Time for a new workers’ party

Blair Not wanted

The ‘cash for peerages’ scandal has again reared its head with more arrests and police now circling around Tony Blair himself.

Rob Windsor Socialist Party Councillor, Coventry

Of course this practice is nothing new. A cesspit of greedy capitalists buying influence has always been there, but this time the lid has been slightly lifted off and working class people are reeling at the stench.

Ex-Labour prime minister Harold Wilson’s press secretary, Joe Haines, said in the guardian’s weekend magazine: “Every government sells peerages and honours – and we did it too”. The difference this time is the public exposure of the scandal and the fact that Blair’s fundraisers and close advisers have been arrested and he himself questioned.

Blair's strings to big business

That New Labour has been repaying rich donors by giving them political influence and ‘status’ in the House of Lords, and also privatisation deals and favourable planning decisions, is not just an act of vanity. It allows these individuals a greater leeway to extend their power and influence over ordinary people’s lives, jobs and services.

One donor lined up for a peerage was stockbroker Barry Townsley, a supporter of New Labour’s city academy programme to privatise schools and sponsor of the Stockley Academy in Hillingdon.

Another was David Garrard, a millionaire property developer and sponsor of the Bexley Academy, which seeks to teach young people that financial gambling and a capitalist free market is the best way to run things, by installing a stock market “trading floor” in school.

This self-proclaimed ‘educator’ was one of the “Minerva two” involved in the collapse of the Allders chain which led to thousands of job losses.

The other half of the “Minerva two” was Andrew Rosenfield, also a New Labour donor, and also lined up for a peerage!

These examples alone show New Labour’s will to allow its unelected money-grabbing, asset-stripping friends control over all aspects of our daily lives with no accountability.

When he came to office in 1997, Blair said he would ‘clean up politics’, but his actions can be likened more to jet washing a dirty wall with sewage. This whole present scandal indicates who New Labour wants to be friends with. They have ignored the aspirations of working people and the trade union rank and file in favour of fawning around the super rich and encouraging their desire to make more super profits.

All the main capitalist parties – New Labour, Tories and LibDems – are more or less the same in this respect. A real socialist alternative is the only solution. Working people need a new workers’ party that will fight the interests of big business. A party that will stand up for decent services and jobs for ordinary people rather than helping fat cats who bribe political parties.