Link to this page: http://www.socialistparty.org.uk/issue/390/4419
Needed - a new party for working people
BRIAN SEDGEMORE, veteran Labour backbench former MP, has resigned from the Labour Party. He accuses New Labour's leadership of telling "stomach-turning lies" on Iraq and wanted to give Blair a "bloody nose". Unfortunately Sedgemore himself is joining the Liberal Democrats.
Dave Nellist, Labour MP for Coventry South-East from 1983-92 until he was expelled for his socialist views and refusing to pay the poll tax, commented:
"Brian Sedgemore's defection shows the deep unease that many former Labour stalwarts feel with New Labour. He may think this is a step to the left but the Liberals are ultimately another party representing big business interests."
Dave, a councillor in Coventry and Socialist Party parliamentary candidate in Coventry North-East added:
"Rather than giving credence to the LibDems' anti-working class agenda, Brian Sedgemore and the 150 MPs he claims 'loathe Blair' would have been better looking to setting up a new party of the Left to represent working-class people in this country.
"When I was expelled from the Labour Party in 1992, we warned that Labour was being transformed into a more right-wing, pro-capitalist, authoritarian and undemocratic party. Everything Brian Sedgemore says on his defection from Labour bears this out. Unfortunately, he has drawn the wrong conclusion.
"The Socialist Party has no false hopes in any of the major parties representing this country's underprivileged and working people. Instead we set about creating an alternative - both electorally and in organising effective protest against New Labour, Tory and Liberal Demcrat agendas.
"This offers a genuine ideological and campaigning alternative for former Labour voters and those three million people who want to vote for something to the left of Labour.
"Regrettably, many former left-wing Labour MPs and trade union leaders hesitated in making a clear break from New Labour and establishing a genuine alternative. But this hesitation has seen people like Brian Sedgemore, a former member of the left-wing Campaign Group of Labour MPs, move to the right.
"The Socialist Party has shown in a small but significant way the potential for a new mass left-wing party to be established."
Dave said to any Labour MPs or union leaders who feel as disillusioned with New Labour as Brian Sedgemore: "Don't end up siding with another discredited party of big business, be courageous and take the step towards helping organise an alternative party that genuinely advances the interests of working-class people."
In The Socialist 28 April 2005: