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.

On November 17 we published an article on the crisis in the British Conservative Party, Tories in Crisis - The Plots Thicken. The purpose of the article was to show how the Tories' crisis, and especially the crisis of their leadership, is an expression of the crisis of the capitalist system, which affects all classes in society. We explained how the 'Old Guard' of the Tories would prefer the leader of the party to be elected by the MPs and not the rank and file, because the present rank and file are so right wing and out of touch with the real needs of the ruling class. The latest statements of some of the old guard Tory leaders now confirm our analysis.

Following on from our first introductory article on the founding years of the British Labour Party, Barbara Humphries continues her series of articles that look at the issues and characters involved in the British Labour Party’s history and development. This was originally published in November 1996 in the British Socialist Appeal.

Join us!

Help build the forces of Marxism worldwide!

Join the IMT!