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:


triangleAnti-DOO lobby of Liverpool's transport committee

triangleBirmingham South East Socialist Party: Can the Labour Party be changed?

triangleBlairite horror and Labour's divisions graphically exposed

triangleTUSC conference to debate 2018 elections

triangleCorbyn's Labour can defeat Tories with socialist programme


triangleKurdish referendum declared illegal

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


triangleCorbyn must challenge pro-gentrification council leader or others will

triangleUS: Historic vote for Ginger Jentzen campaign in Minneapolis

News and socialist analysis

News and socialist analysis



Local government pay: fight for the 5% claim, fully funded



Corbyn's Labour can defeat Tories with socialist programme



Branson sues NHS: kick out the profiteers



Royal wedding exposes them-and-us visa system



RBS to sack 1,000: nationalise the banks



Rough sleeping crisis: make homes, not arrests



End Tory war on poor



Nationalise rail now


Them & Us

Them & us



Tory housing policy: build zilch, hike prices



Make the Tories history



Birmingham bin workers win!


British economy

Amber warning lights flash on British economy



After the budget - unions must launch pay fight


Climate change

Carbon dioxide hits 800,000-year high: end profit-driven pollution

triangleMore News and socialist analysis articles...

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

triangle8 Dec Local government pay: fight for the full 5% claim

triangle6 Dec Strikers rally in Liverpool

triangle6 Dec Corbyn's Labour can defeat Tories with socialist programme

triangle5 Dec Victory at Glenfield shows people power can save our NHS

triangle5 Dec Labour council Blairites deselected

triangle30 Nov Victory: Glenfield Children's Heart Centre saved!

triangle30 Nov Dramatic retelling of Grunwick strike

More ...

triangle12 Dec Birmingham South East Socialist Party: Can the Labour Party be changed?

triangle12 Dec Liverpool Socialist Party: Fighting council cuts

triangle13 Dec Caerphilly Socialist Party: Are we heading for an era of war?

triangle14 Dec Wakefield Socialist Party: Universal Credit - the Tories' latest assault on the poor

More ...

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



December 2017

November 2017

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