Brown’s ‘government of all the talents’ is a national government


GORDON Brown yesterday launched his campaign to take over the job of Tony Blair as Labour Prime Minister.

He spoke about his ‘new ideas and vision’ and said ‘I want to lead a government humble enough to know its place. . .’

From the experience of the three Blair governments, Blair-Brown governments always know their place – in the hip pocket of the bankers and bosses.

This was made clear by Brown yesterday when, after saying that he welcomed challenges from other leadership contenders, he pledged to lead a government ‘of all the talents,’ refusing to rule out leaders from other parties including the Tory Party.

Such a government in a period of growing capitalist crisis, including rapidly rising inflation, unemployment and bankruptcies will be nothing more than a national government, with declared open enemies of the working class in the cabinet helping Brown impose a crisis programme for cutting wages, jobs and benefits, as did the Ramsay MacDonald led National Government in 1931.

MacDonald, the Labour Premier of the day, crossed the floor of the House of Commons and led the Liberals and Tories in a national government.

MacDonald, Baldwin for the Tories and John Simon for the Liberals presented themselves to the electorate as a national coalition in October 1931. They receive an overwhelming response and won a majority of more than 500 seats – but the result was a government packed with Tories with a Labour prime minister.

The opposition was a tiny band of 52 MPs representing the Labour Party.

The national government had 473 Conservatives led by Baldwin, 68 Liberals and just 13 ex-Labour MPs, loyal to MacDonald and calling themselves National Labour.

All that Brown is doing with his government of all of the talents is taking the initiative in the formation of such a government with a view to ensuring that he will dominate it, not Cameron or some other Tory.

In fact his proposal to bring political enemies into the Labour cabinet will alarm the Labour Party and the trade unions because he is plainly assembling the forces to fight the working class, whose resistance to the destruction of the Welfare State has just helped to destroy Blair.

Brown plans to continue the privatisation of the NHS by putting it under the control of an independent body of governors, established by parliament who will include amongst the governors, businessmen and health privateers.

This board of governors will oversee NHS rationing of treatments and no doubt the facilities for NHS patients paying privately or through health insurance for ‘non free’ treatments.

This policy, alongside the current policy of the closure of the many district general hospitals and the sacking of thousands of junior doctors and nurses will bring the Brown government into major conflict with the NHS trade unions.

Meanwhile, his policy remains mass sackings for 100,000 civil servants and the privatisation of the Royal Mail and the sacking of up to 100,000 postal workers.

At the same time, Brown is insisting that he will impose two per cent wage rises on millions of public sector workers handing them in fact 2.8 per cent wage cuts, since the inflation rate is now 4.8 per cent.

These policies will come under heavy attack from workers who are glad to see the back of Blair and determined to defeat wage cutting and privatisation.

Brown’s invitation to the Liberals and Tories to consider joining a Labour government of all the talent is part of his preparations to impose his policies on the working class.

Workers and the trade unions must oppose the formation of a national government under the guise of a government of all the talents.

In fact the trade unions must be organised to bring down the Brown government to go forward to a workers government that will bring in socialism and expropriate the capitalists.