Tuesday, 25 November 2014

More New Labour Hypocrisy

The hypocrisy of Steve Reed and One Nation Labour is boundless.

Recently for example, Reed backed “Labour’s” plans to, “save our NHS”. They will, if you believe them, introduce a “Time to Care Fund” to increase the number of health care staff. 

TUSC welcomes all tangible and long-lasting reforms that directly benefit working people. 

But we spy some of New Labour’s weasel words again. They say their plan, “will see 20,000 more nurses, 8,000 more GPs, 5,000 more care workers and 3,000 more midwives”. 

But what does, “will see”, mean? Why not say plainly that if elected they will directly recruit these additional staff. And why not also say by which date, even approximately, they will achieve it?

Reed blames the Tories. And of course there is some truth in that. But you do have to ask yourself, what were New Labour themselves doing when they were in power for 13 years? Do they think we have a problem with our short-term memory?

They have the gall to say (on Reed’s website) that only “Labour” can be trusted to save the NHS. But tell us, and do so plainly, is New Labour definitely NOT in favour of NHS PFI contracts? 

Will they say plainly that they will HALT and reverse the NHS internal “market” - which consumes so much in time and money - and which substantially accounts for the bureaucratic, “top down” management which Reed bangs on about so often?

As we say in the previous post, it was no other than New Labour that implemented 150 PFI contracts in the NHS. Besides being a massively expensive way of financing public projects - in and out of the NHS - it paves the way for more private-profit intrusion into the heath services. 

Monday, 24 November 2014


It's a sign of how far New Labour have fallen, that Clive Efford’s National Health Service (Amended Duties and Powers) Bill caused so much dancing in the streets - by New Labour MPs and Labour-friendly journalists. This Bill has just passed a second reading in Parliament by 241 votes to 18.

Where were the rest of the 650 MPs? It is quite likely that the Tories stayed away due to the by-election in Rochester & Strood.

But New Labour is in a double-bind. If this Bill eventually became an Act, that could only happen with the support of the Tories. That in turn would suggest the Bill is an empty piece of pre-election spin destined for the shredder.

However, if the Bill is blocked, that could suggest it really does contain something worthwhile. But in which case, why seek to repeal just a few paltry parts of the Tory's 2012 Act? Why not call for the repeal the whole Act?!

The fact is, this weaselly Bill is a stunt. And a poor one at that!

Will this Bill, for example, stop the private contracts worth £9 billion - due to be let to the likes of Virgin, Bupa, and possibly even arms manufacturer Lockheed Martin!? (See here for details of that).

If it WOULD do that, why isn’t “Labour” shouting this from the rooftops?

Is it because New Labour itself is not actually against the private provision of health services?

Is it because New Labour itself, by 2009, had implemented nearly 150 PFI contracts in the NHS?

"One Nation Labour" is starting its election campaign by desperately trying to sound like a Left party. It wants the support of trade union top bureaucrats, who will try influencing their members on the strength of these stunts. The growing emergence of TUSC’s electoral (and industrial) challenge is undoubtedly connected with New Labour's “let's look left” strategy.

But New Labour is a fraud! And we will expose that fraud every inch of the way from here to next May! Watch this space!

Saturday, 22 November 2014

Steve Appleton reviews "One Nation: Labour's Political Renewal"

New Labour has produced a document explaining what "One Nation Labour" is. Despite the title, there is nothing "renewing" about it. 

Whilst high on abstractions, its practical political content for working people is virtually nil. Instead of showing how austerity (for the 99%) can be ended, it is full of pseudo-religious allusions combined with sociological claptrap, 1990s "management-speak" and nationalist overtones. It is red, white and blue. (You can see it at the link below).

The document is another clear marker that New Labour has abandoned socialism and the working class. Stripped of its clever intellectualism, the text makes plain that a One Nation Labour government will operate strictly within the constraints and permissions of big business. 

These are its opening words - “Labour stands for big reform without big spending”. Barely two sentences later it says that they have rethought what Labour stands for, especially "when there is no money to spare”. (My emphasis). This mantra - there is no money - is repeated throughout. This is a “dog whistle” message for the rich - that their bank balances will be safe if One Nation Labour is elected.

It beggars belief that these people can talk about "financial restraint" when the richest 1% own as much wealth as the poorest 55% combined!

Despite the fact that there are clearly two nations here in the UK, the document insists on referring to "the nation" or "the people". It refers to things like "our land", and "our country". But this is not "our" country. How can it be, when 90% of the population owns only 10% of it?!

No less than 30% of "our land" is still owned by the ancient aristocracy!

The famous socialist Clause 4 was deleted from New Labour's constitution under Blair - as an earlier mark of fealty to capital. Ever since, they have been searching for a new (renewing!) philosophy. And they have found it; it is called "individualism" - the perfect philosophy for capitalism! 

By way of explanation, they quote Roberto Unger (a Brazilian philosopher) who says  that, "socialism today is about the individual", and that politics is about, "the human capacity to transcend our context and so transform our world". What use is this abstract rubbish to an unemployed young worker? - it almost suggests to him that somehow his plight is his own fault. He hasn't been able to "transcend" himself!

