Join the Socialist Party Join us today!

Printable version Printable version

Facebook   Twitter

Link to this page:

From The Socialist newspaper, 3 October 2012

Sickened by Labour conference? Build the anti-cuts alternative!

Ronnie Job, Swansea

One further downside of being sick and off work is that I've been able to watch some of the Labour Party conference. Anybody else who's had a similar misfortune, watching Labour Party conference - not being off sick, won't have needed to see much to answer the question posed in the last issue of the Socialist, 'Can Labour give a lead in the fight against austerity?', with a resounding 'No!'

In the run-up to conference, Len McCluskey, leader of Unite, called on his union members to join the Labour Party to reclaim it for trade unionists and the working class.

He also predicted to the press that Labour would have to listen to the unions and his union in particular because Unite has backed Labour to the tune of 6 million in the last few years.

Any Unite members watching the conference would have wondered what they got for 6 million of their hard-earned subs.

Ed Balls' speech blew any idea that Labour is listening to the unions out of the water. He bragged about how he had told the TUC conference that Labour would not commit to reversing any Tory cuts and that Labour in power would have made, and will make, cuts.


He compared the Labour Party of today to that of 1945. Here I thought he might say that Labour would defend the NHS Clement Atlee's administration set up.

But no, he preferred to concentrate on the cuts they made, like bringing in prescription charges.

He called for a cross-party consensus on re-building Britain when it seems to ordinary people that there is a consensus from the parties in power - that the working class must pay for the current crisis of capitalism.

When McCluskey spoke many of the Labour Party members who applauded Balls weren't in the room. When the leader of my union, Dave Prentis of Unison, spoke the hall looked practically empty. It was a graphic demonstration that Labour is not listening to the unions.

So to McCluskey and Prentis - stop throwing away our subs and instead build a real alternative! Imagine what the Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition (TUSC, the electoral coalition that the Socialist Party participates in with leading left trade unionists) could do with the resources of these huge unions behind it.

Apparently in his speech Miliband will tell us how he is 'one of us'. Yeah right! Can you see him making difficult decisions at the end of each month about buying food or paying bills? Is he worrying about his house being repossessed or looking for a pay-day loan from the likes of Wonga? I don't think so!

In contrast to the Labour Party the Socialist Party insists that our members who are elected to positions in trade unions or politics receive only the same wage as the people they represent.

If you elect a Socialist Party member under the TUSC banner you know you truly are electing "one of us".

Even if I hadn't already been off sick, watching Labour Party conference would have made me nauseous.

It makes me all the more determined to build TUSC, the anti-cuts political alternative, in the future.

Bob Crow slams Labour and calls for a political alternative

Responding to the adoption of Con-Dem policies on public sector pay by the Labour front bench at the conference in Manchester, RMT general secretary Bob Crow said:

"Millions of workers have had their pay frozen for years now and have seen their real standards of living decrease by 16% while boardroom pay has gone through the roof.

"You would have thought that the Labour Party might do something to side with those taking a battering and against those dealing it out but you would be wrong.

Labour and the government are now positioned like Tweedledum and Tweedledee; whichever one you vote for you end up with the same kick in the teeth for the very people that make this country tick and that is a disgrace.

Who are those nurses, teachers and public service staff going to vote for now that Labour has made it clear they have abandoned them?

The case for a political party rooted in the trade unions and with a clear socialist agenda is now overwhelming as Ed Miliband and Ed Balls signal their desertion of the working class and their adoption of a pro-business, pro-EU and pro-austerity programme".

Bob Crow is a member of the TUSC national steering committee and the general secretary of the RMT union which, at its annual conference this June, agreed to formalise its relationship with TUSC.


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

In The Socialist 3 October 2012:

Education news & analysis

Tory education policy: 'This is just about making cuts isn't it?'

Building the fightback in the universities

Suspended student union president continues fight for reinstatement

NUT activists prepare for action

Barnfield College, Luton: Kick private profit out of education

Partial victory for international students at London Metropolitan

No to slave labour in universities

International socialist news and analysis

Europe: Class struggle returns with a bang

South Africa: Solidarity with miners

Algerian war of independence 1954-1962

Socialist Party NHS campaigning

Action against Profit From Illness!

South West NHS workers want action against 'pay cartel'

Save Greater Manchester mental healthcare

Cut the Con-Dems - not our NHS!

Socialist Party workplace news

Bin workers calling indefinite strike brought results

Day of Action to save HMRC nurseries

Crossrail flashmob blocks London's Oxford Street

Arts and culture workers need to fight back

Socialist Party reports and campaigns

The fight of all our lives - For a 24-hour general strike

Councillors must resist all Tory cuts

Thousands march for an independent Scotland

March for Jobs in Scotland

Rape is No Joke campaign discussed

Socialist Party news and analysis

Scotland: Lamont throws Labour Party into crisis

Sickened by Labour conference? Build the anti-cuts alternative!

Council tax benefit - new and not improved

Squatting conviction paves way for rise in homelessness

Them & Us


Home   |   The Socialist 3 October 2012   |   Join the Socialist Party

Subscribe   |   Donate   |   PDF  

Related links:

Labour Party:

triangleLeicester: Blairites block Labour Party democracy

triangle15 years since the invasion of Iraq: what we said

triangleSocialist Party congress 2018

triangleMay's EU speech kicks the can down the road

triangleNo fudge with the right wing


triangleSalford Socialist Party: The history of the Labour movement in Ireland

triangleRussia, spies and nerve agents

triangleSwansea Labour council votes for cuts

triangleWaltham Forest Socialist Party: The state - a warning to the labour movement


triangleProfits up Wages down

triangleTUSC plans to stand on Waltham Forest anti-monster block platform

triangleSalford nurseries consultation delayed


triangleThe Socialist inbox

triangleBuilding support for Corbyn's anti-cuts policies in the local elections


triangleOutrageous sentence for TUSC agent in 'misleading electors' court case


triangleBristol South Socialist Party: How can socialists take the fight against the Tories to the people of Bristol?

News and socialist analysis

News and socialist analysis



Russia, spies and nerve agents



Zero new homes 'affordable' in Blairite Manchester



Spring Statement 2018: Tory austerity staggers on despite economic and political weakness


What we saw

What we saw



Sainsbury's raise really a cut: fight for 10 with no strings!



Profits up Wages down



Determined UCU strikers: We're out to win!



Capitalism oppresses women - fight for socialism!


Them & Us

Them & Us



Women's oppression: the struggle goes on



Snow chaos showed the bosses' coldness - but also workers' grit



May's EU speech kicks the can down the road



Toys R Us, Maplin: worsening retail crisis claims more jobs



Corbyn's customs union dividing line: now stand firm for pro-worker Brexit



Corbynism shows 'Clause IV' still relevant a hundred years on

triangleMore News and socialist analysis 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: 0191 421 6230

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

March 2018

February 2018

January 2018