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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
Workers who are organised in trade unions will play a key role in the formation of a new party.
The fight for the repeal of the anti-trade union laws is likely to be central to the formation of a new party as it was in the early days of the Labour Party.
However, a new party would also have to stand for the rights of millions of low-paid workers who are unorganised.
An increase in the measly minimum wage is a central issue for these workers.
This must include the fight for the rights of young people, most of whom have not yet had any contact with trade union organisation.
It must also include standing for the right to equal pay for the many workers from other countries, most recently Eastern Europe, who have come to Britain and are generally expected to work for less pay, over longer hours and in worse conditions than other workers.
The only way to prevent a ‘race to the bottom’ is to fight alongside those at the bottom and demand they are lifted up and to campaign against any attempts to use those workers to divide and weaken the whole working class.
What is possible has been shown in Ireland last year where, with the assistance of the Socialist Party, Turkish immigrant workers - employed by the Gama construction company - who had the bulk of their wages illegally withheld, were able to win thousands of euros in back pay, at the same time as revealing to the world a cesspit of similar scandals.
In the aftermath of the Gama strike, the Irish Ferries dispute erupted with 100,000 workers taking part in demonstrations during a national half-day strike demanding decent pay for immigrant workers on Irish Ferries.
However, we do not think that a new workers’ party could, or should, limit itself purely to workplace issues.
Other aspects of working-class people’s lives – including the fight to defend and improve public services – particularly housing, education and health, which are currently suffering the hammer blows of New Labour’s attacks, will have to be taken up urgently by a new party.
All three mainstream parties are in favour of privatisation, which benefits big business and the government spending figures, but leaves us with an empty shell where we used to have public services.
A new party would have to fight against cuts and privatisation and for the bringing of our public services into democratic public ownership.
A new party should also stand in the best traditions of the workers’ movement in recognising that ‘unity is strength’ and that it is essential that the workers’ movement as a whole fights for the rights of oppressed minorities.
Broader international issues will also be important.
In trying to prevent the Iraq war over 30 million people demonstrated in February 2003 in the biggest simultaneous movement in world history.
Here in Britain more than two million marched.
On the day that war started, tens of thousands of school students engaged in their first ever political act when they marched out of school, often facing police intimidation or outright brutality, and demonstrated against the war.
Any new party will have to aim to win this new generation – both through its fervent opposition to the brutal foreign policies of Bush and Blair and through taking up the domestic issues which most affect young people.
And a new party will have to fight, not just to defend the rights of young people now, but to prevent the destruction of the planet in order to protect the future of the next generation.
Capitalism is based on the unplanned, relentless drive for profit.
To seriously develop alternative forms of energy – such as wind, wave, geothermal or solar power – requires cooperation and planning.
It means putting the needs of humanity and the planet before profit.
Capitalism, based upon the blind forces of the market, is therefore incapable of taking the action needed to save our planet.
An essential part of the work of a new party will be to campaign on these issues.