Red Youth joined DPAC at the Labour Party Conference in Birmingham today. An attempt by Tories to hold an anti Ed Miliband demo was scuppered by hammer and sickle flag waving members of Red Youth, a bizarre way for us to start our day!
Speeches from activists and local socialists correctly pointed out Labour hypocrisy, as delegates left the ICC Conference Centre many stopped to talk with a mere handful losing their tempers. To accusations of “you’ll let the Tories in” unemployed youth and those thrown off disability allowances merely declared it made no difference which gang of robbers were in government.
Heres the speech made by our 16 year old brother and comrade Austin.
Today’s protest in Birmingham marks a refreshing break from the norm for anti-austerity protests in this city. Protestors are now starting to realise there is no real choice during an election. It’s a choice between being stabbed in the chest by the “blues” or stabbed in the back by the “reds”. Either way, you get brutally assaulted by whichever party of capitalism we elect. Rather than covering over the complicity of the Labour Party in the privatisation of social services and then keeping our heads down until after the election is over and expecting miracles, DPAC and protestors today are demanding answers from a party, the Labour Party – who are openly saying that they will pursue the same vile capitalist cuts-agenda as the Tories.
In 1997, the Labour Party, led by Tony Blair, was elected into power with a landslide victory on the premise that they were going to bring more jobs to Britain, more economic growth and more and better social provisions. Supposedly the years of “Tory” rule were at an end! However, far from ushering in an era of harmony and social peace we were met with more than a decade of imperialist war in Iraq, Yugoslavia and Afghanistan, the abolition of free education and the introduction of tuition fees and the beginning of the end for the National Health Service!
As a consequence, the Tories with their Lib Dem hangers-on have entered parliament knowing their predecessors had done much of their dirty work for them and well and truly started the ball rolling on some major privatisation. The Labour Party had paved the way for many of the austerity measures which we have seen since this Con-Dem coalition came to power, measures which target the most vulnerable and marginalised sections of our society and reward the greedy, profiteering monopolies and trusts. For example, new legislation threatens those who have been out of work for three years or more to now sign-on at the ‘job centre’ every day. If a claimant cannot attend then s/he will have their Jobseeker’s Allowance stopped for four weeks for their first offence, and 13 weeks for subsequent offences. Also the whole hearted endorsement of the zero hour contract disgrace to disguise poor employment figures has left thousands without benefits and with little to no income. Furthermore the number of horror stories in the media about people who have died or been hospitalised after being declared ‘fit to work’ and having their benefits withdrawn has been rising steadily. The government has refused to compile statistics on the fate of those who have lost benefits, but it is suspected that at least half have already fallen into total destitution and thousands are thought to have died.
And what do Labour have to offer to remedy this in May? Just more of the same! Another version of Tory policy which include the same cuts, the same privatisation measures and the same imperialist foreign policy intended to destroy independent nations to fuel our economy with the rape of another economy, as we saw in Iraq and what we are currently witnessing in Syria and Ukraine.
So what’s the alternative? Workers must hold all the main capitalist parties to account, and challenge their capitalist cuts-agenda no matter what colour their flag and no matter how many so-called “old socialists” are associated with their past.
Fight ALL capitalist Cuts!