Join the Socialist Party Join us today!

Printable version Printable version

Facebook   Twitter

Link to this page: http://www.socialistparty.org.uk/issue/812/18663

From The Socialist newspaper, 28 May 2014

Why I didn't rejoin Labour

Carl Harper
Ed Miliband confronted by anti-bedroom tax protestors demanding that Labour councils refuse to collect the tax, photo Chris Moore

Ed Miliband confronted by anti-bedroom tax protestors demanding that Labour councils refuse to collect the tax, photo Chris Moore   (Click to enlarge)

The Labour Party recently sent me an email asking me to rejoin Labour. I sent back this response:

"Nothing would please me more than to join a workers' party which was socialist and represents the interests of the working class. However, I must ask questions about the leaflet you sent outlining Labour's policies.

It claims that Labour "will freeze gas and energy bills until 2017". Energy 'controller' Ofgem says that dual fuel prices rose by 24% between 2009 and 2012 and suppliers' retail profits from 233 million in 2009 to 1.1 billion in 2012, an increase of 372%.

Would "freezing bills until 2017" be an initial step to breaking up the 'Big Six' energy firms and creating a nationalised energy supplier with affordable prices for all after 2017?

On the NHS, the leaflet says Labour will "renew it for the 21st Century". Does this statement mean that the NHS will remain publicly owned, with all parts privatised under the Con-Dem government renationalised?

And does this statement include an end to all PFI schemes in the future? Would all debt created by past PFI schemes be written off? Will assets sold off also be brought into public ownership? Does this statement also include fully nationalised NHS council services for elderly care and children's services?

The leaflet says Labour will "help make work pay with a 10p rate of tax". Will you also commit to an increase in tax of the super-rich and the collection of the estimated 120 billion of tax uncollected mainly through evasion and avoidance?

Further to this, does the statement also propose introducing a Living Wage, a minimum of 8 an hour, a 50% increase in the state retirement pension and a 35-hour working week? Would Labour then also bring the top 150 or so companies, banks and energy companies into public ownership with democratic working class control and management?

The leaflet says Labour will "ban letting agents from charging rip-off fees". Does this mean a cap on rents with a nationalised and/or council run letting agency and a commitment to a programme of the mass building of affordable housing?

I welcome the claims that Labour will give working parents "25 hours of free childcare for kids aged 3 and 4" and that they will "scrap the bedroom tax". Would there also be a commitment to release funds to local councils for the running of children's centres?

The leaflet rightly condemns the government's austerity agenda which has led to the 'cost of living' increasing faster than wages. Does Labour therefore commit to a democratic socialist plan of production based on the interests of the overwhelming majority of people and always use the RPI index rather than CPI as a fairer measurement tool to ensure wages match the 'cost of living'.

I originally joined the Labour party believing that as a member I would be able to influence and ultimately prevent the move to the right which has systematically taken place since at least the mid-90s. I believed that the socialist ideology upon which trade unions and socialists formed the party could be democratically reintroduced from 'the bottom up' and reach the forefront of party policy.

Unfortunately this belief was crushed by repeated neoliberal policy announcements, the commitment to remain imprisoned within the capitalist EU and the party distancing itself from the trade union movement in the Collins Report.

Labour conference saw the overwhelming call from delegates for Labour to renationalise the Royal Mail. Labour's leadership denounced this motion shortly after, making a mockery of the democracy of the party. Would you commit to supporting the motion and fully renationalising the Royal Mail?

Finally, would you also commit to reinstating Clause 4 of Labour's constitution, which was removed and paved the way for the transformation to a centre-right party?

As your leaflet claims, Labour would indeed be 'stronger' with people like me, working class socialists, on its side. For me to consider rejoining your party I look forward to a positive response to the issues I have raised."

My 'demands' went unanswered. In any case, I knew Labour would never meet them. It is a clear indictment of Labour's move to the right which led to me leaving and joining the Socialist Party.

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


In The Socialist 28 May 2014:


Socialist Party election analysis

Con-Dems get a kicking

2014: The 'rejection election'

Euro elections revolt against capitalist establishment

Local elections 2014: A good base for TUSC to build on

Election appeal - don't delay!


