Link to this page: http://www.socialistparty.org.uk/issue/188/8057
Exposed: Labour's Election Hype
TONY BLAIR, in best baby-kissing electioneering mode, seems to have changed New Labour's policy on teachers. For years Blair and Blunkett have insulted teachers, blaming them for all the ills of an under-funded education system.
Now Blair calls teachers "saints and heroes" but will New Labour create schools fit for heroes to teach in? Or will teachers still need the patience of a saint to work in the conditions which they face? (see articles page 3).
There are 16% fewer graduates applying for one-year training courses starting this autumn than applied last year. Teachers in Essex may go to a four-day week because of a lack of staff. A school in Ipswich couldn't open for two days after Christmas because of lack of teachers. The recruitment crisis would be worse if staff didn't take on even more work to make up for shortages.
Teachers need a big pay increase and some hope of future improvements in conditions. Teachers in the capital are now building for action to increase their London Allowance.
Many public-sector workers are being frozen out of the housing market. Rents for a two-bedroom family home in inner London start at around £250 a week. It would cost at least £150,000 to buy a similar property. A household would need an income of £40,000 or more to get a mortgage which covers this.
No wonder the city's teachers and ambulance workers (see page 11) are up in arms at a wages policy and housing policy which is making London unaffordable for the working class!
If the market system (ie capitalism) has failed to meet people's needs during a boom, the coming recession will make things worse.
Blair is hyping it up now about record public spending and the "healthy" state of the economy but just look at the jobs being lost in manufacturing industry even before a recession.
New Labour's commitment to jobs and public services is all froth. They never deliver. But we will shortly have the chance to deliver an election message for Blair and Co. by voting for Socialist candidates.
We don't want platitudes and paper promises - we're campaigning for socialist policies to improve our lives.
In The Socialist 12 January 2001: