Prepare to do battle with Blair

Blair plans to curb strikes and step up anti-union legislation - to carry on where the Tories left off

With each day that passes we get a fuller picture of what life under a Labour government would be like. Tony Blair has no intention of rolling back the Tory ‘new order’, far from it. He is so impressed by the battery of anti-working class laws and legislation that the Tories have created that he plans to add some more. If the anti-union card is good enough for the Tories, then it is good enough for Blair and new Labour. Remember, there are no taboos anymore.

The message is clear and simple: the workers will have to do what they are told, whether it be the bosses or a Labour government cracking the whip.

Blair has his quislings in the union movement - have no doubt. When Ken Jack-son, general secretary of the AEEU, enthused about strikes becoming a distant memory in the 21st century - which will see the dawn of “small fast-track arbitration appeal units” instead - you can guarantee he was not alone. Others will emerge to parrot the new Blairite ‘realism’.

The same when it comes to the economy. Blair spent last weekly proudly displaying his ‘pro-business’ credentials. In an unashamed attempt to steal the Tories clothes and leave them naked electorally, Blair is announcing that the Labour Party is the tax-cutting party. ‘Capitalists and bosses, you really have nothing to fear from New Labour’, beams Blair.

Sounding like an eccentric US politician, competing to see who can be the most ‘radical’ about taxes, Blair wants to convince the business community that a Labour government will introduce a new 10p starting rate for income tax. He also told them not to worry about the EU’s social chapter - it will not ‘harm’ business.

It is crystal clear that the Labour Party has swallowed capitalism and the free market without so much as a hiccup. The demon of socialism has been slayed within the Labour Party. The fact that Blair’s new 10p tax band is so much hot air and will never materialise - Gordon Brown has all but said so - is almost irrelevant. What matters is the fact that it is the Labour Party which is peddling such ideas, not the right wing of the Tory Party or some vote-hungry Republican candidate in the United States.

The future line of march is clear. Continued and increased attacks on the working class is what Labour promises. The working class and the labour movement needs to be prepared now, if it is not to knocked for six when Tony Blair settles down into Downing Street. The workers can be scattered to the winds or they can be mobilised into a class, conscious of its own interests. We need to make sure it is the latter.

Eddie Ford