Thursday, 20 December 2007

Christmas Realities for Too Many in Our Society.

This is the reality of life for too many of our people after 10 years of New Labour in power.

In the week before Christmas I am in my constituency office dealing with a family who have been told by their private landlord that they must quit their home on Christmas day. Their privately rented home is in a disgraceful state of disrepair but costs them £825 per month. The property is a former council house which has been bought by a buy to let landlord who lives in a wealthy area in the Home Counties. He owns many properties in my constituency. The family dont want to publicise their plight because they are frightened of retaliation by the landlord.With 2000 homeless families in my community I come across obscene exploitation like this is on a daily basis.

It shouldnt be like this after 10 years of a Labour Government. In 2008 we can no longer remain quiet about New Labours grotesque failure of the weakest and most vulnerable in our society. The role of the Left will be to expose more fiercely and campaign even harder against the injustices of our society.

I am signing off for a break with my family over Christmas.

I want to thank all those people who supported me and my various campaigns throughout the last year and all those many many people who inspired me with their determination altruism and courage.

Have a Good Christmas and I wish you all a peaceful and happy New Year.

We wil be back in 2008 determined as ever to work in solidarity with all those who believe like me in the words of our campaigns title that another world is possible.

Best wishes


McDonnell MP

Tuesday, 18 December 2007

Credit Crisis and Economic Downturn Looms but it's Another Good Year for City Bonuses.

The financial press daily report on the mounting credit crisis and every serious economic commentator is predicting a downturn if not yet a full blown crash, but it's another good year for city bonuses. So far the predictions are that over £7.5 billion will be paid out in bonuses over the next few days in the City of London.

Bankers at Goldman Sachs are giving themselves at least £5 million each from a record bonus pool worldwide of £9 billion. They will joined in the bonus bonanza by Barclays Capital,DresdenerKleinwort, Lehman Brothers, UBS and Morgan Stanley.

So the people and institutions who have brought us to the brink of recession are rewarding themselves by becoming even more filthy rich.

The City of London plays a significant role in assisting individuals and companies avoid tax on their income. The IMF has recently described the City of London as an onshore tax haven. Latest estimates put the figure of tax lost by tax avoidance in Britain at £150 million every year. It is estimated that Africa loses £75 billion through tax dodges, five times what it receives in aid.

Today I have tabled an Early Day Motion in Parliament calling on the Prime Minister to introduce measures to tackle this tax avoidance and also to introduce a windfall tax on the city bonuses. Even a small redistribution of the income from these grotesque bonuses would assist in eradicating child poverty in our society.

Will Gordon Brown act to tackle this obscene increase in the wealth of the very rich at a time when many in our society face the insecurities of a possible recession? After ten years of a Labour Government we shouldn't have to ask the question.

Wednesday, 12 December 2007

Rally for Victimised Unison Members

I have just come back from the rally we organised tonight at the House of Commons for the Unison members who are being victimised for campaigning against privatisation. The rally was really successful.

Speakers from Karen Reissman's campaign explained that Karen, a health worker, has now had her appeal rejected and has now been sacked for speaking out publicly against the privatisation of health services in Manchester. Michael Gavan was also with us. Michael is the Unison branch secretary at Newham council and has also been sacked for organising meetings to protest against the council's privatisation of its services.

The Freemantle care workers also came along and John Freeman, their Unison branch secretary, described the treatment the care workers received at the hands of the Fremantle company after Barnet council had privatised their service and jobs.

It was incredibly moving to listen to these stories of courage and determination in standing up for what people believed was right. We all acknowledged the courage shown by Karen, Michael and the Freemantle workers.

Unison members at the meeting resolved to take the message about these individual disputes and acts of victimisation back into their branches and to use every mechanism available through the union's structures not just to gain support for these individual campaigns but to mobilise to put Unison at the heart of campaigning against privatisation.

Tonight could just be the start of transforming Unison into a fighting union.

Tomorrow NAPO holds its rally in Parliament against cuts in their services and jobs caused by Gordon Brown's comprehensive spending review. At the same time the Police Federation is holding a 1000 strong meeting in protest at the pay settlement imposed on the Police by the government. On Thursday RMT is demonstrating outside City Hall in London against the Mayor's decision to put the East London line and Crossrail out to a franchise and Newham council workers are out on strike in support of Michael Gavan.

Surely the message is fairly clear. People have had enough and are not willing to take it anymore.

Tuesday, 4 December 2007

Dodgy Donors Scandal Masks Business as Usual for Brown's New Labour

I am the campaign trail again this week, speaking at meetings in Nottingham, Newcastle, Southampton and Liverpool, as well as convening mass meetings in my constituency protesting against the expansion of Heathrow airport. So I haven't had much time to blog let alone sleep.

Whilst the media has been dominated by the coverage of the dodgy donors story the usual business of New Labour goes on almost unnoticed. In just one week the Brown administration has effectively gutted the new Housing Bill of any hope of implementing Labour Party conference policy of tackling our housing crisis by restoring the role of local councils in building council houses. We have also learnt in recent days that the Government is now poised to prevent failed asylum seekers from accessing health care.

In the same week a succession of independent reports have also exposed the neglect and abuse our elderly people now face in the largely privatised care homes. Later this week PCS members in the Department of Work and Pensions are out on a two day strike, furious at the way in which they are bei9ng treated by the Government with wages and job cuts. To round the week off dire warnings are now echoing round the serious financial press explaining that the economic miracle manufactured by Gordon Brown by allowing personal borrowing and house prices to let rip is moving into at best a downturn and possibly a major recession.

The reason the Tories have made advances in the polls has nothing to do with the policies they are advocating or even the Cameron imagemaking. It is because people who supported us in 1997 to get rid of the Tories and who have stuck with us through three elections are running out of patience. Like many of us Labour Party members, they know that after 10 years of a Labour Government it just shouldn't be like this.