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If you think all the big political parties are the same - you're right! The bosses have got three parties - isn't it about time we had one of our own?
For the millions, not the millionaires!
The case for a new mass workers' party
The Campaign for a New Workers’ Party aims to bring together trade unionists, socialists, anti-capitalist young people, and community, anti-war and environmental activists.
Our premise is simple: that, while the mainstream parties are of varying hue, they are all fundamentally the same in that they represent the interests of big business; and that we urgently need to campaign for the establishment of a new party that represents the majority - working class people.
The millions who voted for New Labour in 1997 – hoping that things could ‘only get better’ after 18 years of Tory government – have been cruelly disappointed.
Under the Tories the gap between rich and poor had reached the highest level since records began.
Unbelievably, under New Labour it has increased further.
Since 1997, the wealth of the top 1% has doubled from £355 billion to £797 billion – more than the government spends in five years on education, the NHS and housing combined! At the same time, every year 200,000 babies - one third of all those born - are born into poverty.
In total, 12.5 million people live below the poverty line. More and more people who would have previously seen themselves as middle class, such as teachers and civil servants, are now relatively low paid and are increasingly being forced downwards into the ranks of the working class.
Even many sections of the middle class who are still better off are increasingly insecure in this dog-eat-dog world.
New Labour claims that it is helping the majority, particularly ‘hardworking families’, but this is a myth.
Some families have had a few crumbs in terms of tax credits but this is weighed against the severe erosion of the welfare state – with services such as good public hospitals and schools, a living pension, affordable, high quality public housing going down the drain.
Even relatively wealthy ‘middle-class’ families have seen their standard of living stagnate or suffer under New Labour. For the poorest the situation is much worse.
At the same time as our services are being cut and privatised, we have to work longer hours, in more casual jobs, often for less pay.
For many young people the national minimum wage has become not a minimum but the norm.
The average working week in Britain is now 43 hours, the longest in Western Europe. More than 20% of workers work more than 48 hours a week.
One of the key demands of our grandparents and great-grandparents was for the shortening of the working day and working week.
Their struggle for an eight-hour day, which was to some degree won in the past, is now becoming relevant again.
What was won is being taken back by the billionaires who want squeeze every last drop of profit from the toil of Britain’s working people.
In the last year, unemployment has started to increase. But for the first seven years of New Labour government, while there were still pockets of severe unemployment in Britain, most working-class people could get work – but not work that pays a living wage.
Most of us get by only by relying on credit or, as it is otherwise known, debt.
The ratio of household debt to pre-tax income now stands at 120%, its highest ever level. If, as is likely, unemployment continues to increase many more families will find themselves literally drowning in debt.
The decimation of manufacturing industry has continued apace under New Labour – an average of 400 jobs a day have been lost over the last two years alone.
They are being replaced by lower-paid service jobs – for example, more than 400,000 people now work in call centres. But even these jobs are under threat as big business tries to lower wages by moving jobs abroad.