Why we don't need a People's Assembly

1 Jan 2014

It’s 2014, we are nearly four years into David Cameron’s Conservative-Lib Dem Coalition and Labour under the leadership of Ed Miliband is fighting hard to put the wheels in motion for a Labour victory in 2015. Yet while Labour is fighting hard against the savagery of this Tory government and their Liberal-Democrat lapdogs, there are rumblings on the outskirts. A new political body has been launched to give working people a proper voice and “to make the government abandon its austerity programme.

 

Wait a minute? I thought we already had a broad-church of ordinary people, trade unions and other societies? It was founded in the early 1900s and brought us the NHS, Welfare, Tax Credits, Civil Partnerships, the Discrimination Act and the National Minimum Wage. The great organisation that brought the people of Britain these great reforms was the Labour Party. Yet we now apparently need a new organisation of working people, trade unions and other societies.

The People’s Assembly Against Austerity is a mixture of trade unions, working people and other campaigning groups, including the Communist Party of Great Britain and the Socialist Workers Party. In reality however, it is not the broad church which it first seems. It represents the views of the hard Left of British politics and even has support from a group within Labour called the Labour Assembly Against Austerity, which to my knowledge supports mass nationalisation, mass uncontrolled spending, high taxes and all the policies that kept Labour out of power in the 1980s. We don’t need any of this! The people involved in this organisation want to drag us back to the wilderness years of Michael Foot and the manifesto of 1983, which was dubbed ‘The Longest Suicide Note in History’.

We cannot go and will not go back to those days. I wasn’t alive in the 1980s, but I definitely know I don’t want to live through a period where Labour is unelectable and the Tories are given a free-hand to strip this country of everything we have fought for over the years. We must support a Labour Party that is electable, realistic and credible. We cannot afford to nationalise massive chunks of the economy, penalise firms and spend large amounts of money we do not have. Labour will have to spend sensibly in a way that encourages economic growth and job creation. One of the policies, and I use the term lightly, that was bounced around at the Labour Assembly Against Austerity was printing money. Well, let’s make this clear, you cannot become reliant on printing money and not expect inflation to go up. Another policy that these so-called socialists support is taxing hard-working people earning about £50,000 60% in income tax! This is absurd. Someone should not work hard, earn a good wage, and have over half of it taken by the government.

I could on about the absurdity of their policies. Now, we don’t need a People’s Assembly for the following reasons. We have Labour, Labour is electable and Labour is progressively achieving real change for the poorest in our society. We do not need the People’s Assembly of SWP activists and the looney-Left attacking Labour when it is trying hard to win in 2015 and make a real change to people’s lives in Britain. Labour must strive forward with progressive and radical polices to improve standards, improve lives and improve the economy. If you truly want to lobby for progressive and fair change in Britain, get involved in the Labour Party and campaign for a sensible and progressive Labour government; the People’s Assembly is not the solution.

By Cameron Beavan-King

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