Link to this page: https://www.socialistparty.org.uk/issue/258/24704
Fight Labour's Big Business Policies
SUPPORT FOR New Labour in opinion polls is sinking fast. It's now at its lowest level since the fuel protests in 2000. Former transport secretary Stephen Byers might have gone, but that hasn't stopped the rot. New Labour are still seen to be mired in spin and sleaze.
Trade and industry secretary Patricia Hewitt says she's worried that Labour might be accused of "too-close relations with big business".
She's right to be worried. Jarvis, the company responsible for maintaining the line where the Potters Bar train crash took place, has just announced a big increase in annual profits - £48.8 million compared to £24.8 million in the previous year. New Labour are more concerned about boosting the profits of companies like Jarvis than running a safe rail network in the interests of transport users and workers.
Jarvis are also one of the private companies in the consortium that New Labour want to take over running part of the Tube. Tube worker Bill Johnson, told The Socialist: "Jarvis has continually refused to take responsibility for the track it was supposed to maintain. Now it's announced these enormous profits. There's no way Tube workers want to see the same company take over the Tube lines. We expect to see a big majority voting to strike in our ballot over safety.
"More and more workers in the public sector and privatised services are realising that it's only through action that we can stop privatisation, defend jobs, decent pay and conditions and guarantee services run for need rather than the profits of the private companies.
"New Labour are a party of big business. We need to campaign for a new, mass party that will stand up for the interests of ordinary working people in the same way that New Labour stand up for the bosses. And it's the unions that need to take the lead in fighting to build such a party".
In The Socialist 14 June 2002: