‘IT’S wrong that Downing Street thinks it can run the Labour Party: we are an elected party, a democratic party,’ said the Labour Party treasurer, TGWU official Jack Dromey yesterday.
He added that he and the Labour party chairman knew nothing about million pound loans from businessmen, and that he only found out about them when he read about them in the media. ‘It cannot be right that the elected officers were kept in the dark,’ said Dromey who demanded an Electoral Commission investigation.
He was referring to Downing Street’s manoeuvre to get round the legal duty to register donations, by secretly getting million pound loans from big business, with allegedly peerages on offer for those who make the loans, and with the trade unions pencilled in to repay them from their members’ contributions in the years ahead.
Already, Dromey’s wife Harriet Harman, a New Labour minister, has given up part of her ministerial duties overseeing electoral reform and House of Lords reform because she was worried about a potential conflict of interest.
There are now two Labour Parties. One based on the trade unions and constituency parties, that seeks to represent, in some way, the interests of the working class and believes in bourgeois democracy and elections.
The other is based on the requirements of capitalist globalisation and seeks to privatise the Welfare State at home while pursuing equally aggressive imperialist policies abroad.
This party operates under the control of a faction of the cabinet based in 10 and 11 Downing Street, and conducts its business secretly, without any democratic decisions.
This faction ignores the democratic decisions of the Labour Party conference to renationalise the railways, end the PFI, stop the privatisation of the NHS and to restart Council House building, to name but a few, while it secretly organises million pound loans from big business allegedly in return for House of Lords seats, keeping the Labour Party and its national executive in the dark.
This Blair faction now states that it puts country before party. Meaning that the interests of the bosses, who own the country, come first while the working class can go to hell.
The politics of putting the country first can be seen in Wednesday night’s vote on the second reading of the Education and Inspection Bill.
52 Labour backbenchers rebelled and another 25 Labour MPs abstained meaning that the bill establishing an education market got the go-ahead thanks to the unanimous support of the Tory Party.
Blair will now pursue and speed up his ‘reform’ programme in alliance with the Tory Party, effectively forming a national government.
In the ‘interests of the country’ and representing the rich and powerful Blair has now split the party and allied himself with the Tories.
This alliance will harden in the months ahead as general strike actions over the government’s policy, ending final salary pension schemes for the working class take place.
The issue is what the trade unions must do to prevent the emergence of an open national government in Britain that will dump the whole burden of the capitalist crisis into the laps of the working class and destroy the Labour Party for generations.
The trade unions must bring down the Blair government and bring in a workers’ government that will carry out socialist policies, to end and turn back the Blair privatisation programme, guarantee workers’ pensions schemes and link the state pension to increases in average wages, and withdraw all troops from Iraq and Afghanistan.
This programme is anathema to the trade union bureaucracy that has propped up Blair on every policy move that he has made at home, while standing by and watching the slaughter in Iraq.
A new revolutionary leadership must be built in the trade unions that will mobilise the power of the working class to defend the interests of the working class, not stopping at bringing down the Blair government but seeing to it, that it is replaced by a workers’ government. This is the only road to take.