Prescott slams Miliband’s failure as Labour opportunists panic

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FIRST of all we had Labour ex-Health Secretary Burnham serving notice on Miliband that he had until the spring to challenge the Tory-led coalition and get the upper hand over it, or else the next general election was lost.

A feature of his intervention was his admission that he and the Blair and Brown-led Labour governments had been wrong to bring the market into the NHS, including the notorious Private Finance Initiative deals, and that the market would destroy the NHS.

Now we have the intervention of ex-Privy Councillor, the Lord Prescott, who also admits that Labour wrongly blazed the trail for NHS privatisation.

He says that Labour has ‘massively failed’ to get its case across to the public this summer.

Writing in the Sunday Mirror, he urged leader Ed Miliband to ‘kick out’ under-performing shadow cabinet members.

Lord Prescott, who served as deputy prime minister under Tony Blair from May 1997 to June 2007, told Mirror readers, ‘This summer, we massively failed to get our case over to the public and hold the Tories to account.’

He added: ‘The Tories worked hard to put together a planned communication grid of issues and activity, fronted by their cabinet ministers and led by the prime minister … But all Labour had was a second team of junior spokespeople with most of Ed’s shadow cabinet away on holiday at the same time.’

Prescott added that ahead of the general election in 2015, ‘a radical change is now required to shape up the policy of organisation and delivery alongside a clear set of policies and principles so people know what we stand for.

‘There are millions of people looking to us as the only alternative to this heartless coalition.’

However, the reason why, in the middle of the greatest crisis ever of the capitalist system – with working class and middle class living standards falling like a stone – Labour is leading the Tories by just a few points in the polls, is that people know only too well what Labour stands for.

They stand for the same policies as the Tories.

The Tories are pressing ahead with ruthless austerity policies, and Miliband and Co stress that not only do they understand the need for them, they will also continue with them, and are prepared to make them harsher, if this is what saving the banking system and the bosses requires.

Labour does not, and will not condemn the austerity programme. Like the Tories, they insist that the working class and the middle class, who did not cause the crisis must be forced to pay for it, while the bosses and bankers are now richer than ever.

Labour will not repeal the ‘Bedroom Tax’, or the privatising Health and Social Care Act under which the NHS is to be smashed. It will not restore housing and disability benefits, and will continue with £9000-a-year university tuition fees.

Labour also intends to carry on with wage-freezing and wage-cutting and in response to Tory taunts Miliband has just unveiled his programme to end the power of the trade unions inside the Labour Party. This is despite the fact that the unions founded, built and finance the party.

Workers are not idiots. The power of the unions inside the Labour Party is to be ended so that it can carry out Tory policies all the easier, and be like the US Democratic Party, or even be able to form a coalition with the Tories.

Miliband expects the workers to vote Labour out of blind loyalty. Workers are having great difficulty forcing themselves to even consider voting for such a party, that obviously intends to betray them, in favour of the bosses and the bankers.

The trade unions have a responsibility to the working class in this situation. They must tell Labour that it will not get a penny from the unions unless it opposes the austerity programme, and pledges to repeal the Health and Social Care Act, and restore all of the benefit cuts.

The resources to do this will come from the nationalisation of the banks and the major industries and the renationalisation of the enormously rich gas, oil and electricity industries, along with the railways and BA.

This is the way to get Labour returned with a massive majority.