Join the Socialist Party Join us today!

Printable version Printable version

Facebook   Twitter

Link to this page: http://www.socialistparty.org.uk/issue/768/16828

From The Socialist newspaper, 5 June 2013

Continued deterioration of the Labour Party

The Labour Party, having blatantly accepted capitalism and the need for cuts, is incapable of even pretending to be in opposition. These articles show two examples of the party's continued deterioration.

On the one hand Labour is as embroiled as any of the other capitalist parties with corruption and dishonest lobbying practices.

On the other, the Labour leadership seems to have decided that the way to prepare for the general election in 2015 is to work hard at convincing us all they would be just as vicious as Cameron, Osborne et al.

We need to build a new mass, working class political alternative that genuinely stands up for ordinary people and our interests.


Peer caught with nose in the trough

The ex-Labour minister Lord Jack Cunningham, one of the latest batch of parliamentarians caught selling their services to the highest bidder, is no stranger to corruption.

Nearly 40 years ago his father, Andy Cunningham, was jailed for his part in the Poulson corruption scandal that rocked both the Labour Party in north east England and the then Tory government.

Andy Cunningham was not just another corrupt local politician, he was a prominent right winger in the trade unions and Labour Party.

The older Cunningham was leader of the General and Municipal Workers' Union (now GMB) northern region, as well as Chair of the Northern Region Labour Party and a member of the Labour Party's National Executive.

As well as corruptly lining his pockets Cunningham senior played a key role in parachuting right wingers into (then) safe Labour parliamentary seats.

The young Cunningham also worked for the General and Municipal Workers' Union before being elected as an MP in 1970 for a north-east England seat.

Liverpool City Council

In the mid-1980s, when Liverpool City Council, led by supporters of the Militant tendency (today the Socialist Party), struggled against cuts and to secure extra funding from the Thatcher government, Cunningham played a key role in helping to ultimately isolate and defeat the Liverpool council.

In 1985 he strove to prevent any deal that helped Liverpool because the Labour Party leaders did not want to give credence to Militant's and Liverpool council's strategy of mass mobilisation to prevent cuts.

The Times explained that an agreement was "being sabotaged by the Labour front bench", reporting that leader Kinnock and Jack Cunningham "want to delay any attempts to save the council" and instead "leave Militant to hang themselves" (October 19, 1985).

Clearly for Cunningham the plight of the people of Liverpool was of no concern in his fight against the Militant.

How different it is when it's a question of his personal gain as the latest revelations show that Lord Cunningham has no reservations about grabbing as much loot as he can, in this case an extra 144,000 a year by selling himself.

This incident shows that elements like the Cunninghams, who spent their political lives fighting to make the Labour movement safe for capitalism in the end, like George Orwell's pigs, turned into capitalists themselves.

It shows the utter hypocrisy of the Labour right wing who claimed they 'saved' the Labour party by expelling Militant supporters, purging the left and moving the party to an unashamedly pro-capitalist position.

Worker's wage

Cunningham's greed stands in complete contrast with the policies and actions of the Militant activists he attacked.

When three Militant supporters were in parliament during the 1980s, alongside fighting for socialist policies they rejected joining the gravy train, lived on a worker's wage and donated the rest of their parliamentary salaries to the labour movement.

This is the tradition that needs to be a hallmark of a new political voice of the working class, not the rotten family tradition of Andy and Jack Cunningham.


No cuts from Labour? No hope!

On 3 June Labour shadow chancellor Ed Balls made a speech to his shadow cabinet in which he laid out his intention to fully accept the draconian austerity inaugurated by the Con-Dems.

It is clear that Labour has now given up any pretence of being an opposition, buying wholesale into the logic of a neoliberal austerity which forces ordinary people to pay for the gigantic mistakes of the reckless super-rich.

One of the most perfidious cuts outlined by Balls in his speech is the means-testing of the winter fuel allowance.

But surely the rich should not be given benefits that they 'don't need'? This reaction is understandable, but misguided - universal benefits have an extremely important function in society.

We have to resist all attacks on the welfare state - a cut for the better off quickly can become a cut for all.

When tens of thousands of elderly people die from the cold every winter, society has a responsibility to contribute to their heating costs.

Universality makes sure that the welfare state doesn't simply become minimal 'poor relief'.

And at the end of the day, the amount of money saved by means-testing universal benefits is around 100 million - a drop in the ocean compared to the 120 billion which goes avoided, evaded or uncollected in tax in the UK every year.

