Link to this page: http://www.socialistparty.org.uk/issue/240/24918
Stop Blair And His Wreckers
BOTH TONY Blair and transport secretary Stephen Byers have had the nerve to attack trade unionists and socialists who oppose privatisation as 'wreckers'. What hypocrisy!
Who has wrecked jobs?
Not us but capitalism and its defenders, both Tory and New Labour.
In 1979 over seven million people worked in manufacturing industry; now there are only half that number.
The present recession could destroy many more jobs. Meanwhile employers are enforcing low pay and long hours for those at work. Almost four million people in Britain work at least 48 hours a week, that's 350,000 more than ten years ago.
Who's wrecking the railways?
Big-business privatisers and their government backers.
The Tories sold off the rail system, paid the bosses huge salaries, sacked thousands of workers and ruined wages, work conditions and passenger safety.
After the rail crashes at Southall, Paddington and Hatfield, Labour said it would install the automatic train protection warning system throughout the industry by the year 2010. Now Byers has backtracked on these promises which he says are too expensive!
Why don't New Labour call the penny-pinching safety-jeopardising privatisers "wreckers"? And why, after the disaster of rail privatisation, are they forging ahead with the "private-public partnership" ie privatisation, in London's Underground. And why do they still want to privatise the Post Office?
Our health and our education aren't for sale!
Private companies aim to get an even bigger share of both the £50 billion national health budget and the £20 billion schools budget.
Services provided by private finance initiative (PFI) end up costing more, so hospitals cut beds and jobs to pay for them. This reduces standards of care and makes the NHS more unequal.
We're fighting for the NHS once more to be wholly publicly funded, wholly publicly owned and run under the democratic control of working-class people. Opinion polls say only 11% of the population support privatisation. Perhaps Blair and Byers think the other 89% are wreckers!
Trade union members should organise now for action to stop privatisation. Rather than subsidising New Labour, which is run in the interests of the Enrons, the fat cats and the privatisers, we should fight for a new party that represents working-class people and will campaign for socialist policies.
In The Socialist 8 February 2002: