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Labour’s right turn

Ed Ball’s announcement, rapidly endorsed by Ed Miliband, that a future Labour government would not promise to reverse a single cut and supports a pay freeze on public sector workers has caused outrage amongst Labour’s working class base.

Balls was unambiguous. On the Tory–Lib Dem freeze on public sector pay, which is a real pay cut of five per cent, year on year, he said;
“It is now inevitable that public sector pay restraint will have to continue through this parliament. Labour cannot duck that reality and won’t. There is no way we should be arguing for higher pay when the choice is between higher pay and bringing unemployment down.”

On the Coalition Cuts in Health, Social Security and Education he added:

“We are going to have keep all these cuts. There is a big squeeze happening on budgets across the piece… At this stage, we can make no commitments to reverse any of that, on spending or on tax. So I am being absolutely clear about that.”

In an interview in the Guardian, Balls said that he showed the plans for the right turn to Martin Wolf and John Plender from the Financial Times. Not surprisingly, both approved and said they were “brave” but warned “it is the end of you, the Labour Party will never forgive you”.

Perhaps – but the Labour Party is convinced it has to suck up to the right wing press and the City if it is to stand a chance in elections. That is why, time and again, it has accepted all kinds of outrageous right wing, anti–working class policies. The announcement by Balls and Miliband comes after Liam Byrnes’ savage attack on “welfare scroungers” and the “giant evil of benefit dependency”. Needless to say, the Daily Mail gave glowing approval. Meanwhile, George Barratt, the only London councillor to vote against the cuts in 2012 was expelled from the Party.

Labour does the bosses’ bidding
Why have the Labour leaders adopted the policies of the Tories when they know those policies have worsened the economic downturn? Balls and Miliband start a sentence by declaring that the coalition government’s policies have “been shown not to work” but then they end it by saying that they will continue them when they come to office.

This contradiction comes from toadying to the wishes of the majority of capitalists themselves. They want a decade of austerity to break up the public sector so that private businesses can move in. The Blairites in the Labour leadership, Compass and Blue Labour David Miliband, know this and they used low poll ratings for Ed Miliband (or “Weird Ed” as the Tory media have dubbed him) to strike, forcing the current Labour leadership to carry out a humiliating climbdown.

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