What's Behind The 'Ceasefire'?

SATs conference: End These Nightmare Tests

Iraq: Who's Winning The War Of Occupation?

Northern Ireland; Has The Peace Process Permanently Stalled?


 

Home   |   The Socialist 5 July 2003   |   Join the Socialist Party

Subscribe   |   Donate  




Related links:

Labour:

triangleArriva bus drivers' action wins pay rise

triangleBlairite council 'all ears' to rich property developers

triangleThe Socialist's 2017 quiz

triangleTotnes MP uses coffin controversy to distract from brutal NHS cuts

triangleLabour 'purge' furore really just democracy

Union:

triangleSupport the Crossrail Woolwich walkout

triangleSix months on - still no justice for Grenfell

triangleRetail sector crunch: nationalise to save jobs

triangleStrikers rally in Liverpool

Socialist:

triangleBirmingham Central Socialist Party: The rise of Militant - lessons from our history

triangle110 years ago: massacre at Santa Maria school in Chile - commemorate 21 December 1907

triangleTwo in five 'right to buy' homes now for let

Socialist Party:

triangleStop the rotten redevelopment plan, demand residents

triangleUnite day of action against blacklisting

Reports and campaigns

Reports and campaigns

16/12/17

Haringey

Blairite council 'all ears' to rich property developers

16/12/17

North West

Arriva bus drivers' action wins pay rise

14/12/17

Waltham Forest

Stop the rotten redevelopment plan, demand residents

13/12/17

London

Six months on - still no justice for Grenfell

13/12/17

Fracking

Movement growing against fracking giant Ineos

13/12/17

Devon

Totnes MP uses coffin controversy to distract from brutal NHS cuts

13/12/17

Miners

Tory plan to hold dinner at coal mining museum defeated

13/12/17

Bradford

Bradford campaign to save children's services launched

13/12/17

South London

South London health bosses' cover-up

13/12/17

Blacklisting

Unite day of action against blacklisting

13/12/17

Brighton

Brighton victory

13/12/17

Newham

Newham anti-academies strikes

13/12/17

Tamil Solidarity

Tamil Solidarity and Refugee Rights activists meeting

12/12/17

Woolwich

Support the Crossrail Woolwich walkout

7/12/17

Blacklisting

Unite protest against blacklisting

triangleMore Reports and campaigns articles...


Join the Socialist Party
Subscribe to Socialist Party publications
Donate to the Socialist Party

triangle16 Dec Blairite council 'all ears' to rich property developers

triangle16 Dec Arriva bus drivers' action wins pay rise

triangle14 Dec Stop the rotten redevelopment plan, demand residents

triangle13 Dec Six months on - still no justice for Grenfell

triangle13 Dec Movement growing against fracking giant Ineos

triangle13 Dec Totnes MP uses coffin controversy to distract from brutal NHS cuts

triangle13 Dec Trump's incendiary Jerusalem statement reignites Israeli-Palestinian...

More ...

triangle18 Dec Leeds Socialist Party: Religion and Socialism

triangle19 Dec Bristol North Socialist Party: Christmas social

triangle21 Dec Wakefield Socialist Party: Socialists and the National Question

triangle6 Jan Socialist Party national women's meeting

More ...

Socialist Party Facebook page
Socialist Party on Twitter
Visit us on Youtube

Archive

Archives:

December 2017

November 2017

October 2017

September 2017

August 2017

July 2017

June 2017

May 2017

April 2017

March 2017

February 2017

January 2017

2016

2015

2014

2013

2012

2011

2010

2009

2008

2007

2006

2005

2004

2003

2002

2001

2000

1999

Legal

SP RSS feed RSS

Platform setting: = No platform choice

V2