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From: The Socialist issue 510, 19 November 2007: World economy: bosses' crisis, workers pay

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Press release

800 attend rally to discuss 'Which way forward for the left in Britain?'

Left union General Secretaries give their views on defending their members and breaking the unions from Labour

800 trade unionists, activists and Socialists gathered in central London on Saturday night to hear fighting speeches from general secretaries of Britain's most combatative trade unions.

Brian Caton (POA) said; "I would love to lock the fat cats up under my control….we lock up more young black men than we have on our university campuses…..we lock up mentally ill people because its cheaper than dealing with their problems. New labour said they would be tough on crime and tough on the causes of crime, we've seen nothing on the causes of crime, what we have seen is tough on trade unions and tough on trade unionists. My union has never funded Labour and I hope it never bloody will".

Matt Wrack said; "We are a socialist trade union. We don 't claim to have all the answers but the left of the TUC must work together."

Mark Serwotka; "I don't think I've seen conditions as favourable for co-ordinated action across the public sector as we've got now. Leaders of the biggest trade unions tell us the most important thing is to get Labour re-elected, the Tories would be worse than Labour. That means that this is as good as it gets, trade unionists, low paid and migrant workers don't think this is as good as it gets they think this is shit".

The Campaign for a new workers party rally with 300 in attendance re-affirmed their commitment to building a new party to the left of labour along with building the national shop stewards network and militant trade unions.

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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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Article dated 19 November 2007

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Thurrock council workers striking against pay cuts, photo by Dave Murray

Thurrock council workers striking against pay cuts, photo Dave Murray

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