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Miliband and Balls are wrong to join the cuts consensus

17th January 2012

Over the weekend Ed Miliband and Ed Balls came out with a succession of statements shifting Labour policy to within an inch of the coalition government. As well as refusing to pledge to reverse a single cut, Ed Balls said Labour would support the pay freeze and restraint on public sector workers. Today, the Unite general secretary Len McCluskey has written a powerful article in the Guardian, expressing his dissatisfaction with this “Blairite political coup” and warning it could lead to electoral disaster.

John McDonnell MP, LRC Chair, said:

“Len McCluskey’s article sums up the general feeling amongst Labour party supporters of overwhelming disappointment. Most people are reacting more in sorrow than in anger to what they see as Ed Miliband and Ed Balls’ capitulation to Cameron’s economic analysis. The economic crisis is a game changer and for Labour leaders to react to it with the same old failed policies that mean ordinary people will pay for the crisis is such a crushing disappointment.

“On Mohammed Ali’s birthday, they should take a lesson out of his book. He succeeded by a bold change in boxing style, by his popular presentation appealing to ordinary people and by standing firm on his principles. The message is don’t try and slug it out with the Tories on their own terrain, be brave and create your own new ground on which to fight.”

Andrew Fisher, LRC joint secretary and LEAP co-ordinator, said:

“Len McCluskey is right to raise spectre of Philip Snowden. Capitulating to a national consensus for cuts will doom Labour, like it did in the 1930s.

“It’s up to us all to reverse these policies through our local parties, our unions and at conference later in the year.”

RMT General Secretary Bob Crow, said: “By lining up with the Tory-led coalition on the assault on public sector pay, Ed Balls has today signed Labour’s electoral suicide note as he alienates his core voters in their millions”. Similarly Len McCluskey said in his article that this path would lead to “certain general election defeat in my view”. Paul Kenny, GMB general secretary, has even questioned future affiliation to the party.

This is why it is so important to fight for socialism and greater democracy within the Party. Please try to secure nominations for Gary Heather and Christine Shawcroft for the NEC.

Read more:
Read Owen Jones’ take in the New Statesman
Labour left rebellion heats up
Union rebellion against Ed Miliband grows

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Across the country working people are losing their jobs and their homes. Meanwhile the bankers who plunged us into this crisis have been bailed out with billions of pounds of our money. It’s time to fight back. Their Crisis Not Ours! is the LRC’s campaign to bring together workers, pensioners, the unemployed, students, those facing repossession and all those suffering because of an economic crisis that has been imposed on us. The campaign is supporting the demands of the People’s Charter. [continue...]

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