See you on Saturday?

October 16, 2012 12:31 pm

I know a lot of Labour activists will be too deeply involved in the elections due on 15th November to take time out this Saturday (20th October) to march on the TUC “A Future That Works” demonstration against austerity.

But I hope that there will still be a big Labour Party presence on the march, particularly from those of us from London CLPs not facing elections and with the least far to travel.

A big demonstration won’t change the Coalition’s austerity policies. Only a change of government will do that.

But if we don’t express our anger about the way the cuts are not just damaging vital services, but also choking off any hopes of economic recovery, the government will take our inactivity and silence as signs of passive endorsement of their policies. A small march on Saturday will make them see their opponents as feeble and encourage them to think they can get away with even more extreme measures, whereas a big march will give them pause for thought.

The “why we’re marching” section of the demonstration website shows that the TUC’s message for this march is broadly the same as that of Labour’s frontbench economic team:

“Austerity isn’t working. Our country faces long-term economic problems. But our political leaders have failed to face up to them. For the next five years or more, unless policies change the economy will not grow, incomes will not rise, and there will be almost no new jobs. If the government keeps on with big spending cuts and austerity we face a lost decade. Even on their own terms government policies are failing. To close the deficit we need a healthy growing economy that generates tax income. But austerity has led to a vicious circle of decline.

Instead of just letting the banks go back to business and bonuses as usual, we need policies that promote new and old industries. This new approach would create jobs, especially for young people.

It would encourage companies to raise average pay, penalise big bonuses and invest in training and new industries. It would crack down on tax evasion by big companies and the super-rich. It would tackle the growing inequality between the super-rich and everyone else. Rather than deep, rapid spending cuts, we need to reverse our decline and build an economy that works for ordinary families.”

Whilst many Labour members will be proudly marching with their trade unions, there is a particular need for the Labour Party itself to be a visible presence on this march through local CLPs marching with their banners, reinforcing Ed Miliband’s presence as a speaker at the post-march rally:

  • The Government wants to drive a wedge between Labour and the unions. We need to counteract this with a visible display of labour movement unity and solidarity.
  • If Labour isn’t seen to be a leading part of the fight-back against austerity we run the risk that other political forces will exploit and subvert the anger many people want to express about the cuts.
  • Those of us who are elected office-holders have a responsibility to publicly demonstrate our opposition to the way the cuts are affecting the communities we represent.
  • We can’t expect people whose lives are being damaged by the cuts to sit back and wait until the 2015 General Election before expressing their distress. This protest provides a way for people to express themselves now, peacefully but clearly.

So please try to be there on Saturday at 11am at the Embankment, and encourage other members of your local Labour Party to join you. Bring your CLP banner if you have one! Everything you need to know about the logistics of the day is here.

  • http://twitter.com/robertsjonathan Jonathan Roberts

    ‘we need policies that promote new and old industries.’Absolutely.  But what are these policies?  There are no policies listed on the website.I completely understand groups wanting to fight for ‘an end to austerity’ or ‘march for the alternative’.  But they never seem to explain exactly what that alternative is in real policy terms.  They say their policy is ‘growth and jobs’, but they are not policies, they are outcomes, and outcomes will not be achieved without policies to create them.I won’t join the march unless policies are announced by the organisers, for me to judge whether I agree with them in order for me to join in.  Otherwise I’d just be spending the day getting very cold for no reason.

  • Dave Postles

    Thanks.  We still have seats on our coach.  We start from Loughborough at 8 a.m. and will pick up at Grove Park Triangle/Fosse Park by the M1 at Leicester.   Please do it for the unemployed, the underemployed and people with disabilities.  Four young women chained themselves in St Paul’s.  We can at least do this act in solidarity.  Combat selfishness with unselfishness.

Latest

  • Comment Labour could lose out by not making it’s stance on Trident clear

    Labour could lose out by not making it’s stance on Trident clear

    Cutting Trident will be the price of support in a hung parliament. That’s the news reported from a meeting of the SNP, Plaid Cymru and Green leaders this week. With Labour’s slim lead and the SNP and Green vote threatening to impact on its share, this is a serious issue. Labour’s policy clearly states, ‘Labour has said that we are committed to a minimum, credible independent nuclear deterrent, delivered through a Continuous At-Sea Deterrent. It would require a clear body […]

    Read more →
  • Comment Featured Is Cameron “frit” of TV debates? Let’s try the empty chair threat

    Is Cameron “frit” of TV debates? Let’s try the empty chair threat

    Lord Ashcroft has told him he shouldn’t have done it in 2010. Lynton Crosby has told him not to do it in 2015. It’s no surprise that David Cameron is trying to wriggle out of televised leader debates during the General Election – even though he has said he is willing to take part “in principle”. Time perhaps to dust off one of Margaret Thatcher’s favourite barbs “He’s frit.” Neil Kinnock tried it in 1992 to try to goad John Major into […]

    Read more →
  • Comment Flexibility makes for good work, strong families and thriving communities

    Flexibility makes for good work, strong families and thriving communities

    By Stephen Timms MP and Ian Murray MP The Christmas period reminds us that modern life can be busy, hurried and demanding. The pressures of work, demands of family life and hectic Christmas schedules can prove stretching as we juggle competing demands. Increasingly the need for flexible work is driven by the complex shape of people’s lives; as parents go to work, struggle to make ends meet, perform career roles, take their children to school and activities and try and carve […]

    Read more →
  • News Labour MP questions campaigning roles of publicly funded advisers

    Labour MP questions campaigning roles of publicly funded advisers

    As the start of the long campaign begins today, curbing the amount of money parties can spend between now and May 7th, Labour MP Jon Ashworth has sought to clarify what precautions are being taken to ensure publicly-funded government advisers are not using their time campaigning. Ashworth has sent a letter to senior civil servant Jeremy Heywood, asking him to answer a number of questions about what kind of campaigning activity was permitted and undertaken by special advisers (SpAds) in […]

    Read more →
  • News Berger asks Twitter to do more to stop use of racist words

    Berger asks Twitter to do more to stop use of racist words

    Luciana Berger, Shadow Minister for Public Health, has called on Twitter to do more the stop racist terms being used on the site. Berger has herself faced a large amount of anti-semitic abuse on the site, and in October Garron Helm  was jailed for sending her a torrent of anti-semitic messages. Berger told the Telegraph (£): “At the height of the abuse, the police said I was the subject of 2,500 hate messages in the space of three days using […]

    Read more →