Join the Socialist Party Join us today!

Printable version Printable version

Facebook   Twitter

Link to this page: http://www.socialistparty.org.uk/issue/355/5861

From The Socialist newspaper, 10 July 2004

Whistling To Keep Their Spirits Up

THE FOUNDING conference of the Labour Representation Committee (LRC) took place at the TUC headquarters in London last Saturday. The aim of the LRC is to "reclaim" the Labour Party for the left and for socialism. The speakers included several Campaign Group Labour MPs and a number of left-wing trade union leaders.

Dave Carr

The conference discussion document stated that: "New Labour has meant simply a continuation of the reactionary political agenda of the past." The 10 June election results had brought New Labour "to the verge of destruction" and "voters in Labour heartlands are deserting the party in their millions at the polls". Yet the conference were in denial about New Labour being a capitalist party.

Delegates were at one in saying a Tory government would be worse than the Blair government. However, a member of PCS civil service trade union pointed out that in 1992 when Tory minister Michael Heseltine announced the axing of 30,000 coal miners' jobs there was protests by Labour. But, when Gordon Brown announced in Parliament 100,000 civil service job cuts by 2008, Labour MPs cheered!

Former ASLEF general secretary and LRC convenor Mick Rix described the dire situation facing the Labour left: "Party membership has collapsed... organisation is dysfunctional... individuals have been frozen out..."

Billy Hayes, general secretary of the CWU, admitted to feeling "depressed" after the expulsion of the RMT railworkers' union from the Labour Party and with the recent decision of the fire-fighters (FBU) union to quit Labour.

But he said there was no alternative to supporting Labour, citing the 1.8% national vote in the recent Euro-elections obtained by the Socialist Workers Party-led Respect coalition. He didn't, however, consider the demand campaigned on by the Socialist Party (which did win council seats in the recent elections), that the trade unions disaffiliate from Labour and instead use their financial resources and activists to build a socialist alternative to Labour.

The case for building a new workers' party was actually put forward, inadvertently, by Mick Shaw of the FBU (who supports restoring the Labour link). He said the FBU's decision to disaffiliate was not only the firefighters' seething anger at the government's attacks on the union during and since their pay strikes, it also reflected anger at Labour's policies - the war in Iraq, privatisation, top-up fees, etc.

He reported the question Tony Maguire (a member of the Northern Ireland Socialist Party who had successfully moved the disaffiliation resolution) had put to the FBU conference: "Are they 'our' bastards or just bastards?" Ironically, the LRC delegates applauded!

Why not click here to join the Socialist Party, or click here to donate to the Socialist Party.


In The Socialist 10 July 2004:

Private Hands Off Our Education

Fight The Job Cuts

Union Leaders Facing The Wrong Way On Labour

Whistling To Keep Their Spirits Up

Labour Tells Blair - Keep Away!

Cops Target Asians

Pride In Socialist Ideas


Young workers

Fight For Your Rights At Work


Workplace news and analysis

Solid Action Can Be Built On

What Are The Lessons For The Left?


International socialist news and analysis

White House Tries Its Creature Saddam

Africa's Forgotten Wars

Brando - A Legend And An Enigma


 

Home   |   The Socialist 10 July 2004   |   Join the Socialist Party

Subscribe   |   Donate  




Related links:

Labour:

triangleSheffield Labour council threatens peaceful protesters with prison

triangleHundreds turn out for rally aimed at removing west Wales Tory MP

triangleTories torn - bin them now

triangleSwansea Socialist Party: Mother Jones - A US labour pioneer

triangleThe end of the Tories?

FBU:

triangleEscalate summer strike wave into coordinated action to defeat the pay cap

triangleTories weak: time for the TUC to act

triangleSurrey FBU pass no confidence motion

triangleUnions call for action after Grenfell

Reports and campaigns

Reports and campaigns

18/10/17

Art

'Dazzling' Bad Art show points to socialist future

18/10/17

Democratic rights

Conference on state spies and sabotage: who's watching who?

18/10/17

Council

Sheffield Labour council threatens peaceful protesters with prison

18/10/17

South West Wales

Hundreds turn out for rally aimed at removing west Wales Tory MP

18/10/17

NHS

Uprising to save the NHS!

18/10/17

Socialism

Can you donate to the Socialism 2017 appeal?

18/10/17

East London

No cuts - hands off King George A&E!

18/10/17

North London

North London hospital workers fight cuts and job losses

18/10/17

Leeds

Striking back against the sackers' charter at Leeds University

18/10/17

BAE

Nationalise to save jobs at BAE Systems

18/10/17

Royal Mail

Workers' anger increases after Royal Mail bosses block strike - back postal workers

18/10/17

Schools

Schools "can't go any further" - stop the cuts: set deficit budgets now

18/10/17

PCS

PCS ballots members to send message to government: scrap the pay cap

18/10/17

Swansea

Socialist Students 'welcome' Hillary Clinton to Swansea

18/10/17

Local government

Unite local government sector plans strike ballot

triangleMore Reports and campaigns articles...


Join the Socialist Party
Subscribe to Socialist Party publications
Donate to the Socialist Party

triangle13 Oct The end of the Tories?

triangle11 Oct Nasty party imploding...drive out the Tories

triangle11 Oct CWU fights court attempt to stop national strike

triangle11 Oct The fight against racial discrimination is tied to fighting against...

triangle11 Oct Catalonia: Workers can finish what Puigdemont won't

triangle6 Oct Boeing bust-up threatens thousands of skilled jobs

triangle4 Oct The nasty party turns on itself... but the Tories must be driven out

More ...

triangle18 Oct Warrington & St Helens Socialist Party: 1917-2017; the October Russian Revolution

triangle18 Oct Hackney Socialist Party: 100 years ago - the Bolshevik-led revolution

triangle18 Oct Tower Hamlets Socialist Party: Capitalism in Crisis - is Corbyn the answer?

triangle19 Oct Waltham Forest Young Socialists: Deaths in police custody

More ...

Socialist Party Facebook page
Socialist Party on Twitter
Visit us on Youtube

Archive

Archives:

October 2017

September 2017

August 2017

July 2017

June 2017

May 2017

April 2017

March 2017

February 2017

January 2017

2016

2015

2014

2013

2012

2011

2010

2009

2008

2007

2006

2005

2004

2003

2002

2001

2000

1999

Legal

SP RSS feed RSS

Platform setting: = No platform choice

V2