Join the Socialist Party Join us today!

Printable version Printable version

Facebook   Twitter

Link to this page:

From The Socialist newspaper, 3 October 2012

Sickened by Labour conference? Build the anti-cuts alternative!

Ronnie Job, Swansea

One further downside of being sick and off work is that I've been able to watch some of the Labour Party conference. Anybody else who's had a similar misfortune, watching Labour Party conference - not being off sick, won't have needed to see much to answer the question posed in the last issue of the Socialist, 'Can Labour give a lead in the fight against austerity?', with a resounding 'No!'

In the run-up to conference, Len McCluskey, leader of Unite, called on his union members to join the Labour Party to reclaim it for trade unionists and the working class.

He also predicted to the press that Labour would have to listen to the unions and his union in particular because Unite has backed Labour to the tune of 6 million in the last few years.

Any Unite members watching the conference would have wondered what they got for 6 million of their hard-earned subs.

Ed Balls' speech blew any idea that Labour is listening to the unions out of the water. He bragged about how he had told the TUC conference that Labour would not commit to reversing any Tory cuts and that Labour in power would have made, and will make, cuts.


He compared the Labour Party of today to that of 1945. Here I thought he might say that Labour would defend the NHS Clement Atlee's administration set up.

But no, he preferred to concentrate on the cuts they made, like bringing in prescription charges.

He called for a cross-party consensus on re-building Britain when it seems to ordinary people that there is a consensus from the parties in power - that the working class must pay for the current crisis of capitalism.

When McCluskey spoke many of the Labour Party members who applauded Balls weren't in the room. When the leader of my union, Dave Prentis of Unison, spoke the hall looked practically empty. It was a graphic demonstration that Labour is not listening to the unions.

So to McCluskey and Prentis - stop throwing away our subs and instead build a real alternative! Imagine what the Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition (TUSC, the electoral coalition that the Socialist Party participates in with leading left trade unionists) could do with the resources of these huge unions behind it.

Apparently in his speech Miliband will tell us how he is 'one of us'. Yeah right! Can you see him making difficult decisions at the end of each month about buying food or paying bills? Is he worrying about his house being repossessed or looking for a pay-day loan from the likes of Wonga? I don't think so!

In contrast to the Labour Party the Socialist Party insists that our members who are elected to positions in trade unions or politics receive only the same wage as the people they represent.

If you elect a Socialist Party member under the TUSC banner you know you truly are electing "one of us".

Even if I hadn't already been off sick, watching Labour Party conference would have made me nauseous.

It makes me all the more determined to build TUSC, the anti-cuts political alternative, in the future.

Bob Crow slams Labour and calls for a political alternative

Responding to the adoption of Con-Dem policies on public sector pay by the Labour front bench at the conference in Manchester, RMT general secretary Bob Crow said:

"Millions of workers have had their pay frozen for years now and have seen their real standards of living decrease by 16% while boardroom pay has gone through the roof.

"You would have thought that the Labour Party might do something to side with those taking a battering and against those dealing it out but you would be wrong.

Labour and the government are now positioned like Tweedledum and Tweedledee; whichever one you vote for you end up with the same kick in the teeth for the very people that make this country tick and that is a disgrace.

Who are those nurses, teachers and public service staff going to vote for now that Labour has made it clear they have abandoned them?

The case for a political party rooted in the trade unions and with a clear socialist agenda is now overwhelming as Ed Miliband and Ed Balls signal their desertion of the working class and their adoption of a pro-business, pro-EU and pro-austerity programme".

Bob Crow is a member of the TUSC national steering committee and the general secretary of the RMT union which, at its annual conference this June, agreed to formalise its relationship with TUSC.


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

In The Socialist 3 October 2012:

Education news & analysis

Tory education policy: 'This is just about making cuts isn't it?'

Building the fightback in the universities

Suspended student union president continues fight for reinstatement

NUT activists prepare for action

Barnfield College, Luton: Kick private profit out of education

Partial victory for international students at London Metropolitan

No to slave labour in universities

International socialist news and analysis

Europe: Class struggle returns with a bang

South Africa: Solidarity with miners

Algerian war of independence 1954-1962

Socialist Party NHS campaigning

Action against Profit From Illness!

South West NHS workers want action against 'pay cartel'

Save Greater Manchester mental healthcare

Cut the Con-Dems - not our NHS!

Socialist Party workplace news

Bin workers calling indefinite strike brought results

Day of Action to save HMRC nurseries

Crossrail flashmob blocks London's Oxford Street

Arts and culture workers need to fight back

Socialist Party reports and campaigns

The fight of all our lives - For a 24-hour general strike

Councillors must resist all Tory cuts

Thousands march for an independent Scotland

March for Jobs in Scotland

Rape is No Joke campaign discussed

Socialist Party news and analysis

Scotland: Lamont throws Labour Party into crisis

Sickened by Labour conference? Build the anti-cuts alternative!

Council tax benefit - new and not improved

Squatting conviction paves way for rise in homelessness

Them & Us


Home   |   The Socialist 3 October 2012   |   Join the Socialist Party

Subscribe   |   Donate   |   PDF  

Related links:

Labour Party:

triangleUnite local government sector plans strike ballot

triangleTories torn - bin them now

triangleThe end of the Tories?

triangleHousing crisis: Corbyn's positive measures blanked by Labour's right

triangleThe Tories must be driven out


triangleSheffield Labour council threatens peaceful protesters with prison

triangleHundreds turn out for rally aimed at removing west Wales Tory MP

triangleSwansea Socialist Party: Mother Jones - A US labour pioneer

triangleSalford Unison condemns pay cuts


triangleNorth London hospital workers fight cuts and job losses

triangleNo cuts - hands off King George A&E!

triangleYoung people being strangled by debts


triangleDemand for no-cuts budget grows

triangleThousands march - mayor needs real anti-cuts strategy


triangleToo much to cross the Mersey


triangleConference on state spies: who's watching who?

News and socialist analysis

News and socialist analysis



Hundreds of torture victims wrongly detained



Tories torn - bin them now


What we saw

What we saw



Obesity epidemic: end food market anarchy



Tories scrap the NHS pay cap: now fight for real-terms pay rises!



Young people being strangled by debts



The end of the Tories?



Nasty party out the Tories


Black history

The fight against racial discrimination is tied to fighting against capitalist austerity



Housing crisis: Corbyn's positive measures blanked by Labour's right


Universal Credit

Major attacks 'Universal Credit', half a million more face poverty


Them & Us

Them & Us



NHS meltdown - fight the Tory cuts



IMF helps cause inequality it slams



Tories wreck our NHS

triangleMore News and socialist analysis articles...

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

triangle19 Oct Arriva North West bus drivers strike over pay

triangle18 Oct Russia, October 1917: When workers took power

triangle18 Oct Tories torn - bin them now

triangle18 Oct Royal Mail bosses block strike - back postal workers

triangle18 Oct Balloting members on the pay cap

triangle13 Oct The end of the Tories?

triangle11 Oct Nasty party out the Tories

More ...

triangle23 Oct Chesterfield Socialist Party: The continuing struggle for abortion rights

triangle24 Oct Liverpool Socialist Party: The October Russian Revolution 100 years ago to the day

triangle25 Oct Salford Socialist Party: The October 1917 Russian revolution

triangle25 Oct Swansea Socialist Party: Mother Jones - A US labour pioneer

More ...

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



October 2017

September 2017

August 2017

July 2017

June 2017

May 2017

April 2017

March 2017

February 2017

January 2017





















Platform setting: = No platform choice