Join the Socialist Party Join us today!

Printable version Printable version

Facebook   Twitter

Link to this page:

From The Socialist newspaper, 14 October 2010

Labour shadows show: We need a new workers' party!

WHAT DO the results of the election to Labour's Shadow Cabinet tell us about the direction, or even likelihood, of Ed Miliband's party leading a fightback against the coalition cuts?

Socialist Party councillor Dave Nellist, Chair, Campaign for a New Workers' Party

In a sense - not much. Outside their own constituencies, many of the new frontbench spokespersons are hardly well-known - nor could they be, since 22 of the new team have only been MPs for five months.

The most prominent decision by Labour's new leader, which exercised the media, was the choice for Shadow Chancellor, the MP who would lead Labour's argument against Tory chancellor George Osborne's cuts package.

Alan Johnson, former Communication Workers Union (CWU) general secretary before going into parliament, came sixth in the shadow cabinet elections, but was chosen by Ed Miliband for the 'top job' over Ed Balls and Yvette Cooper. Johnson, a prominent supporter of defeated leadership challenger David Miliband, is unlikely to inspire trade unionists in coming cuts battles; indeed, he didn't even get the backing of the CWU when he ran for Labour deputy leader three years ago.

Miliband won't be taking Labour into general, or principled, opposition to the cuts. In his first TV interview as Labour leader, shortly after the shadow cabinet was named, he warned he would not support public sector strikes over pensions, and that industrial action would alienate the wider public and undermine Labour's efforts to fight other spending cuts.

"I don't think we should be talking about industrial action. I think it is very premature to be talking about that", he said. Didn't take long, did it?

So when would be the 'right time' for Labour to respond? When would supporting workers and communities resisting the cuts be the "right thing to do"?

In Coventry, Labour is pre-empting the coalition government's cuts, starting on 19 October (the day before the Comprehensive Spending Review), by formally beginning procedures for over 1,200 jobs to go on the council - without that party producing a leaflet, petition or meeting in protest.

Rumours that Neil Kinnock is preparing to make a major speech attacking "the grotesque spectacle of a Labour council, a Labour council, scurrying around the city handing out redundancy notices by taxi", as he did against the socialist Liverpool council in 1985, appear unfounded!

The election of Ed Miliband and his shadow cabinet, even if containing many of 'the Next Generation', has not fundamentally reversed the direction that Labour has taken over the last 20 years. Labour is a party now happy to manage the market economy, and accept all its limitations, even if that means being embroiled in the sacking of thousands of workers across the country.

The coming cuts battles will be the catalyst in town after town, for the idea and building of a new party, firmly rooted in the organisations and communities of working people. The idea will grow that, let down by the three main parties, working people need their own party that will properly defend the idea of public services and public ownership against the current common agenda which accepts that the victims of the recession should be further punished, rather than the culprits.

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

In The Socialist 14 October 2010:

Anti-cuts campaign

Strike back at pensions robbery

Protest against the Con-Dem's comprehensive cuts on 23 October

TUC must name the date for strike action

PCS fights to defend jobs and pensions

Socialist Students

When they say fees will rise... we fight back and organise!

No to academy schools!

School students strike in Dover

Action against EMA cuts in Huddersfield and Mansfeild

Socialist Party news and analysis

Con-Dem attacks will lead to social cleansing

Labour shadows show: We need a new workers' party!

Children - a privilege for the rich?

Save Wanstead Flats


Community organises to resist EDL thugs

Socialist Party workplace news

The battle is on over DWP pay

Fight Passport Office closure

Greenwich council threatens mass sackings

Workplace news in brief

Socialism 2010

Come to Socialism 2010

Socialist Party Marxist analysis

The general strike: Important tool of the working class

Will prices rocket up?

International socialist news

Stalinism and capitalism - a toxic brew in Hungary


Home   |   The Socialist 14 October 2010   |   Join the Socialist Party

Subscribe   |   Donate  

Related links:


triangleRMT Labour Party affiliation debate - where do socialists stand?

triangleSouthampton: the cuts or no cuts election

triangleWindrush scandal: Tories and Blairites must go

triangleTories out!


triangleCoventry TUSC: Council cuts - how can we fight back?

triangleLewisham & Southwark Socialist Party: What would a socialist council look like?

triangleBristol South Socialist Party: How can councils protect public services?

triangleWorkers' victory over anti-union Scottish council


triangleWaltham Forest Socialist Party: Our local TUSC council challenge

triangleBromley library workers win strike campaign

triangleVictorious Fearnville Fields campaigners thank the Socialist

Ed Miliband:

triangleFight for a socialist Brexit

triangleLessons of the 'N30' 2011 pension strike

Dave Nellist:

triangleGrimsby TUSC: Tories out, Corbyn in, Elect real socialists in NE Lincs

Reports and campaigns

Reports and campaigns



Journalists' union leaders defeat call for political fund, but potential for left grows



Retail union backs zero-hour ban, leaders oppose rank-and-file coordination



McDonald's strikers: "We demand a living wage and decent conditions"



Sheffield and South Yorkshire: no to closures - defend our NHS



Southampton: the cuts or no cuts election



School strike forces head to say privatisation will stop



College protest against job losses



Bromley library workers win strike campaign



UCU members vote to end pensions dispute



Usdaw conference 2018: time for new era of fighting trade unionism



Victorious Fearnville Fields campaigners thank the Socialist



Hull says no to war, no to austerity


The Socialist

The Socialist - a fighting, campaigning, workers' paper


Socialist Party

Building fund: 150,000 milestone smashed!


Fighting Fund

Give us your change (and more) to fight for system change!

triangleMore Reports and campaigns articles...

Join the Socialist Party
Subscribe to Socialist Party publications
Donate to the Socialist Party
Socialist Party Facebook page
Socialist Party on Twitter
Visit us on Youtube



Phone our national office on 020 8988 8777


Locate your nearest Socialist Party branch Text your name and postcode to 07761 818 206

Regional Socialist Party organisers:

Eastern: 0798 202 1969

East Mids: 0773 797 8057

London: 020 8988 8786

North East: 0784 114 4890

North West 07769 611 320

South East: 020 8988 8777

South West: 07759 796 478

Southern: 07833 681910

Wales: 07935 391 947

West Mids: 02476 555 620

Yorkshire: 0114 264 6551



Alphabetical listing

April 2018

March 2018

February 2018

January 2018