Against their coalitions, build our coalition!

Submitted by martin on 28 April, 2010 - 5:29 Author: John McDonnell

John McDonnell spoke on 28 April about the current talk of coalition government after 6 May.

We hear a lot of talk about coalition governments now. But there is already a coalition in fact.

All the party leaderships are pursuing a neo-liberal policy of cuts. In fact there is already a neo-liberal coalition.

Our response has to be to build a coalition of trade unionists, socialists, campaigners, MPs, and activists to resist and prevent the attacks on services, wages, and conditions which are planned.

Of course have to use the ballot box to keep out the Tories. And I think Gordon Brown will try to stay in office almost no matter what happens in the election.

But the fact is that the Lib-Dems will demand exactly the same cuts - "savage cuts in public spending", as Nick Clegg put it - whether they are in a coalition government with Labour or with the Tories.

The answer is a broader coalition against neo-liberalism, linking up not only with people across Britain but also in other countries, including the trade unionists who are now striking against cuts in Greece, as we see the European Commission intervening to demand neo-liberal cuts.

What happens in the machinations of the elites of political parties to stay in office or get into office is their business. Our business is to mobilise against them, industrially, on the streets, with mass demonstrations, and through putting an ideological alternative.

From the conference called by the Labour Representation Committee after the election, on 15 May, I'm hoping for a clear understanding of the need for a collective mobilisation across the labour movement when the next government, whatever it is, comes to attack people's jobs and services.

Part of our campaign has always been about seizing back democratic control of the Labour Party. Part of our analysis of what's gone wrong since 1997 is that many destructive policies have gone through because of the lack of democratic control in the Labour Party.

At last year's Labour Party conference the leadership promised a comprehensive review, after the general election, of the structure imposed on the Labour Party in 1997. We should ask for a thoroughgoing reinstatement of democracy in the party.

We have to restore the right of unions and local Labour Parties to debate and decide policy at Labour Party conference. And we should insist on democratic control in selections, both for the positions in the bureaucracy of the Labour Party itself, and for parliamentary and local government candidacies.

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