The dearth of leadership in the Tory Party is not the cause of their crisis, but it is not an accident either. The failings of these leaders faithfully reflect the impasse of their system. Nye Bevan once said of the Tory leaders (including Churchill) they have nothing to say about tomorrow, and harp on about the past because they have no part to play in the future. They are a doomed party representing a doomed class and a doomed system. The crisis in the Tory Party is symptomatic of the impasse facing the profit system. The sickness of that system spreads like a cancer affecting every aspect of society.

As the Fire Brigades Union in Britain goes out on strike for the second time, we are publishing the second Firefighters' Bulletin distributed by the Socialist Appeal throughout the fire stations up and down the country. The struggle of the firefighters in Britain is becoming a major industrial battle with the Labour government commited to smash the union. We support the struggle of the firefighters for fair pay.

In a matter of days the entire political landscape of Britain has been transformed by the magnificent struggle of the firefighters. The entire labour movement must now rally to the side of the firefighters. Go to the picket lines! Move resolutions and take up collections! The fight must be taken into the Labour Party as well. The Labour leaders want a fight with the unions. The unions must give them a fight inside the Party too.

On the one hand, Blair prepares to send troops into Iraq behind the coattails of the Americans to overthrow Saddam. On the other hand, he and 'two Jags' Prescott prepare to send in troops to break the picket lines of the firefighters. If you adopt the policies of capitalism abroad, inevitably you will adopt them in domestic policy.

Issue No 3 of the Socialist Appeal ‘Firefighters’ Bulletin’ was produced for the demonstration on Saturday, December 7, with the following articles:
Firefighters must win!
The firefighters cannot be left to fight alone, the whole trade union movement must be rallied behind them, to provide money and support.
"After New Labour"
At the Manchester conference of the Left of the Labour Party, Andy Gilchrist, leader of the FBU, recognised that the fight to replace the Blairite clique who had hi-jacked the party must start now.
Open letter to the firefighters
A letter to the firefighters from Steve Brown (Pegswood Labour Party, and secretary Wansbeck and Castle Morpeth TUC) giving full support to their struggle and inviting them to take their struggle into the Labour Party.
Fire stations for sale?
A comment on a proposal that appeared in the Financial Times to sell off the fire stations and convert them into luxury flats.

Report on last Saturday's (December 7, 2002) TUC demonstration in London in support of the firefighters, where 20,000 trade unionists turned up. ACAS negotiations are not going to give firefighters what they want. These are mere delaying tactics. The FBU must step up the struggle.

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