British disastrous ‘new’ Labour policies

This video from Britain is called Barnardo’s – the Government must keep its promise to end child poverty.

From British daily The Morning Star:

Has Brown lost all hope?

Friday 28 August 2009

Has Gordon Brown already given up all hope of Labour winning the next general and opted to work for a City boardroom slot by pressing on with his pro-big business policies?

Does he think that the Tory opinion poll lead will evaporate as the electorate realise the extent of the public-sector cuts planned by David Cameron, handing victory to Labour?

Or, most far-fetched of all, does the Prime Minister actually believe that voters will warm to his programme of passing on the costs of recession to the poor and using public funds to restore the banks’ profitability before handing them back to the speculators who created the financial crisis?

It is difficult to see which of the possibilities indicates the greatest level of cynicism or self-delusion.

But what they all have in common is an ongoing determination to ignore the interests of working people and the poor and to dance to the rich men’s tune.

It beggars belief that a government that has made £1.3 trillion available to bail out the banks should then seek to pare up to £780 a year from housing benefit for some of the poorest families.

For a start, this penny-pinching plan will not save anything like the £160 million annually that its advocates suggest, since private landlords will soak up the excess by raising rents.

But it is also a scandalous measure in itself, attacking those least able to afford a cut in income.

People have not forgotten government abolition of the 10p income tax rate, which forced those at the bottom of the heap to fund tax cuts for those a little higher up it.

It has spent the last couple of years trying to make up lost ground through compensatory measures, but, no matter what steps have been taken, the initial resentment smoulders on.

And it is not just the poorest of all who are in uproar over government economic priorities.

Network Rail enthused many people earlier this week with its proposal for a new £34 billion high-speed rail link between London, Birmingham, north-west England, Glasgow and Edinburgh.

The plan combined vital investment in the economic infrastructure, employment potential and a boost for the environment by offering the opportunity for passengers to switch from air to rail.

Yet, this same state-owned, not-for-profit company has been instructed by the Office of Rail Regulation to make savings of 21 per cent or £4bn over the next five years.

This is an example of the hare-brained schemes dreamed up by rail privatisers, where the regulator issues arbitrary orders to slash spending rather than prioritising the security of staff and passengers.

Even the dogs in the street can see that privatisation has turned out to be a disaster for all but a tiny well-heeled minority who can live off dividends generated by formerly public assets that were sold off to the private sector.

And the government plans the same shambles for the prison system, having established the charade of market-testing public facilities with a view to privatising them.

Prison officers have already balloted to defend public ownership, the public purse and public safety. RMT rail workers will fight to resist compulsory redundancies.

But the whole of the labour movement has to unite actively to defeat these anti-worker, neoliberal policies, whether spawned by new Labour or the Tories.

A recently published study, the “Cambridge Primary Review: Children, their World, their Education”, is a damning critique of the destructive impact of Labour’s policies on an entire generation of children: here.

6 thoughts on “British disastrous ‘new’ Labour policies

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