To further emphasise this individualism, they even quote the Bible! They don't, of course, choose Matthew (19:24), who quotes Jesus as saying it will be easier for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle, than it will be for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God. No, they choose an obscure quotation from Luke about God's kingdom being within each of us!

As to actual policies, the document is a model of ambiguity. There is much talk about "transforming" things, much sharing and devolving, plenty of, "helping people help themselves", promoting model citizenship, and even, "developing character for individual reliance". There is mutuality, inclusiveness, reciprocity.

But there is no proposal to re-nationalise the utilities or the railways. No £10 an hour minimum wage. No reversal of privatisation in the NHS. No rent controls. No halt to big business tax evasion. No end to austerity and cuts in public services.

This document makes it crystal clear, were there any doubt, that what was once the mighty Labour Party, is dead. Let us bury it!

Thursday, 13 November 2014


Our Croydon North Manifesto will be out soon. We can say now, though, that one of the manifesto's key statements is about Clean Government.

If elected, our candidate, Glen, will not countenance "spin", or the misleading presentation of statistics and other information. TUSC stands for truthfulness in politics.

Even the pro-big business Economist newspaper has baulked at the most recent government scam.

In order to help press home the idea that too much tax revenue is wasted, it his sending to all homes a supposed breakdown of how taxes are spent. It purports to show that fully 25% of it is (by implication) "wasted" on welfare.

Needless to say, that doesn't seem to be quite right. Around 40% of what they have described as "welfare" (according to the Economist) does not in fact go to working-age people. Some of it is spending on children, pensioners and long-term care for the elderly.

So the total for what most people might call welfare falls to around 13% of the total tax spend. Not quite so big a number.

We are in favour of cutting welfare too - corporate welfare! - subsidies, tax-breaks, grants. Around £85 billion a year!

But in any event, if the government really wanted to eliminate the need for welfare, they need do only one thing - ENSURE PEOPLE ARE PAID A DECENT WAGE!  (Don't hold your breath).

And can we assume a "New Labour" government would tell the truth? You know, like they did in the lead up to the Iraq war...

Wednesday, 12 November 2014


(This is a press notice we have just issued).

England’s councils have added extra financial reserves of £2.3 billion over the past financial year, despite the coalition’s austerity programme that has cut hard into vital local services.

Commenting on the news, Glen Hart, Croydon North’s prospective parliamentary candidate for TUSC (Trade Unionist & Socialist Coalition), said, “Because of their enthusiasm in slashing jobs and services, councils have increased their total reserves to a massive total of £23.7 billion. This is outrageous - especially since very many of those councils are Labour controlled!”.

He went on to say, “The councils for their part will say, we need the money for a rainy day. But the Tory Government will say, you clearly don’t need all the money we are giving you in grants, because you are not spending it. So we will start giving you even less! What I’d like to know is - how much has Croydon council got squirrelled away!”

Glen Hart, asked, “Why isn’t our One-Nation-Labour council using their surplus money to help defend Croydon’s citizens against the Government’s austerity policies? Why isn’t it building houses or repairing them, with some of this money? Why isn’t it opening libraries rather than closing them? Is the answer, I wonder, that a One-Nation-Labour government would put just the same constraints on councils as the Coalition Government is doing?”

English Councils have shed around 500,000 jobs since 2010

Saturday, 8 November 2014


We are putting together our manifesto for Glen in Croydon North. We will be discussing it at our supporters’ meeting on Wednesday, 12th November at our new meeting place at Selhurst, in the constituency. We will post the draft here in a day or so.

This is just a quick post about one of our top policies - for a £10 an hour minimum wage. This post is by way of a discussion starter, so please feel free to comment.

A £10 minimum wage is a vital policy in our view for millions of people currently on poverty wages and zero-hour contracts. It is not possible to live a decent life on uncertain, rock-bottom wages - worrying about food bills, rent, clothing for children, gas bills, etc. For us, this is our top priority. £10 an hour would help transform the lives of millions!

But in addition to the obvious benefit, there are wider gains too. The unavoidable reliance on income support will be radically reduced, if not eliminated entirely, if the minimum wage is raised this way - and enforced. 

And most of the rest of society would feel the improvement too! The extra money in people’s pockets would go straight back into the economy, into shops and businesses - boosting employment and economic activity. 

One question, though, has been raised. What about small businesses, of which there are many in Croydon? They may not be able to afford to pay £10 an hour.

This is a crucial point. At the moment it is big business and corporations that obtain the largest grants, tax-breaks and subsidies from government. Amazon, for example, according to the Guardian, obtained much more in grants from the UK government last year than it paid in taxes to the UK! 

Total UK corporate welfare costs around £85 billion a year! - several times the amount we normally think of as “welfare”.  The annual budget of the NHS is not much more than that!

And all this is additional to the £375 billion used to bail out the banks. (By the way, have YOU seen any of that money?)

We say that small and medium businesses that genuinely could not afford the extra wage bill, should have access to government support. Some of that £85 billion!

It is not beyond the wit of man to find fair and transparent arrangements that ended corporate welfare (to organisations already making £billions in profit), and instead supported small and medium businesses who might find difficulty in paying the new minimum wage.

Contact us at SuttonCroydonTUSC@gmail.com