Link to this page: https://www.socialistparty.org.uk/issue/744/15761
Don't fall for Labour's fairy tale
In the Observer on 25 November, columnist Nick Cohen wrote an article praising Labour councillors for, he says, 'dealing with austerity', ie Con-Dem cuts, while attacking as "ultra-leftism" any strategy to fight the cuts.
Tony Mulhearn, one of the 47 fighting Liverpool councillors from 1983-87 and Liverpool Labour Party president, 1980-85, sent this reply to the Observer.
Nick Cohen's praise for a 'tough' new Labour party suggests he has swallowed hook, line and sinker the fairy tale that cuts are necessary as there is no money to fund public provision at the same level as before the banker-induced crisis. The cash levels lying in the banks, off-shore accounts and uncollected tax from the rich reveal resources aplenty.
Naturally he quotes the Liverpool, Clay Cross and Poplar councillors, as people whose courageous stand in refusing to penalise the poor, should not be emulated at any cost.
He overlooks Liverpool's record: 5,000 houses built, thousands of jobs created, nursery school opened and services not cut but expanded when the government of the day was advancing the same cuts policy as the present bunch.
In Cohen's world, heaven curse those who actively oppose the destructive policies of the Con-Dems. He praises Islington Council's policy of sharing the cuts via 'fairness commissions'. This is terminology plucked straight from Orwell's 1984.
Because of Labour's policy of 'managing' the cuts Cohen detects 'a faint flicker of a pulse on the prone body of the British left'. In reality he detects the death rattle of Labour as a party of radical socialist change.
In The Socialist 28 November 2012: