Sunday 27 August 2006

Surely the Message to Blair and Brown Coming from All Sides is that Time is Up for their Policies

In a week when nearly 40 members of Margaret Beckeet's local party have resigned in protest at Blair's international policies, and AMICUS's General Secretary, Derek Simpson, has described New Labour's domestic policy programme as being infected by Tory ideology, the message coming from all sides to both Blair and Brown is that the time is up for their policies and politics.

It appears that the only minister New Labour could field to defend Blair was his old flatemate, Lord Falconer, a person who owes his whole political life to the powers of patronage of the Prime Minister. However Lord Falconer's response unwittingly confirmed our own view that removing Blair and simply changing leader will do nothing to halt the slide in support for Labour in the polls.

Leadership change without a radical break with New Labour's policies will be totally futile.

The response to New Labour's failed and unpopular policies from Labour Party members is not to leave the party but to stay and campaign for change. The reaction from trade unions should not be simply to voice criticisms of the policies but to work for a radical break with New Labour's programme of privatisation, flexible employment exploitation and anti trade union rights.

This requires the development of an alternative new Warwick agreement setting out the programme trade unions want a real Labour Government to pursue in power. Central to this Warwick Mark 2 programme should be the end of privatisation, the promotion of public ownership and public services, and the implementation of the Trade Union Freedom Bill.

The media have been briefed this week that the Prime Minister is to undertake a series of major policy speeches to bind the future programme of the Labour party for a decade. It is clear that he and his dwindling entourage have just not grasped the growing reality that increasingly people are just not listening. After nearly 10 years of office and having the opportunity to lay the foundations of transforming our society in a way few other Labour Prime ministers have had, the Blair administration has demonstrably failed. The very simple message to both the key architects of the New Labour, Blaur and Brown, is that time is up.

Radical change is needed and our campaign for the leadership will give the rank and file of the Labour party, trade unions and progressive organisations the opportunity of participating in the creation and advocacy of that radical new agenda.

One way in which people can participate in this creative policy process is just simply letting us have your ideas via this website and blog of the policies a real Labour government should be implementing in office to transform our society.

We will publish these ideas for debate on the site and bring people together to work up their ideas into practical programmes for government.

Over to you.