Join the Socialist Party Join us today!

Printable version Printable version

Facebook   Twitter

Link to this page:

From The Socialist newspaper, 2 October 2004

What We Think

Time For A New Workers' Party

TONY BLAIR may claim he is not the 'wobbling' kind. But the long shadow of the Iraq occupation, the hostage crisis and Labour's majority being reduced to less than 30 seats at a general election were likely to leave Blair, his ministers and Labour MPs wriggling uncomfortably in their Labour conference seats this week.

A vast array of Blairites, Brownites, union leaders and media commentators have sought Blair's ear to advise him on how to overcome public cynicism for Labour to win a third general election. However, none of them have an answer to their biggest problem, which is that Blair's party is not trusted and millions of disillusioned voters have deserted Labour, never to return.

The impact of the hostage crisis surrounding Kenneth Bigley, with Blair's unwillingness and inability to do anything, is the eye of the permanent hurricane of Iraq that engulfs Blair. His refusal to apologise, even though he conceded he was 'wrong', has intensified the huge anger against him and the feeling that he should be held to account.

As Brian Reade observed in the Daily Mirror, Blair is more than happy to apologise for other government's mistakes - from the potato famine in Ireland to Bloody Sunday and the Guildford Four - but won't apologise for his own, no matter how damning and conclusive the evidence against him is.

Yet, even if the motion on Iraq is debated and passed at Labour Party conference - limply calling for a timetable for withdrawal from Iraq without directly criticising Blair - Blair won't change course and will continue to doggedly uphold the interests of George Bush's imperialist clique.

Similarly, union leaders may get resolutions passed at Brighton which are mildly critical. But, the chances of the government changing its pro-big business stance - under Blair, Brown or anyone else - is as unlikely as the Countryside Alliance merging with the League against Cruel Sports.

Market forces

UNION LEADERS believed they had extracted some concessions from Blair through the Warwick agreement, at Labour's national policy forum in July. But those limited 'promises' look increasingly threadbare just weeks after being pulled out of the wardrobe.

Even on rail renationalisation - a policy supported by two-thirds of the public and 75% of Labour voters, and one that could win some support back for Labour - the government didn't even want it on the agenda and blatantly said they would ignore the conference decision.

Agreements made at Warwick on pensions and the two-tier workforce are already being subverted by the government. Blair's government are doing everything possible to assist capitalism's rapacious market forces through opting out of cutting workers' hours and cutting public spending.

The leaders of the main unions are crying foul and threatening industrial action over pensions and public-sector attacks but simultaneously cling to the wreckage of the Labour Party hoping they may influence Labour's election programme.

However, Blair and his followers have spelt out their directions and intentions for a third term very plainly to the union leaders. Stephen Byers has advised Blair to be like Thatcher and go on and on. And that means continuing neo-Thatcherite policies of more privatisation, more attacks on workers' rights and living conditions and continuing to ignore the wishes and needs of anyone but big business.

One million manufacturing jobs have been lost under Labour since 1997 and thousands more are under threat. Yet, the government says in true Thatcherite vein that you can't buck market forces.

Union leaders claim that if Labour changed course and pursued the policies agreed at Warwick and the TUC it could win back millions of voters to Labour. But even if such policies were forced through Labour's conference, Blair, Brown and the rest have stitched up Labour's decision-making so tightly there is no chance of them going in the manifesto let alone being acted upon.

If the union leaders genuinely want a party to campaign for decent pensions, shorter working hours, an end to discrimination in the workforce, massive investment in public services and manufacturing and renationalisation of rail - to name a few policies - then they can only achieve that by breaking from Labour and beginning the process of establishing a new mass party. Such a party could win the support of the disillusioned millions who have deserted Labour and the millions of workers who have been looking for a Left alternative to Labour for some time.

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

In The Socialist 2 October 2004:

Out Of Touch!

Vote 'Yes': Strike Back Against Job Losses

City-Wide Movement To Save Decent Jobs

Fighting Back In Coventry

Unite Against The Jobs Massacre

Bosses Think Minimum Wage Too High

Time For A New Workers' Party

The Other parties of Big Business...

Students Sign Up for Socialism

International socialist news and analysis

Socialist Alternative Win Two Council Seats in Germany

Health Workers in Pakistan Occupied Kashmir Gear-Up For Elections

Oil Prices Break $50 A Barrel Mark

Socialist Party news and analysis

Open Letter To Sacked Liverpool Dockers

New ASBOs Powers Won't Work

Industrial Action Threatened Over Council Pensions

ASLEF: The Battle Continues


Home   |   The Socialist 2 October 2004   |   Join the Socialist Party

Subscribe   |   Donate  

Related links:


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?


triangle'From Militant to the Socialist Party' - new book now available

triangleHow Blairism sank its claws into the Labour Party

triangleAttacks ratchet-up Syrian conflict and fuel tensions between powers


triangle'Dazzling' Bad Art show points to socialist future

triangleObesity epidemic: end food market anarchy

triangleNasty party out the Tories


triangleThe Tories must be driven out

triangleGermany: Election results in political earthquake

News and socialist analysis

News and socialist analysis


What we saw

What we saw



Obesity epidemic: end food market anarchy



Tories scrap the NHS pay cap: now fight for real-terms pay rises!



Young people being strangled by debts



Tories torn - bin them now



The end of the Tories?



Nasty party out the Tories


Black history

The fight against racial discrimination is tied to fighting against capitalist austerity



Housing crisis: Corbyn's positive measures blanked by Labour's right


Universal Credit

Major attacks 'Universal Credit', half a million more face poverty


Them & Us

Them & Us



NHS meltdown - fight the Tory cuts



IMF helps cause inequality it slams



Tories wreck our NHS



Monarch abdicates responsibility to workers

triangleMore News and socialist analysis 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 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



October 2017

September 2017

August 2017

July 2017

June 2017

May 2017

April 2017

March 2017

February 2017

January 2017





















Platform setting: = No platform choice