Many activists, including a majority of 640,000 Labour Party members, were hopeful that Jeremy Corbyn would take “decisive socialist measures” in defence of the working class in 2017.
By International Socialist League – UK.
However, under Corbyn’s leadership, as in 2016, the right-wing have maintained their control. For example, at the Labour party conference 80 per cent agreed to disallow Labour councillors from voting for a needs budget.
This came from a proposal approved by Labour’s National Executive Council before the conference in a list of rule changes, “Members of the Labour group in administration must comply with the provisions of the Local Government Finance Act 1988 and subsequent revisions and shall not vote against or abstain on a vote in full council to set a legal budget proposed by the administration.
Members of the Labour group shall not support any proposal to set an illegal budget. Any councillor who votes against or abstains on a Labour group policy decision in this matter may face disciplinary action.”
So, leaderships in all Labour controlled councils will make a new surge of austerity cuts that will see the end of many services and jobs. They have cutting since 2010. Labour councillors will continue to set “legal” budgets which means privatisations – today, as if to ‘soften’ the impact, they talk about community enterprise. Whilst at the same time acknowledging the terrible impact this will have on the vulnerable and our communities.
Support for cuts was endorsed by Corbyn in September 2015 in his first term as party leader, and reaffirmed in a letter signed by Corbyn and McDonnell in December 2015.
Corbyn even fails to live up to past struggles by left reformist leaders. “Better break the law, than break the poor”, was the slogan in 1921 of the London Poplar council who stood with the working class and refused to raise rates. Actions to defend services and jobs are what is needed more than ever.
Making the vulnerable pay
Imposing austerity budgets in March 2017 that have so far been made public include will mean: removing much of adult social care, closing youth services and services for the homeless, while selling off libraries and parks.
In Sunderland housing support budget for homeless people will be cut to zero, London’s Newham council is privatising services, Birmingham planning to cut another £78m Newcastle plans to cut services by £30m, Liverpool, plans £90m cuts over the next three years.
Mass resistance across the country is needed and every workers’ community and union organisation should begin to discuss how to lead this struggle and organise resistance committees to fight to save jobs and services across the country.
*Mobilise against all cuts, closures, sackings and sell-offs
*Organise assemblies to make and demand a needs budget
*Unite and fight on the streets
Originally published at Socialist Voice #26.