Join the Socialist Party Join us today!

Printable version Printable version

Facebook   Twitter

Link to this page: https://www.socialistparty.org.uk/issue/195/8118

From The Socialist newspaper, 2 March 2001

Plain sailing for Blair?

OPINION POLLS suggest New Labour are on course for another election "landslide". A Mori poll for the Times put Labour on 50% - 20% ahead of the Tories and almost exactly the same as before the last election.

New Labour lead the Tories on every issue except defence, and even there the gap is just 1%. No political party has ever been so far behind in the polls and won an election.

Not surprisingly Tory candidates are reportedly in a state of panic. At the party HQ officials are reaching for the Prozac in a situation of "descending depression". In a survey of political analysts, only 17% expected Hague to still be Tory leader after the election.

Although a May election is still more likely, some in New Labour are pushing for an election on 5 April - while everything seems to be going their way. Gordon Brown, they argue, will deliver a "give-away" budget and an election victory will be guaranteed.

Whatever the date of the election, barring a major catastrophe, New Labour are likely to win a second term. But their huge lead in the polls is in no way matched by enthusiasm for the party and its policies. Even in 1997 most people voted negatively - against the Tories, rather than positively for New Labour.

In a recent Gallup poll for the Daily Telegraph, two-thirds of people said that Blair is out of touch with ordinary people. 50% think that he shows poor judgment and spends too much time with the rich and powerful.

The accumulated discontent which rose to the surface during last September's fuel protests has not disappeared. The anger at privatisation in health, education and in particular transport (Labour's rating for transport has fallen 41% since last July) is still simmering.

But there's no political channel at the moment through which mass discontent can be expressed. New Labour are ahead only because the alternative of a Tory government is too frightening a prospect for many people to contemplate. Blair's party is seen as the lesser of two evils.

Many working-class people will simply not bother to vote for either of the two "evils" or for any other established party. The number saying they are "certain" or "very likely" to vote is 10% lower than in 1997.

The Socialist Party will be standing 13 candidates in the general election, 11 in England, 10 of whom will be part of the Socialist Alliance, and two in Wales under the banner of the Welsh Socialist Alliance.

With six Socialist Party councillors already elected, we have shown that it's possible to provide a credible socialist alternative to the big business policies of the main political parties.

We are also campaigning for a new mass party to represent working-class people and to channel the anger and discontent which lies behind the opinion polls. Even in this pre-election period, there has been an upturn in the level of strikes and struggles by working- class people.

Local authority workers in Hackney and the north-west, Vauxhall workers, London Underground workers, care workers in Kirklees have all moved into action.

This gives a glimpse of what a second-term New Labour government will have to face but on a much bigger scale, especially with an economic recession looming round the corner. It will be these types of struggles which will lay the basis for the building of a new mass party in the future.

By standing in the election we are preparing for the future - our aim is not just to win votes. We also want to build the Socialist Party into a force which can play a key role in future struggles, in the building of a new mass party and which can provide a programme and organisation for ending the misery of capitalism and bringing about a socialist society.

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


In The Socialist 2 March 2001:

Cough Up The Cash Gordon

HANDS OFF JOBS AND SERVICES

Plain sailing for Blair?

Foot and mouth disease: another crisis for agribusiness

Victory for term-time workers

The decline of Britain's manufacturing industry

Preston councillor joins Socialist Party

Militancy and solidarity can win


 

Home   |   The Socialist 2 March 2001   |   Join the Socialist Party

Subscribe   |   Donate  




Related links:

Election:

triangleAmy Murphy for Usdaw president - vote for a fighting and democratic union

triangleCabinet chaos as shambolic reshuffle underlines Theresa May's impotence

triangleThe Socialist's 2017 quiz

triangleBlairite horror and Labour's divisions graphically exposed

triangleCorbyn's Labour can defeat Tories with socialist programme

Labour:

triangleNo fudge with the right wing

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

triangleHaringey protests HDV - but Labour fails to kill it off completely

triangleMcDonnell says Labour would put services 'irreversibly' in workers' hands

Socialist:

triangleLeeds Socialist Party: 100 years since women won the right to vote

triangleLeeds Socialist Party: Organising tenants in the private rented sector

triangleLeeds Socialist Party: How long can May cling on for?

Socialist Party:

triangleYork Socialist Party: Britain in 2018

triangleTeesside Socialist Party: The National Question

Reports and campaigns

Reports and campaigns

16/2/18

Haringey

No fudge with the right wing

15/2/18

TUSC

TUSC statement on sentencing of Derby TUSC agent

14/2/18

Haringey

Haringey protests HDV - but Labour fails to kill it off completely

14/2/18

UCU

Uni strike: coordinate public sector fightback

14/2/18

Cardiff

Enjoyable and successful Cardiff Refugee Rights gig

14/2/18

Carlisle

Carlisle debate - socialism or social democracy?

14/2/18

Firefighters

Staines fire services saved

14/2/18

Surrey

Threat of action defeats pay cut at Surrey council

14/2/18

Woolwich

Woolwich Crossrail walkouts to demand promised bonuses

14/2/18

London

Sadiq Khan's bus drivers' London licence doesn't go far enough

14/2/18

Mansfield

Stop press: victory - campaign saves NHS rehab ward

8/2/18

Newham

Teachers strike again as anti-academy pressure mounts

7/2/18

Unison

Unison national women's conference

7/2/18

Royal Mail

Royal Mail forced back under threat of action

7/2/18

Walthamstow

'Occupy to save the town square'

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: 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

ABOUT US

ARCHIVE

Alphabetical listing


February 2018

January 2018

2017

2016

2015

2014

2013

2012

2011

2010

2009

2008

2007

2006

2005

2004

2003

2002

2001

2000

1999