Wednesday, 30 July 2014

Against Labour party UK


With the massive increase in the Labour vote in 1922, one might have thought (though not us!) that the Party would have become more adventurous. Henderson, the Party Secretary, said: "Trade unions should undertake not to seek to alter existing conditions by declaring a strike".

"While there were no major labour strikes during his term, MacDonald acted swiftly to end those that did erupt. When the Labour Party executive criticized the government, he replied that, "public doles, Poplarism [local defiance of the national government], strikes for increased wages, limitation of output, not only are not Socialism, but may mislead the spirit and policy of the Socialist movement."

"In opposition MacDonald continued his policy of presenting the Labour Party as a moderate force. During the General Strike of 1926 the party opposed the general strike, arguing that the best way to achieve social reforms was through the ballot box. "

"Labour won a massive election victory in 1945. Within 6 days of taking office they had sent troops into the London docks to break a strike. Three months later troops were again called out against a national docks strike. The antagonism between dockers and the Labour government came to a head in 1948 when Labour used the old Tory Emergency Powers Act and again sent in the troops. Other striking workers were also subject to strike-breaking by troops during Labour's term of office. Abroad, Labour helped Dutch imperialism by sending in troops to crush an Indonesian nationalist uprising. They used surrendered Japanese troops to back them up in this dirty business. They again employed Japanese troops to crush the Saigon workers' uprising in 1945."

"in January 1947, Attlee and six cabinet ministers, including Foreign Secretary Ernest Bevin, decided to proceed with the development of Britain'snuclear weapons programme,[60] in opposition to the pacifist and anti-nuclear stances of a large element inside the Labour Party."

"With public frustration over strikes mounting, Wilson's government in 1969 proposed a series of changes to the legal basis for industrial relations (labour law), which were outlined in a White Paper "In Place of Strife" put forward by the Employment Secretary Barbara Castle. Following a confrontation with the Trades Union Congress, which strongly opposed the proposals, and internal dissent from Home Secretary James Callaghan, the government substantially backed-down from its intentions. Some elements of these changes were subsequently to be enacted (in modified form) during the premiership of Margaret Thatcher"

"Harold Wilson's Labour government stopped free milk for secondary school pupils in 1968 "

"The accelerated rotting of old-style Labourism has taken place because, like similar parties throughout the world, it cannot adapt to the end of Keynesian economic strategy, which involved the development of a Welfare State and "full employment". It can no longer make any promises that it can carry out a reformist programme to transform capitalism into something more "humane" (but still exploitative). But even mild reforms cannot now be granted under capitalism because of the development of the global economy. If the boss class is to stay competitive on a world scale it cannot offer concessions. It has to press ahead with its austerity packages and redundancies, in order to streamline national economies and make them leaner and meaner, able to stand up to a bout in the global economic ring."

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