CHANCELLOR Gordon Brown has confirmed to the BBC that he will run a Blairite administration if he becomes prime minister.
He said that he would lead a reforming Labour Party, which encouraged an entrepreneurial economy. When pressed to say whether this meant a Brown administration would be Blairite, the chancellor replied: ‘Exactly.’
As prime minister, Brown will continue with the privatisation of health and education, and the complete deregulation of the British capitalist economy.
In recent months Brown has been making it very clear that he is a Blairite. On Monday November 28th he told the CBI bosses’ conference: ‘My vision is of a Britain made for globalisation.’
He added that, as far as inspections were concerned, what was needed was ‘not just a light touch but a limited touch’. He even coined a slogan – ‘no inspection without justification’, a policy that will lead to inspections after disasters, but not before them in order to prevent them.
He continued to tell his audience that: ‘On pay, where I have sent new guidance to public sector review bodies, I can tell you that we must and will do more to encourage pay flexibility.’
Since then, Brown has announced, in his pre-Budget statement, that Pay Review Bodies have been advised that they must base NHS and education increases on the two per cent inflation target.
The RCN nurses’ organisation has denounced the proposal as a wage cut, while the NUT has condemned a 2.5 per cent pay award in 2006 as a ‘standstill award.
After his report to the CBI, Brown went on to disagree with the Adair Turner report on pensions even before it was published.
He did not fall out with the plan to increase the retirement age to between 68 and 69 by 2050. What he condemned was the proposal to link annual rises in the state pension to the annual increase in average earnings, a policy that would restore the pre-Thatcher arrangement.
Brown dismissed such a policy change as being far too expensive for British capitalism.
In last Monday’s pre-Budget statement he admitted that the growing capitalist crisis means a cut in the predicted economic growth for this year from 3.5 per cent to 1.75 per cent. He pledged that everything that was necessary to safeguard the interests of big business would be done.
Brown has made crystal clear that the CBI can expect the same or a better service from him as it did under Blair.
Those trade union leaders who have been demanding that Brown replace Blair must be made to think again by their members.
In fact, Brown may never make it to the premiership. The bosses have begun to urge Blair and his supporters to quit the Labour Party and to cross the floor of the House of Commons to join the Tories and Liberal Democrats in a national government.
They say that this ‘seamlessly’ flows from the fact that his education policies will only get through the House of Commons with the support of the Tories, and that such a situation will split the Labour Party anyway.
For the trade unions to just observe the development of this critical situation would be a great mistake.
The interests of the working class demand that the trade unions bring down the Blair-Brown government and replace it with a workers’ government that will carry out socialist policies. This is the only way to prevent the Blair-Brown government leading to a return of the Tories.