What a decisive answer to all the cynics who had written off the labour movement in Britain. In scenes reminiscent of the late 1970s, scenes we were told would never be repeated in Blair's New Britain, more than a million local authority workers took strike action yesterday, the first national public sector stoppage in 20 years. The action by members of UNISON, the T&GWU and the GMB was described in the London Evening Standard as "the biggest strike in Britain since the 1926 General Strike". All over England, Wales and Northern Ireland schools, museums and leisure centres were closed, rubbish went uncollected, architects demonstrated alongside caretakers and dinner ladies and the power of public sector workers was clear for all to see. This is what the size and unity of UNISON is supposed to be used for, not car insurance schemes, but blue and white collar workers united in action. Many of these workers are taking strike action for the first time in their lives, and they gain confidence and begin to draw conclusions like Natasha Izatt, a 27 year old librarian from Hove who earns just £4.80 an hour. "Today's action is fantastic," she is quoted as saying in the Guardian, "I'm happy to be able to do something rather than just whinge." These comments could be repeated by women struggling by on appallingly low wages all over the country. It is no accident that this was the biggest ever strike by women workers.

Those workers opposed to private parasites being brought in to run and exploit the public services are described by Tony Blair as "wreckers". Those who take action to defend themselves and their families are similarly "wreckers".

On 7th June, the people of Britain will go to the polls to elect the next government. According to all the polls Labour is set to gain a hefty majority over the Conservatives. The polls show that Labour is now leading the Tories by a massive 28 points. The personal rating of Tory leader William Hague is just 13 per cent.

"Britain is already a different and better country..."
Tony Blair at the Periodical Publishers Association, 9th May.

"I'm totally opposed to New Labour. They are not any different to the Thatcherites. I would like to see a return to the old values."
George Fleetwood, 48, an engineer.

"I have a wife and two children to raise and I really thought in 1997 that we were heading for a bright new era. Tony Blair has failed to deliver. If anything, he is more of a Tory than many Tories."
Brian Cox, 31, unemployed dockyard labourer.

In the light of recent developments in the Scottish Socialist Party (SSP) we are publishing a document written by Ted Grant back in 1992 which already outlined the roots of the present crisis in the SSP. Ted explained that the concessions the leaders of the then SML (later to become SSP) were making to Scottish nationalism would lead to a disaster. Time has proven him correct.

Join us!

Help build the forces of Marxism worldwide!

Join the IMT!