See you on Saturday?

16th October, 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 Featured Miliband give first time buyers a tax cut – but it’s the promise of a million new homes that really matters

    Miliband give first time buyers a tax cut – but it’s the promise of a million new homes that really matters

    If last week was Labour’s “NHS week” then this week certainly seems to be the party’s “Housing week”. Yesterday the focus was on reform of the private rented sector (which produced a shrill and over the top reaction from the Tories). Today the focus is back on new homes and home ownership – with Miliband announcing plans to abolish stamp duty for the vast majority of first time buyers, as well as giving the them the first shot at new homes […]

    Read more →
  • Comment Featured “Consistency, credibility and conviction” – Douglas Alexander’s State of the Race memo

    “Consistency, credibility and conviction” – Douglas Alexander’s State of the Race memo

    Here’s Douglas Alexander’s latest state of the race memo  – which LabourList readers can read exclusively before anyone else. We’ll be posting these each week to give you a unique insight through the final weeks of the campaign. Dear Friend, What does a winning campaign look like? Regardless of the party, I think a winning campaign can usually be summed up in three words, consistency, credibility and conviction. Consistency Labour’s message at this election is that when working people succeed, […]

    Read more →
  • News Boris Johnson follows Pickles in comparing Labour’s rent plans to bombing

    Boris Johnson follows Pickles in comparing Labour’s rent plans to bombing

    Yesterday Tory Cabinet Minister Eric Pickles compared Labour’s plans to make the private rented sector more affordable to the “bombing” of cities. Evidently this unpleasant and ugly attack was part of a co-ordinated strategy – because Boris Johnson has repeated the same message. Here’s the headline of his Telegraph column: So the man responsible for Britain’s Housing (Pickles) and the Mayor of the city with an epic housing crisis (Johnson) both think that Labour’s plan to help millions of renters […]

    Read more →
  • Comment The only abdication Theresa May cares about is David Cameron’s

    The only abdication Theresa May cares about is David Cameron’s

    By now most of you have probably seen the incredibly shrill Mail on Sunday front page. If you haven’t – here it is: As is often the case, the size of the typeface used in the headline is inversely proportional to how serious the piece is. I’m particularly taken by the ludicrous analogy that Theresa May has chosen – as were all of the people that got #worstcrisissincetheabdication trending on Twitter today. I’m no fan of the Nationalists (indeed, I’ve […]

    Read more →
  • Comment William Hague’s ‘Zinedine Zidane moment’

    William Hague’s ‘Zinedine Zidane moment’

    William Hague’s plot to oust the Speaker last month was not just grubby, it was a final act of a desperate Tory campaign. With the polls at a deadlock in the countdown to the General Election, now we can see the failed Tory coup was about electoral arithmetic rather than a petty squabble. And these desperate tactics could cost them dear. During the death throes of the last Parliament, when most MPs had packed their bags and left for the […]

    Read more →
Share with your friends










Submit