International socialist news and analysis

India: resistance will grow after Modi victory


Socialist Party news and analysis

Unemployment kills: Fight for jobs

Super-wealthy get richer

Privatisation threatens postal service

Them & Us


Socialist Party workplace news

PCS conference: Preparing for more battles

Care UK workers plan more action

NUT supports coordinated action on 10 July

Land Registry strike may just be the beginning

Wales TUC: If it wasn't for the socialists...

Workplace news in brief


Socialist Party reports and campaigns

Anti-cuts rally defies council ban and BNP

Nottingham: Fighting the Bedroom Tax

Bradford campaign for 10 an hour


The Socialist readers' comments

Why I didn't rejoin Labour

The Socialist postbag


 

Home   |   The Socialist 28 May 2014   |   Join the Socialist Party

Subscribe   |   Donate   |   PDF  |   ebook






Related links:

Labour Party:

triangleSustained mass movement needed to stop Tories wrecking our NHS

triangleTotnes MP uses coffin controversy to distract from brutal NHS cuts

triangleLabour 'purge' furore really just democracy

triangleBrexit deal no solution to Tory rifts

triangleBirmingham South East Socialist Party: Can the Labour Party be changed?

Labour:

triangleCardiff Socialist Party: Why Labour and Plaid councils must set no-cuts budgets

triangleCarillion crisis: Demand action to save jobs and services

triangleOutrage against 'monster block' plan

triangleWaltham Forest Socialist Party: The state - a warning to the labour movement

Energy:

triangleMovement growing against fracking giant Ineos

triangleCourt maintains injunction against fracking protesters

triangleScotland: BiFab workers' occupation and march secures jobs and pay guarantee

Tax:

triangleCardiff West Socialist Party: How the Poll Tax was beaten

triangleThe Socialist Inbox

Socialist:

triangleCardiff East Socialist Party: Do Trump's antics make nuclear war more likely?

NHS:

triangleDemonstration: NHS in crisis - fix it now!

Working class:

triangleWidening wealth gap, increase in poverty...make the fat cats pay

PFI:

trianglePFI privateers dodge tax

Royal Mail:

triangleRoyal Mail bosses block strike - back postal workers

Public ownership:

triangleRail: fares up, bosses' pay up - delays and cancellations up

Democracy:

triangleCampaign against political repression in Hong Kong

Austerity:

triangleCaerphilly and RCT Socialist Party: Britain in 2018

Bedroom tax:

triangleThem & us

Trade unions:

triangleStrikers rally in Liverpool

Reviews and comments

Reviews and comments

10/1/18

Housing

Debate: should tower blocks form part of socialist housing policy?

10/1/18

Art

Art can help expose sexual harassment

10/1/18

The Socialist

The Socialist Inbox

3/1/18

Letters

The Socialist inbox

3/1/18

Work Capability Assessment

Tory prescription for mental illness: stress and bureaucracy

13/12/17

The Socialist

The Socialist's 2017 quiz

6/12/17

Fire

The Socialist Inbox

6/12/17

Surrey

Comment: Socialism and truth about Zane

6/12/17

Labour Party

Blairite horror and Labour's divisions graphically exposed

30/11/17

Theatre

Dramatic retelling of Grunwick strike

22/11/17

Working class

Left comic's take on politics will have you in tears

22/11/17

Letters

The Socialist inbox

15/11/17

The Socialist

The Socialist Inbox

15/11/17

Abortion

TV review: Abortion on Trial - hard-hitting look at impact of 1967 act

15/11/17

Vietnam war

Comprehensive account of bloody conflict

triangleMore Reviews and comments articles...


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

triangle16 Jan Home care workers to strike

triangle15 Jan Carillion crisis: Demand action to save jobs and services

triangle12 Jan Outrage against 'monster block' plan

triangle12 Jan Mini-strike wave continues and intensifies

triangle10 Jan Strike wins biggest pay rise in ten years

triangle10 Jan Movement of workers and youth challenges Iranian regime

triangle10 Jan Cabinet chaos as shambolic reshuffle underlines Theresa May's...

More ...

triangle16 Jan Bristol North Socialist Party: 'Bad Art' - socialist struggle in the arts

triangle16 Jan Cardiff West Socialist Party: Building socialism in Cardiff in 2018

triangle17 Jan Cardiff Central Socialist Party: Planning for 2018

triangle17 Jan Salford Socialist Party: Housing crisis - the socialist solution

More ...

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

Archive

Archives:

January 2018

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