Join the Socialist Party Join us today!

Printable version Printable version

Facebook   Twitter

Link to this page:

From The Socialist newspaper, 22 January 2014

Editorial from the Socialist issue 795

Miliband's Tory policies: What exactly is the point of Labour?

Miliband fails to provide answers in Stroud, photo Gloucestershire SP

Miliband fails to provide answers in Stroud, photo Gloucestershire SP   (Click to enlarge)

Ed Miliband and his shadow cabinet are going hell for leather with speeches and newspaper columns. They want to show how fit they are for election in 2015.

But who are they trying to impress? Certainly not working class people - or even the middle class Miliband claims to now defend in the election pledge top trumps he is playing with the Tories.

The up to 1,000 families falling into debt each month because of the Coalition's cuts to council tax benefit, implemented by Tory, Lib Dem and Labour-led councils, will certainly be on the look-out for policies that promise relief from the ongoing misery of austerity.

Similarly those forced to request specially prepared 'kettle boxes' from food banks, ie products that can be prepared by adding boiling water, such as instant soup, mash and just-add-water porridge.

A 'cold box' food parcel has also been created, containing three days' worth of mainly tinned groceries that can be prepared without the need for heating or hot water for those in even more dire straits.

In a further bid to compete with the Tories, Rachel Reeves, shadow work and pensions secretary, announced Labour's plans to introduce further sanctions to those struggling to find a job.

Those who do not perform well in maths and language tests could lose their benefits under Labour.

In May the Office for National Statistics announced the highest number of vacancies since 2008 - 503,000.

But there were 2.52 million unemployed, over a third of whom had been out of work for over a year.

Nationalising the banks under democratic workers control and management, as well as major taxing of the cash hoards of the super-rich, could help finance a massive programme of socially useful job creation and training.

Part of that could be building quality council housing and renovations to deal with the devastating and spiralling housing crisis - not Labour's increased competition between building companies.

Miliband and Labour have shown they have precisely nothing to offer working people and all those suffering the cruelty of austerity.

Writing in the Financial Times Janan Ganesh hit the nail on the head in summarising that, with the slew of pledges emitting from Labour HQ, Miliband is "evangelising for popular capitalism".

Capitalism, be it Miliband's 'responsible' variety or not, is a system based on private not popular ownership of the wealth of society.

Labour's proclaimed hopes that the provision of choice, competition and regulation will rein in all the excesses is dead in the water.

Oxfam's latest figures expose the reality - today 85 people own as much wealth as the poorest half of the world's population! This is the utterly and fundamentally unequal system that Miliband is defending.

Capitalist party

Labour has called for 'more competition' to shake up the banks and house-builders, as they suggested regarding the energy companies at the autumn conference.

But it wasn't that call last October which people warmed to - it was the call to freeze energy prices, which chimed with the popular mood for nationalisation of the energy companies.

But the venomous Daily Mail and other right-wing tabloids went for Miliband, seeing it as an opportunity to crush any perceived diversion from pro-market fundamentalism.

Now Labour is running away from anything that makes even the most modest challenge to the big corporations.

Thatcher claims her proudest achievement was Blair and his pro-capitalist New Labour. Ganesh correctly writes: "Had the late UK prime minister lived to see Ed Miliband propound her own economic vision, the frisson of intellectual hegemony would have been even headier."

This touching faith in 'competition' betrays Labour's incapacity to put forward an alternative to austerity.

This is because today the Labour Party is an outright capitalist party. As Labour 'rising star' Chuka Umunna says: "we're all capitalists now".

Not so. Experience of capitalism means greater numbers recognise that what is needed is not tinkering around the edges but a socialist alternative.

A socialist economy would have to be a democratically planned economy. This would mean bringing all the big corporations, controlling around 80% of the British economy, into democratic public ownership, under democratic working class control.

Socialists argue that such an alternative is possible but it requires mass working class action. As the creators of wealth, workers, when they are organised and have a determined leadership, have enormous potential power.

They need organisations armed with the ideas and understanding of how to change society. If you agree - join the socialists.

Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition

While Miliband's attack on the bankers and the 1% has all the intensity of being savaged by a sheep, Labour's real attacks have been reserved for the trade unions and the remnants of the collective voice of the working class that still pertain in the party.

