Join the Socialist Party Join us today!

Printable version Printable version

Facebook   Twitter

Link to this page: https://www.socialistparty.org.uk/issue/1013/28059

From The Socialist newspaper, 10 October 2018

Liverpool 47 plaque: "Better to break the law, than break the poor"

Some of Liverpool's Militant-led socialist Labour councillors, including Tony Mulheran (second from left in flat cap), photo Militant

Some of Liverpool's Militant-led socialist Labour councillors, including Tony Mulheran (second from left in flat cap), photo Militant   (Click to enlarge)

Dave Walsh, Liverpool and District Socialist Party

On 22 September the Casa club in Liverpool, which grew out of the titanic 1995-98 dockers' struggle to defend jobs, hosted an historic occasion.

A plaque was unveiled dedicated to the achievements of the 'Liverpool 47' - the socialist Labour councillors who defied Thatcher in the 1980s.

The councillors built thousands of houses, created jobs, built sports centres, opened nursery classes and successfully fought to win resources back from the government.

Militant supporters (forerunner of the Socialist Party) played a leading role on the council and in the wider struggle.

Several hundred people were present at the unveiling. The meeting included trade union activists, family members of the 47 (children and grandchildren), Socialist Party and Labour Party members (past and present). They all embraced and applauded the stand of the 47.

For refusing to implement the cuts demanded by the Tory government the 47 paid the price. They were fined 106,000 and banned from office by an unelected district auditor - whose decision was upheld by five law lords.

On appeal, punitive legal costs of 242,000 were imposed. The 47 were saved, not only by the generosity of Liverpool people, but also by donations from all corners of the country.

Emblazoned on the plaque is the slogan: "Better to break the law than break the poor" - first adopted by the Poplar Labour councillors in 1921 who were jailed for refusing to cut payments to the poor.

Unite general secretary Len McCluskey spoke about the tremendous struggle waged against Thatcherism by the 47 and their magnificent achievements in the city: "Building beautiful semidetached council houses with front and back gardens and building twice as many as all other local authorities put together."

Actor Ricky Tomlinson was present to identify with the 47 and celebrated screen writer Jimmy McGovern unveiled the plaque - initiated by Terry White and funded by people in Liverpool.

Witch-hunt

Tony Mulhearn, Socialist Party member and former president of the Liverpool District Labour Party, and one of the leaders of the struggle, spoke with passion.

To loud applause, he dedicated the meeting to his wife Maureen and the wives and partners of the 47 family support group.

He described the witch-hunt, which had been unleashed by former Labour leader Neil Kinnock and which was similar in its lies and malevolence to the poisonous charges of antisemitism and bullying made by the Blairites against Jeremy Corbyn and his supporters.

But, he noted, the tide of history has turned. Reference to Dawn Butler's praise of the 47, which the Blairites condemned, was greeted with loud applause.

Tony explained that the 47 translated socialism into the language of housing, jobs, services, sports centres, nursery schools and new parks. And because they delivered on their promises, their vote went up each year.

He said the lessons from that period should be taken up by Corbyn and McDonnell. Instead of pleading with the Blairites to get on board, they should instead trust the mass of the party and empower them to remove this 'fifth column'.

Tony emphasised that the 47 were removed by Thatcher's District Auditor, not by voters. By contrast, Kinnock led the Labour Party to two of the worst general election defeats since 1931 and kept the Tories in power for another ten years!

Tony explained that the 47 linked the council struggle with the imperative of transforming society from capitalism to socialism, as any gains made by working people would be clawed back as long as the capitalists retained control of the levers of power.

Tony received a standing ovation from the packed house for his inspiring speech.

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


In The Socialist 10 October 2018:


What we think

Tories' crisis conference - Corbyn must fight for general election


Workplace news and analysis

We need democratic, rank-and-file leadership to win national UCU disputes

First coordinated catering and courier strike whets workers' appetite for action

Another first: pub strike victory in south London!

Cable makers strike against real-terms pay cut

Strike raises pay at Liverpool airport

South Western rail guards hit 18 strike days


Socialist Party news and analysis

Fight the right

12 years to halt irreversible climate disaster. Capitalism's time is up

8,000 Glasgow workers plan historic mass strike

Super-rich flee to Monaco to evade Corbyn

Workers in UK do 1.2trn of unpaid housework and care

Workers' action wins Amazon pay rise

Them & Us


Anti-racism

Fight racism: fight for jobs, homes and services for all

25 years since 50,000 marched against the far-right threat


International socialist news and analysis

Polarisation, risks and resistance in Brazilian elections

US: #CancelKavanaugh

Mexico: socialists violently attacked by gangs - urgent solidarity needed

Ireland: 10,000 march for homes in Dublin


Socialist Party reports and campaigns

Liverpool 47 plaque: "Better to break the law, than break the poor"

Palestinian solidarity: "We are not victims. We are freedom fighters."

Leicestershire: stop the cuts to our hospital services

Save Huddersfield Royal Infirmary - the fight goes on

Finance - a crucial component of socialist campaigns


Opinion

The murky world of the 'Big Four' accountancy firms

The Socialist Inbox


 

Home   |   The Socialist 10 October 2018   |   Join the Socialist Party

Subscribe   |   Donate   |   Audio  |   PDF  |   ebook






Related links:

Liverpool:

triangleStrike raises pay at Liverpool airport

triangleSocialist Party campaigns against the Blairites at Labour conference

triangleSafety-critical airport workers continue strike

triangleFight for a democratic, socialist Labour Party

triangleMilitant was right - councils can fight cuts

Tony Mulhearn:

triangleMomentum's 'The World Transformed' blocks discussion on Liverpool council struggle

triangleNSSN rally: militant trade unionists share ideas to win for workers

triangleLiverpool meeting remembers 47 councillors who fought and defeated Thatcher in 1980s

triangleThe Socialist Inbox

Reports and campaigns

Reports and campaigns

16/10/18

Haringey

'Corbyn-council' faces a choice: Implement or fight the cuts

12/10/18

Film

Peterloo film exposes bloody nature of capitalism

12/10/18

Universal Credit

New anti-poll tax type revolt needed today

10/10/18

Fighting Fund

Finance - a crucial component of socialist campaigns

10/10/18

Huddersfield

Save Huddersfield Royal Infirmary - the fight goes on

10/10/18

Leicester

Leicestershire: stop the cuts to our hospital services

10/10/18

Liverpool

Strike raises pay at Liverpool airport

10/10/18

Palestine

Palestinian solidarity: "We are not victims. We are freedom fighters."

10/10/18

Liverpool

Liverpool 47 plaque: "Better to break the law, than break the poor"

10/10/18

South Western Railway

South Western rail guards hit 18 strike days

10/10/18

Eastleigh

Cable makers strike against real-terms pay cut

10/10/18

Southwark

Another first: pub strike victory in south London!

10/10/18

Strike

First coordinated catering and courier strike whets workers' appetite for action

10/10/18

UCU

We need democratic, rank-and-file leadership to win national UCU disputes

10/10/18

Glasgow

8,000 Glasgow workers plan historic mass strike

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

LATEST POSTS

CONTACT US

Phone our national office on 020 8988 8777

Email: info@socialistparty.org.uk

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

ABOUT US

ARCHIVE

Alphabetical listing


October 2018

September 2018

August 2018

July 2018

June 2018

May 2018

April 2018

March 2018

February 2018

January 2018

2017

2016

2015

2014

2013

2012

2011

2010

2009

2008

2007

2006

2005

2004

2003

2002

2001

2000

1999