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From: The Socialist issue 149, 17 March 2000: Build a Socialist Alternative

Search site for keywords: Labour - Socialist Alternative - Socialist - Ken Livingstone - London

Labour ditches another pledge: Build a Socialist Alternative

YOU DON'T have to watch David Blunkett's lips to know that Labour's promises aren't worth a fig. Labour government ministers can't be trusted one inch.

It's not just that they haven't delivered their limited pre-election pledges, even when they make a 'cast-iron' promise like Blunkett's on selection in education or Blair's promised extra cash for on the NHS, they rat on it soon afterwards.

Labour ministers have broken just about every promise they've made and then lied to cover it up. In the last week we've seen what disasters Labour's broken promises amount to.

They tried to con us into believing that 21 billion extra was going into the NHS when it was less than half that. Labour promised things would only get better but rail and transport is continually deteriorating. The fact that Labour broke its promise and left the rail industry in the fat cats' grubby paws has led to yet another serious rail crash.

Labour's plans for part-privatisation of London Underground are running into the sand and costing much more than the original estimates with the government having to bail out the private contractors.

No wonder polls show massive support for Ken Livingstone who is opposing some of Labour's plans. But Labour's failings are not just individuals telling lies, they're rooted in the fact that this government is tied to the big business system, capitalism.

Ken Livingstone's announcement that he's standing for London Mayor has caused panic in New Labour and given heart to those looking for a fight back against Blair's government. Livingstone needs to harness this mood and use it for radical socialist change, which is the only way the problems of health, education and transport will begin to be solved.

The Socialist Party supports Ken Livingstone's stand but working-class people need a permanent alternative to New Labour, which lasts beyond the London Mayoral elections.

We are urging Livingstone to call a conference of trade unionists, community and socialist organisations, socialist student and others who want to build a socialist alternative to challenge Blair's government. The Socialist Party will be to the fore in pushing for that. Join us to help make it a reality.

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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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Labour Party figures keywords:

Andy Burnham (7)

Charles Clarke (4)

David Blunkett (8)

David Miliband (5)

Ed Balls (5)

Ed Miliband (54)

Gordon Brown (108)

Jack Straw (22)

Jeremy Corbyn (660)

John McDonnell (127)

Ken Livingstone (19)

Michael Foot (6)

Patricia Hewitt (8)

Peter Mandelson (15)

Tony Blair (152)

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Article dated 17 March 2000

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