Brown champions more police powers and public sector pay cuts


CHANCELLOR Gordon Brown told police chiefs yesterday that he will do ‘everything to give you the resources’ and ‘we will not shirk from giving you the powers you need’.

Addressing the Association of Chief Police Officers (ACPO), in Manchester, the next Labour leader and future Prime Minister paid tribute to ACPO and ‘the 140,000 police officers and police staff’. He said: ‘We must do everything to give you the resources, especially new technology you need to fight crime . . .’

Brown also went out of his way to target youth, declaring: ‘I want to bring neighbourhood police teams into schools so that you can work together with staff and pupils . . .’

He then moved on to his prison building programme, adding: ‘We will ensure we have the additional prison places that are necessary now and in the future. Last year we announced 8,000 new places, part of £1.5bn in new investment, over 2,000 delivered by end of this year.’

Brown obviously envisages the police and the courts putting more people in jail when he is in 10 Downing Street.

He was speaking after it was revealed that the number of people in prison had exceeded 81,000 for the first time in history, double the number in 1993 and the highest proportion of the population behind bars in western Europe (147 per 100,000).

All of Brown’s promises, which amounted to almost a blank cheque for law and order, will have been music to the ears of police chiefs.

This contrasted sharply with Brown’s message and his reception at the Amicus trade union conference in Bournemouth on Monday.

In response to a delegate who said that National Health Service (NHS) staff were at ‘breaking point’ over a below inflation pay rise, ‘continual reorganisations’, redundancies and privatisations, Brown defended the Labour government’s record.

He said: ‘Like it or not, the choice in the NHS is between more jobs or more pay. We have got more jobs, I want to pay people more but I have got to get to a situation where I can control inflation first and then we can actually invest in the future.’

When Brown maintained that the 1.9 per cent pay offer would mean that nurses would receive a four per cent rise from April and five per cent from November, on average, there were shouts of ‘rubbish’.

This is a slap in the face for all public sector workers – NHS staff, local council workers, teachers, postal workers and civil servants – who are all being told to accept what is, in effect, a pay cut.

As the working class fights back against this, Brown is strengthening the police for this eventuality.

This is the pay-back for the betrayal of most of the leaders of unions like Amicus, UNISON, the T&G, the GMB and CWU, who grovelled and supported Brown for the Labour leadership.

Now these same leaders are engaging in another deception with their calls to Brown to change his Blairite policy agenda that he has pursued over the past 10 years.

These union leaders are being aided and abetted in their treachery by the Stalinist Morning Star and renegades from Marxism in the Socialist Workers Party, who are staging a protest at Brown’s inauguration as leader in Manchester on June 24, calling upon the Labour leaders to change their policies.

The union leaders are engaged in these act of duplicity, criticising Brown while supporting him, at a time when workers across the public sector, from council workers to civil servants, nurses to postal workers, are demanding strike action over pay, jobs and the defence of state-owned public services.

This struggle for all-out strike action across the public sector demands the building of councils of action in the localities to forge unity in action of the whole trade union movement, creating a base for a general strike to bring down this government, to replace it with a workers’ government that will deliver the demands of workers.

This requires the building of a new leadership in the trade unions to replace those leaders who, despite their critical words, are collaborating with the Blair-Brown government. The Workers Revolutionary Party is building a new leadership in the unions, so join it today!