Link to this page: http://www.socialistparty.org.uk/issue/528/3980
Perks for MPs - Bonuses for the bosses - Cutbacks for us!
Time to fightback - build a socialist alternative
LAST WEEK 'Stormin' Gordon' Brown hit the streets of Coventry, strutting around talking about crime. Days later, one of his henchwomen, Harriet Harman paraded around London in a police-issue flak jacket. Was she showing off the latest 'must have' fashion accessory from the MPs' expenses-paid catalogue? No. This sickening parody of street theatre means local elections are coming.
Rob Windsor, Coventry Socialist Party councillor
These will be a litmus test for Gordon Brown. But in reality there is no difference between his tax cuts for the rich and tax increases and public service cuts for the rest that his predecessor Blair carried out. Like Blair he focuses on crime in the local elections.
They 'big up' the threat of crime, not to try and solve it but to distract people from the issues that feed crime. Cuts in services that affect youth the most are followed by a hundred gimmicks that do nothing but further alienate a generation of young people.
Flooded with Debt, cartoon by Suz, www.squashdonkey.co.uk
We hear a lot about 'role models' who influence young people, but what sort of role models are New Labour? Do they set a good example? Their previous leader Blair eagerly joined a war based on lies and whilst the effects were still wreaking agony in Iraq, joined firms who profit out of it.
What about a discredited director of a failed bank being allowed a £760,000 pay off? Some role model, crash a bank then get a fat reward whilst 2,000 bank workers get the dole!
All those MPs with sanctimonious snouts in every trough lecture us about saving, 'prudence' and the value of work whilst they grab second homes, empty John Lewis stores to furnish them, and sometimes pay their workshy family members for doing nothing and with our money.
A far cry from Socialist MP (now councillor) Dave Nellist who took only a skilled Coventry engineer's wage and donated the rest back to campaigns and the workers' movement.
But New Labour's biggest crime is to say one thing and do another. Coventry's three Labour MPs fully supported New Labour's 'market freedom reforms' in postal services that led to post office and sorting office closures. They cynically joined protests when Coventry's main postal services were affected, but then blithely returned to Parliament to vote to inflict some 2,000 more post office closures on the country.
Say one thing - do another. It's the same with the debts of the PFI hospital in Coventry. These MPs (and Nuneaton MP Bill Olner) 'opposed' the running down of Warwickshire hospitals because of PFI. But has one of these people stood up in parliament to express opposition to their own party's 'slow kill' proposals for the NHS? No! Say one thing, do another.
The Socialist Party are different. When Coventry's Socialist councillors said we'd fight to get local disabled housing retained during demolitions we did it. When we said we'd help deal with parking issues as local residents were being inundated with traffic from other areas, we did it.
This is in addition to being the only party opposing cuts, PFI and city academies. Vote Socialist in the elections - for a party who say one thing and do their best to do it.
Of course this means working people campaigning alongside socialist representatives to get results. The only real guarantee of success and not having to fight all the time, however is to join us and change the system, so that decent housing, health and facilities are a right and where we don't have representatives whose main aim is filling their boots rather than fulfilling their promises.
In The Socialist 8 April 2008:
Socialist Party election campaign
Socialist Party workplace news
Post Office closures
International socialist news and analysis