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From The Socialist newspaper, 14 May 2008

Why Labour lost Bury

FOR THE first time in 21 years the Tories won Bury council in Greater Manchester. Labour have no-one to blame but themselves. In 2006, when the council tried to close two high schools serving deprived areas, the Save Our Schools campaign stood in six wards and displaced two Labour councillors.

Paul Gerrard

Labour gave the impression then that the sky would fall in if there was no 'rationalisation' of school places. Two years on, both schools are open and doing fine, and no other school has been identified for closure. This issue - and other local and national actions - cost Labour dearly. This year the Tories have 26 seats to Labour's 16, with the Lib Dems on nine.

Ivan Lewis, Labour MP for Bury South, must be worried. As Minister for Care Services he consistently refuses to intervene when striking mental health workers lobby him over the sacking of health trade unionist Karen Reissman.

But now panicking Labour MPs are scared of losing their seats, Lewis has the cheek to talk about the need for "fairness" and "standing up for hard-working families."

We know what's fair and what's not. New Labour don't stand up for 'hard-working families'. Ivan Lewis might soon find out for himself how it feels to get the sack.

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In The Socialist 14 May 2008:

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Unison witch-hunt: Rory Bremner and Mark Thomas speak out

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