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Blair's empty promises
TONY BLAIR and his government used their party conference speeches to frighten voters about a possible return of the Tories. But while working-class people shiver at the nightmare of Hague and his motley crew returning to government, many will also ask what exactly can Labour offer that's different to the Tories?
People are angry with Labour precisely because it carried out with gusto Tory spending plans. They have increased taxes, like the Tories before them, and also like the Tories have privatised and worsened public services.
Socialist Party councillor Dave Nellist said: "Labour have done the seemingly impossible - given a discredited and hated Tory Party an opinion poll lead. They risk losing the next general election because instead of reversing the policies of the Tories, they've adopted them and run the system just like them. They're like shop stewards who become foremen."
Now Labour promises to 'get it right', especially for pensioners, but what exactly are they going to do to get it right? Gordon Brown's promises for pensioners are vague 'pie-in-the sky'. Even one of Labour's biggest supporters, the Daily Mirror demanded of Brown: "let's see the colour of your money".
Recent weeks show that action can extract concessions from this government. But don't be conned by Blair's spin. Labour's tactic is to buy time and hope the anger against them will subside.
But that anger won't subside, especially not when Blair's government does nothing against the companies and big businessmen which accumulate obscene wealth. 'Fat Fish' Bill Alexander, chief executive of Thames Water, is about to personally gain £1 million because the company is being taken over by German utility giant RWE.
Mick Griffiths, a Yorkshire health worker said: "Blair's speech was the biggest exercise in double-speak I've ever heard. He claims to have helped the poor but he's increased the numbers in poverty while increasing the number of millionaires.
"Working-class people have experienced the biggest ever transfer of wealth from the poorest to the mega-rich in three years. It's increased my determination to build a working-class socialist alternative to both New Labour and the Tories."
In The Socialist 29 September 2000: