Blair puts ‘the country’ before the Labour Party

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Locked-out Gate Gourmet workers and their supporters held out placards and shouted slogans during their successful picket at Heathrow yesterday
Locked-out Gate Gourmet workers and their supporters held out placards and shouted slogans during their successful picket at Heathrow yesterday

BLAIR came clean on at least one issue at his monthly press conference and that was where his loyalties lie.

They definitely do not lie with the Labour Party. He revealed that he is determined to get his education bill through and establish an education market, even if it splits the Labour Party, as he has been warned it will by many MPs.

Blair told his monthly media conference he had given ‘reassurances’ and that his entire reform programme had to be ‘driven through’.

Asked whether he would be prepared to push the Education Bill through Parliament by relying on Conservative support, Mr Blair said: ‘I want the reforms through: that’s the main thing.

‘Of course I would like to do it with a majority of Labour MPs in support. The important thing is to do this for the country.’

His declaration of his willingness to split the Labour Party came after it emerged that he was not willing to give up the secretary of state’s veto (written into the bill) over whether a local authority could build a community school.

Blair grandly declared that outcomes, rather than the ‘process’ of creating reforms, were important.

His attitude was that if the outcome could only be achieved with the support of the traditional ru-ling class party, the Tories, then so be it, the country comes first.

Every worker knows that when Blair uses the word ‘country’, he means the interests if the capitalist ruling class that own and rule the country.

The interests of the working class are to be tramp-led over, as will be the Labour Party if it reflects these interests in any way.

For Blair, the requirement of the capitalist country is that the Welfare State is destroyed. What is decisive is this outcome, and not continuing the process of seeking to do it.

This outcome has to be realised now, as far as Blair and the Tories are concerned, because the crisis-ridden British capitalist economy is about to come crashing down.

In putting country before party, and the working class, Blair is following in the footsteps of Ramsay Macdonald in 1931.

In the critical period, after the Wall Street crash, he put the capitalist country first by crossing the floor of the House of Commons and forming a national government with the Tories, by splitting the Labour Party. This government proceeded to cut the dole and usher in the period known as the ‘hungry 30s’.

With malnutrition on the rise again in Britain, we have a semblance of the period that Blair is seeking to usher in, when he puts the country first, and blocks with the Tories against the Labour Party and the trade unions.

Now that the cat is out of the bag, the working class must take action to defend its interests.

The defence of the Welfare State is the main issue. To win that battle the trade unions must be prepared to bring down the Labour government and go forward to a workers’ government that will carry out socialist policies.

This is the only way to stop Blair and the Blairites from joining the Tories in a national government or simply handing over office to them.

The trade union bureaucracy is determined not to take any such action. This is why the most important task that workers face is the building up of the revolutionary leadership of the WRP, to replace the cowardly and grovelling reformist leaders with a leadership ready and willing to use the great strength of the working class, to overthrow capitalism and go forward to socialism.