As we put this article online, the Blair government has launched a new
offensive against the firefighters. Deputy Prime
Minister Prescott has announced his intention to change the law to take direct
control of the fire service and impose a settlement on the firefighters. This
would mean the imposition of the Bain proposals, the derisory pay offer of 4%
and thousands of job cuts, resulting in the closure of fire stations and the
undermining of the fire service. Such measures are a threat to the entire labour movement, and
must be answered by the movement as a whole.
Despite all their lofty promises about the priority of "education, education, education", and their pledge that there would be no top up fees, Blair and co intend to pass the bill for higher education once again onto students and their parents, making it yet more difficult for students from poorer backgrounds to get to university.
Labour Councils are being forced to choose between cuts in services or
increases in the Council Tax. But the resources are there. Proof of that is
the huge amount that has been set aside for the war against Iraq. In
Southampton we have the courageous stand of Labour Councillor Perry McMillan who
has refused to vote the increase in the Council Tax. Steve Jones explains what
has been happening.