BURNHAM, who served as Labour’s health secretary under Gordon Brown and enthusiastically pursued polices to privatise the NHS, cut its budget and bankrupt it with PFI schemes drawn up to enrich the bankers, is now moving to get rid of Labour leader Miliband.
Speaking to the Guardian, he warned that Labour’s leadership must put its cards on the table before next spring and produce a set of policies which define the party or risk defeat at the next general election.
Burnham said that many voters have ‘decided the coalition is a failure as a government’, but ‘what they aren’t yet convinced is that we have the answers’.
In fact, the issue is that workers know that Labour is simply pursuing the same polices as the Tories, and that they are being asked to vote Labour out of ‘loyalty’ and are being treated like fools!
Meanwhile, Miliband seeks to get rid of all trade union power inside the Labour Party so that he can ape the Tories unchallenged. No wonder many workers who hate the Tories are having to force themselves to consider voting Labour.
On the NHS, the opportunist Burnham is seeking to re-invent himself despite his former ‘life’.
As Health Secretary in the Labour government, he was part of that right-wing clique that worshipped at the feet of the bankers and the bosses, believing that they could do no wrong.
His health policy was to privatise the NHS and hand it over to the banks, and he denounced all those who condemned the capitalist market.
Now he says he was wrong (he is frightened that nobody will vote for him) but doesn’t in any way change his position on the bankers and capitalism. He is an opportunist, a leopard that is unable to change his spots, and continues to be the slave of capital.
With millions marching to save the NHS, his ‘new’ policy is that the NHS must be integrated with all social care, especially care for the elderly, all to be free at the point of need. In passing, he says that Balls is opposed to it and that Miliband doesn’t know.
What is, however, crystal clear is that unless capitalism is got rid of, the cuts will have to continue and – under a regime of integrated hospital, elderly and all social care – hospitals will be closed by the score under the guise that an integrated system requires it, especially in a period of crisis.
Any Labour government that does not tackle capitalism, and integrates the NHS and social care in one package, will have to continue with massive cuts. In fact, all that the opportunist Burnham is doing is bringing forward the current Tory policy of shutting hospitals to allegedly concentrate on community care in a new guise. Burnham thinks that he can fool all of the people all of the time!
The fact of the matter is that without dealing with the bosses and the bankers and getting rid of capitalism, the crisis will still call the tune, and savage cuts will be continued.
Burnham is simply an opportunist bourgeois politician in the Labour movement who the crisis has unmasked, and who is being forced to rubbish his period in the Labour government, and is now bringing forward a ‘new’ policy to try to carry on fooling the people.
A government with Burnham at its head will capitulate to the bosses and the bankers overnight, if they had not made a previous arrangement to do so.
What the situation requires is for the trade unions to take back control over the Labour Party which the working class founded, built, and still finances.
To be elected, the party must oppose the Tory austerity programme 100%, that is all of the benefit cuts, disability cuts, the bedroom tax, wage freezing and hospital closures.
It must pledge to abolish student fees and to provide jobs for all by organising a massive programme to build millions of homes, and to rebuild out-of-date infrastructure. It must pay for this programme by renationalising the fantastically rich gas, electricity, oil and water industries, and by nationalising the banks and the major industries, including the drugs industry, under workers’ management. Those who caused the crisis must pay for it. This is the way forward.