The response of socialists to this most recent in the long line of Labour's shifts to the right must be clear - the majority of working people have no faith that a Labour government would be able to solve the crisis we are in.

We need a new mass party of working people, based around the trade unions and community groups, which is able to clearly put the case for a socialist alternative to cuts and crisis.

Chaz Lockett

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


In The Socialist 5 June 2013:


Socialist Party news and analysis

Food bank Britain: Con-Dems turn the clock back

NSSN conference : Unite to fight all the cuts

Legal aid cuts: Justice in the balance

Continued deterioration of the Labour Party

Them & Us


Youth feature

Mass joblessness wrecks lives! Youth must fight for a future

A day in the life of a Primark employee


NHS feature

NHS crisis: Turn anger into action


International socialist news and analysis

Turkey: Mass movement challenges Erdogan's authoritarian government


Socialist Party workplace news

PCS rolling strike programme

97% vote for strike action at Carling brewery

Thera Trust: the campaign moves up a gear

Unison and Labour: Welsh government cuts are still cuts

Lecturers' union UCU members vote to fight austerity

Workplace news in brief


Socialist history

1983: A political voice for the working class


Socialist Party reports and campaigns

Campaigning against the bedroom tax

Stopping the BNP in London

EDL blocked by counter demo

Standing for TUSC in Woolston, Southampton

Save the Independent Living Fund

Needed: new social housing NOT unaffordable rents

Support the Fighting Fund collectathon!

Socialist Party national organisers' school


Readers' comments

Stop drone attacks!

Crackdown on democratic rights


 

Home   |   The Socialist 5 June 2013   |   Join the Socialist Party

Subscribe   |   Donate   |   PDF  |   ebook






Related links:

Labour:

triangleSwansea Socialist Party: Mother Jones - A US labour pioneer

triangleThe end of the Tories?

triangleSalford Unison condemns pay cuts

triangleNasty party imploding...drive out the Tories

triangleDon't wreck our rec! Campaigning to save green space in Standish

Cuts:

triangleWorkplace news in brief

triangleCarlisle NHS campaigners hand in petition to MP

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

triangleNHS meltdown - fight the Tory cuts

Militant:

triangleReadmit the socialists - for a federal Labour Party

triangleLewisham 1977: When socialists and workers defeated the far-right National Front

triangleSouth-East London Socialist Party: From Militant to the Socialist Party

Labour Party:

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

triangleThe Tories must be driven out

Liverpool:

triangleLiverpool Socialist Party: Racism and capitalism, the link

News and socialist analysis

News and socialist analysis

13/10/17

Labour

The end of the Tories?

11/10/17

Tories

Nasty party imploding...drive out the Tories

11/10/17

Black history

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

11/10/17

Housing

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

11/10/17

Universal Credit

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

11/10/17

Them & Us

Them & Us

11/10/17

NHS

NHS meltdown - fight the Tory cuts

11/10/17

IMF

IMF helps cause inequality it slams

4/10/17

NHS

Tories wreck our NHS

4/10/17

Workers

Monarch abdicates responsibility to workers

4/10/17

Capitalism

Capitalism and human progress

4/10/17

Trump

Bending the knee v Trump

4/10/17

Tories

The Tories must be driven out

29/9/17

Labour

Labour Party conference: Action against establishment sabotage still needed

27/9/17

Anti-austerity

Anti-austerity opposition needed to seize on Tories' weakness

triangleMore News and socialist analysis articles...


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

triangle13 Oct The end of the Tories?

triangle11 Oct Nasty party imploding...drive out the Tories

triangle11 Oct CWU fights court attempt to stop national strike

triangle11 Oct The fight against racial discrimination is tied to fighting against...

triangle11 Oct Catalonia: Workers can finish what Puigdemont won't

triangle6 Oct Boeing bust-up threatens thousands of skilled jobs

triangle4 Oct The nasty party turns on itself... but the Tories must be driven out

More ...

triangle16 Oct Teesside Socialist Party: After the party conferences

triangle17 Oct London: TUC lobby & rally; and London march

triangle18 Oct Warrington & St Helens Socialist Party: 1917-2017; the October Russian Revolution

triangle18 Oct Hackney Socialist Party: 100 years ago - the Bolshevik-led revolution

More ...

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

Archive

Archives:

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