Link to this page: http://www.socialistparty.org.uk/issue/346/5750
Council elections 10 June
New Labour's Education Crisis
TONY BLAIR wants to rule Britain for a third term. He's been looking enviously at former Tory Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher who began her decade-long reign of destruction 25 years ago.
Blair hopes Thatcher's legacy still motivates workers to vote Labour to keep the Tories out. In their campaign for the 10 June local elections, Labour's posters show Thatcher's head with those of her direct heirs like Michael Howard with the slogan "Don't let the Tories wreck it again".
The free-market worshipping Thatcher's record on cutbacks, privatisation and destruction of industry is hard to beat. But Thatcher has set the agenda for New Labour and the biggest Thatcherite of all is Blair.
Blair started his election campaign by speaking at a head teachers union conference where he insisted his 1997 slogan of "education, education, education" was still a top priority.
How can any government which has recently forced through top-up tuition fees get away with such a spurious claim? New Labour has underfunded education so much that there is still a widespread shortage of teachers, who have to work in overcrowded classrooms starved of resources. Blair has brought about the wholesale re-introduction of selective schools and in essence abolished comprehensive education.
Education takes up most of the spending by many local councils where elections are held on 10 June. But all council spending is under attack with New Labour in government. Local government is getting less and less funding every year, another of Thatcher's cuts policies adopted by Blair.
New Labour is now a blatantly capitalist party, encouraging privatisation and sell-offs of council housing and council services. All three mainstream parties, Labour, Tory and Liberal Democrat, have the same miserable priority.
In some areas, the local elections give you the opportunity to vote for a socialist alternative. Socialist Party members are standing in a number of areas across Britain. Use the opportunity to vote for a fighting socialist councillor and join our fight for a socialist society.
Fight For A Socialist Alternative
SOCIALIST PARTY candidates will be fighting for free, high quality education for all, from nursery to university. We call for a massive increase in public spending to provide the increased staffing, smaller class sizes and good quality resources needed to ensure the best education and individual support for every child.
A socialist council would lead a campaign, along with teachers, parents and school students, for a significant increase in school funding right now and for all schools to become genuine comprehensives under democratic local control
Selection on any grounds, whether it's by ability, aptitude or religion, should be abolished. All schools should be brought under local democratic control. We stand for a democratically planned equitable admissions policy based on genuinely comprehensive, co-educational, neighbourhood schools.
In The Socialist 8 May 2004:
Socialist Party election campaign
Socialist Party campaigns
International socialist news and analysis