Things lurch from catastrophic to apocalyptic for Labour in Scotland. Scottish Labour’s leader Lamont’s resignation reveals the impotence of Ed Miliband. Her open attacks on him and the increasingly likely loss of a number of Labour MPs from Scotland will undermine the chances of the election of a majority Labour government.
Uber-Blairite MP Jim Murphy, is emerging as a leading candidate to replace Lamont. One Labour MSP warned that choosing Murphy would “turn a crisis into a catastrophe”. This is the same Murphy who, while trousering Unite’s cash, knifed the union in the back in Falkirk calling Unite members ‘bullies’, when president of the students union he dropped opposition to student fees, and who is an unreconstructed defender of the invasion of Iraq. He certainly ticks all the boxes for compliance with Labour’s programme of continuing ConDem cuts if elected.
Whoever emerges as the Sottish leader, the chaos underlines the imperative for an electoral challenge to the 3 Cuts Parties at the next round of elections. This challenge will be provided by the Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition (TUSC).
Those who argue, some with great sincerity, that Labour is the lesser evil should recognise that failure to act now to build a new party of Labour will condemn the British working class to further years of cuts and destruction of services whichever of the cuts parties are elected.
I share Kevin Maguire’s revulsion at South Tyneside’s council’s threat to lop off £5000 of the pay of nursery nurses, particularly as the fat cats continue to pile up fabulous wealth (6.10.14).
However the comparison with Militant and Liverpool is misplaced. Issuing letters of intent to our workforce was designed to put pressure on the government. Unlike the councils Kinnock supported when he did the dirty work of the then Thatcher government, we did not make a single worker redundant. In fact there were more workers employed in Liverpool when we were removed by Thatcher’s district auditor than when we were elected. The only thing that was ‘grotesque’ was Lord Kinnock’s speech.
Tony Mulhearn, past President Liverpool Labour Party
THE MAYOR’S LAMENT
In attempting to justify his horrendous record of cuts our Mayor once again charges me with demanding an illegal budget as the ‘only solution to the budget crisis’ (Echo 7/10/14).
This is completely false. At no time have I called for an illegal budget.
I have called on the Council to set a needs budget, and use what reserves are available to defend services. Mayor Anderson has no problem in funding dodgy developers on the Queens Dock, buying Cunard Buildings or bankrolling Everton FC, but balks at using reserves to defend services.
In contrast to supine compliance with savage austerity, the Council should spearhead a campaign of resistance involving the trade unions, community organisations and wider population, and could act as a beacon for other Councils to fight back.
Labour councils in the 60s, 70s and 80s conducted campaigns with great success. A courageous stand by today’s council could also succeed.
MARGARET THATCHER’S THOUGHTS
The revelations about Thatcher’s Tory 1984 Conference speech abandoned after the Brighton bombing confirm her demented view of the world. She characterised anybody who stood up to her manic policies of privatisation and attacks on workers’ living standards as ‘the enemy within.’ Significantly naming the miners’ leaders and Liverpool’s Socialist Council.
Her crazed ‘free market’ policies ultimately resulted in the economic meltdown of 2008 for which millions of workers are currently picking up the tab.
Appallingly, the current bunch of mendacious Bullingdon bullies putting social provision to the sword are even more extreme than her in their unrelenting attacks on workers while enriching their already obscenely wealthy friends.
I’m sure she would have been delighted with the current Liverpool council in carrying through the highest level of cuts in the city’s history, as well as employing people on the loathed zero-hours contracts.
The important lesson is: the ruling class don’t reward you for grovelling compliance; they always return for more cuts. A lesson completely lost on Mayor Anderson and his Labour council.
Tony Mulhearn, 107 Chelwood Avenue, L16 2LL. 07939098455