BEFORE the 1997 election, the Blair-Brown gang proved to big business that they were the right men to run capitalism by conducting a war inside the Labour Party against all things to do with socialism.
This included throwing the historic Clause Four, advocating nationalisation, out of the Labour Party constitution and singing hymns to globalisation and the banking class, to whom they handed hundreds of PFI contracts that were just like a license to print money, as soon as they were elected. New Labour proclaimed that the rich were wonderful, and got on with the job of widening the gap between the rich and the poor.
Balls in his statement in yesterday’s Guardian is repeating the exercise, but in a modern setting – the greatest financial and economic crisis ever of the capitalist system.
With the Tory Cameron-led coalition running out of steam, and support, Balls has set out to show the bosses and the bankers that his party is ready to do anything and everything that is necessary to keep capitalism afloat – so as to qualify at the least, in the likely event that the mass of the working class refuses to vote for his policies – for replacing the Tory-led coalition with a Labour-led coalition or even a national government.
This is why yesterday Balls, fresh from telling the TUC Congress that he supported cutting workers’ wages, set out to show that Labour will not shrink from any measure necessary to save capitalism.
An incoming Labour government will introduce a root and branch budget review to examine every penny of public spending, said Balls, hurriedly seeking to cover his back by saying that this did not mean that everything was up for grabs, when it so obviously is.
Balls added: ‘The public want to know that we are going to be ruthless and disciplined in how we go about public spending. For a Labour government in 2015, it is quite right, and the public I think would expect this, to have a proper zero-based spending review where we say we have to justify every penny and make sure we are spending in the right way.’
If you substitute the bankers and the bosses for ‘the public’ you have the truth. The working class is hardly keen on having its throat cut by Balls or any other friend of the bankers.
Balls added that zero-based budgeting ‘Allows you to look radically at public spending and test it against our objectives and priorities. It is something that governments have not done enough in the past.’
GMB leader Paul Kenny has responded to the Balls statement and to his support for wage freezing displayed at the TUC Congress.
Kenny urged the party to reconnect with workers through policies on jobs, pay and public services.
He said Balls – who was recently heckled at the TUC Congress for backing wage cutting in the public sector – should be ‘standing up for the lower paid’ and that his speech at the conference would be ‘an important moment for trade unions’.
‘I think that Ed Balls’s position in relation to a number of things is, frankly, not tenable with the trade unions.
‘You can’t talk about solving the problems in the economy by continuing to squeeze down on some of the lowest-paid workers in our society. It’s just not feasible.’
Kenny went on to say that the public had warmed to Labour’s leader, Ed Miliband, and warned the party it needed to develop strong policies in the coming year for Miliband to be seen as a credible future prime minister.
Kenny is striving to put life into a corpse as far as getting Labour Party leaders to identify with the workers. Miliband-Balls has replaced Blair-Brown and both sets of charlatans are beyond the pale.
The trade unions must act with as much ruthlessness as Balls and Co are showing on behalf of the bankers. The unions must go on strike and stop all finances to the Labour Party. In fact, the unions with their resources and millions of members must stand candidates at the next election on socialist policies and reduce the Labour Party of Balls and Miliband to an empty shell.