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30 January 2008

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Hain resigns but stink of sleaze remains

IF GORDON Brown hoped the smell of scandal would be blown away with Peter Hain's resignation, a new scandal soon dispelled his hopes. Hain was forced to resign his two cabinet posts in the DWP and the Welsh Office. The Electoral Commission had called the police in to investigate apparent attempts to conceal 100,000 in donations to his Labour deputy leadership election campaign.

Dave Reid

Then news of Alan Johnson's dubious campaign contributions hit the news. Five of the six candidates for the internal party election for Labour's deputy leadership have now been linked with improper campaign donations, mostly from business people obviously hoping for a quid pro quo from someone with influence at the heart of government.

If there had been a leadership contest, Brown too would almost certainly have been sucked into the vortex of revelation and denial that engulfs those caught with their hands in the wrong till.

The real scandal is why shady business people would want to give thousands of pounds to a Labour minister. Why would an anti-union businessman like Isaac Kaye, a past supporter of apartheid in South Africa and facing prosecution for defrauding the NHS of millions of pounds, want to donate 15,000 to a candidate for Labour's deputy leadership for example?

Trade union members will want to know why their money is being used in a bidding war with right-wing businessmen for the ear of Labour politicians.

The Tory press is more aggressively targeting New Labour as it begins to doubt Brown's ability to deliver more rounds of cutbacks and privatisation and it considers the possibility of a Tory government replacing Brown's hapless administration.

But the Tories have been at least as corrupt as Labour politicians. Every pro-business party is mired in sleaze and corruption as big business' corrupt practices wash over into politics.

To most working-class people, mainstream party politics stinks even stronger today. A new party for working people is needed.

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The coronavirus crisis has laid bare the class character of society in numerous ways. It is making clear to many that it is the working class that keeps society running, not the CEOs of major corporations.

The results of austerity have been graphically demonstrated as public services strain to cope with the crisis.

The government has now ripped up its 'austerity' mantra and turned to policies that not long ago were denounced as socialist. But after the corona crisis, it will try to make the working class pay for it, by trying to claw back what has been given.

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In The Socialist 30 January 2008:

End this market madness

No more school closures!


Teachers' union calls strike ballot on pay

Anti-war protests save teachers

Labour councillors anger parents and tenants

Socialist Party news and analysis

New Labour attacking our vital benefits

Incapacity benefit cuts hit the sick

Hain resigns but stink of sleaze remains

International socialist news and analysis

Jail break from Gaza

Suharto: "One of the 20th century's biggest killers and greatest thieves"

US elections: The Barak Obama mirage

Socialist Party NHS campaign

NHS in crisis

Debt and Housing Feature

Debt and housing slowdown threaten Britain's time bomb economy

Socialist Students

Student elections: Not just a 'beauty contest'!

College students seek socialist ideas

Reality of London students' debt trap

More foo than fight as rockers agree to cross picket line

Marxist analysis: history

How Hitler came to power

Global Warming

Global warming, climate change and human activities - Part 2

Socialist Party workplace news

Burslem postal workers march back to work

Giving the real facts on Burslem strike

National Shop Stewards Network meetings

Police march for pay

PCS suspends strikes


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