But Labour's attempts to expel the unions' voice will provoke questioning among workers about how to ensure they have a political say.

Worldwide millions of people are fighting back against the reality of capitalism. In South Africa the miners are preparing to strike once again for wages they can live on.

It is these workers who took the first steps, along with socialists in the DSM (sister party of the Socialist Party in SA), towards building a new mass workers' party with a socialist programme including nationalisation of the mines, living wages for all and a break with capitalism.

Here the Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition, involving the RMT and leading trade unionists, is a precursor to fulfilling a similar role. Get involved.

Councillors can make a difference... but only if they are prepared to fight

Next May there will be elections in England for over 4,000 councillors in local authorities across the country.

To get what the BBC calls 'balanced media coverage', parties need to contest 15% of the seats up for election - that means 625 TUSC candidates. Could you be one of those?

Come along to the conference and meet other prospective candidates and TUSC supporters who are building an alternative to the austerity parties in their areas.

Come to the TUSC 2014 Local Elections conference

Saturday 1 February, 11am - 4.30pm

Indian YMCA, 41 Fitzroy Square, London, W1T 6AQ

Nearest tube Warren Street

Conference registration fee: 10 waged /2 low/unwaged

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

In The Socialist 22 January 2014:

Socialist Party news and analysis

Real living wage now

Capitalism is a system in crisis

Pay me - I'm a banker!

What exactly is the point of Labour?

Stop the NHS sell-off

Bedroom tax loophole: Can legal tactics be effective?

Fracking - profiting from environmental destruction

Them & Us

International socialist news and analysis

Egypt referendum: no enthusiasm for new constitution

"Ireland is a success story" rhetoric is based on spin


Stop the student debt spiral - day of action 6 February

Youth Fight for Jobs campaign in Croydon

An open letter to Tristram Hunt

Socialist Party workplace news

Transport workers have power to defeat cuts

Teachers need a date for national action

Teachers strike against threatened redundancies

NUT strikes against management "observations"

More action needed to defend Probation Service

Publicity alone can't save sacked union branch official

Workplace news in brief

Socialist Party reports and campaigns

Lincoln marches against racism and fascism

Protest against Atos 'assessments' on 19 February

Salford workers and environmentalists challenge council

Stop cuts in Kent

Carlisle petition

Readers' comments and reviews

Benefits Street: A caricature of poverty

Leeds' forgotten dispute: The 1913-14 Corporation Strike

Robert Burns, insurrectionary poet


Home   |   The Socialist 22 January 2014   |   Join the Socialist Party

Subscribe   |   Donate   |   PDF  |   ebook

Related links:


triangleSwansea Socialist Party: Mother Jones - A US labour pioneer

triangleThe end of the Tories?

triangleSalford Unison condemns pay cuts

triangleNasty party out the Tories

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


triangleTower Hamlets Socialist Party: "You can't have capitalism without racism" (Malcolm X)

triangleTower Hamlets Socialist Party: Capitalism in Crisis - is Corbyn the answer?

triangleWest London Socialist Party: Young people need socialism!

triangleWarrington & St Helens Socialist Party: 1917-2017; the October Russian Revolution


triangleCardiff East Socialist Party: Is equality for women possible under capitalism?

triangleTheresa May, Frida Kahlo and turning women into wares

triangleLiverpool Socialist Party: Racism and capitalism, the link


triangleHow the Single Market blocks socialist policies

triangleFight for a socialist Brexit

Working class:

triangleCardiff Socialist Students confront 'Parasite' Jacob Rees-Mogg


triangleManchester rally discussed unionisation and nationalisation


triangleToo much to cross the Mersey


triangleThe Tories must be driven out


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


triangleCapitalism and human progress


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

Ed Miliband:

triangleLessons of the 'N30' 2011 pension strike


triangleBoeing bust-up threatens thousands of skilled jobs

Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition:

triangleSurveying Labour councillors - will they fight cuts?


triangleGerman elections: rise of the far right and right-wing government will provoke resistance

News and socialist analysis

News and socialist analysis



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



Monarch abdicates responsibility to workers



Capitalism and human progress



Bending the knee v Trump



The Tories must be driven out



Labour Party conference: Action against establishment sabotage still needed



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 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



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