MOMENTUM & LOLLIPOP LADIES IN CROYDON
What has to change if Momentum is to succeed?
Following Corbyn’s campaign, thousands of enthused activists want to know how they can participate effectively in left politics; how they can stop the Tories shifting the economic burden onto working people, whilst Tory grandees and their backers accumulate £ Billions.
Will Labour be part of the answer? TUSC will be very happy if it is. But there’s work to be done.
It's early days yet, admittedly. Nonetheless, at present the Labour Party remains solidly Blairite. The vast majority of MPs are austerity apologists; the Party’s constitution is undemocratic; Labour councils up and down the country are mostly Tory subalterns.
You think that’s not true?
A few months ago parents near Woodside Fire Station, just north of Addiscombe, formally petitioned the council. They called on the council to re-instate a lollipop lady to help ensure the safety of children crossing the road.
This was the Council’s response, (Council Report of 19th Oct. Our emphases - in caps).
"We recognise the commitment of School Crossing Patrol Officers across the borough and how highly they are valued by local parents.
However, TOUGH DECISIONS HAVE TO BE MADE ABOUT HOW BEST TO SPEND LIMITED COUNCIL BUDGETS. ...
… There is no statutory requirement for a Council to have any School Crossing Patrol Officers and it is the responsibility of every parent to ensure that their child travels safely to and from school, accompanied as necessary. ...
IN THE CONTEXT OF SIGNIFICANT CUTS TO THE COUNCIL'S BUDGET WE ARE NOT IN A POSITION TO INCREASE THE SERVICE".
This example is replicated a thousand times in “Labour” councils up and down the country! No red flag, just a white one!
We agree with Nadine Houghton from Momentum (HERE) who said that, "Momentum may hold the key to unlocking the possibilities that this new era of politics represents”.
It may indeed. But Momentum must be more than an uncritical Labour cheerleader. It cannot ignore who the MPs are; who the Labour councillors are; what Labour’s Tory-lite policies might be - and still formally are!
This must change. Otherwise a Labour victory in 2020 will be a sham.