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Labour MP fails to answer questions on cuts
A Haringey Socialist Party member
At a trades council and University and College Union (UCU) meeting in Haringey, north London, attended by around 30 people, Labour MP David Lammy was billed as one of the speakers.
In the speeches from the top table, only Oktay Shabaz, from Turkish/Kurdish group Day-Mer, pointed out that attacks on public services, including education, took place under the last Labour government.
When Lammy spoke, he concentrated on Tory attacks on the welfare state, and also emphasised his support for UCU's campaign against cuts at the College of Haringey, Enfield and North East London (CONEL). He made no comment on Haringey Labour council's cuts to local services.
From the floor, a Socialist Party member explained that Haringey council plans £81 million cuts over three years. He asked Lammy: whether he thought it was acceptable that the low-paid of Haringey should pay for the bankers' crisis; would he be supporting the strikes on 30 June; if Labour were now in government would it pledge not to attack pensions; and would he oppose any such attacks by a Labour government.
In the replies from the top table, Jenny Sutton, Socialist Workers Party and UCU member, said she had had differences with Lammy in the past, and she had stood against him in last year's general election. But now, 'while we are fighting the Con-Dem government's cuts we should work together'!
Lammy said we should aim to remove this government. But, he continued, in the 20th century the left was in power for only 22 years. When we know the enemy we should stand together. There's a debate to be had on the balance between cuts and tax increases, he argued. At a time when we need to be defending the young, the disabled, the vulnerable, the blind, he said he would stand at the front of the campaign. He said there are discussions on tactics taking place in the Labour Party - in politics you have to duck and dive.
He did not answer one of the questions. Nor did he commit himself to attending the Haringey Alliance for Public Services demo on 25 June.
The Socialist Party will work with anyone who opposes all cuts - both in words and action. Sowing illusions in Blairite MPs like David Lammy does not help in fighting those cuts.
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