Year 2000 No. 57, March 28, 2000

How the Working People of the North East Should Use their "Core Vote"

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How the Working People of the North East Should Use their "Core Vote"

On the Class Conscious Workers, Party Members and Activists Becoming Centres of Politicisation

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How the Working People of the North East Should Use their "Core Vote"

On March 3, the North East paper the Journal commented on an exclusive interview with Tony Blair saying that Tony Blair had previously played down serious unemployment and other problems for the people of the North East but now had a project to get elected for a second term. The commentary said that the success or failure of the New Labour project depends on Mr Blair's ability to hold together the coalition between Middle England and the "core vote" in the Labour heartlands that swept him to power.

In the interview Tony Blair dropped a hint that the next Labour government will hold a referendum on a North-East Assembly. He said that decentralisation was an "idea whose time was come" and that the best way of testing demand for "home rule" would be a referendum. "The next Labour manifesto will be drawn up in due course, but we have always made it clear that where there is support we favour moving to regional government," he said. Tony Blair answering criticisms that New Labour had abandoned its "core voters" in the North East, said. "What I am asking for is a sense of balance. There are some great things happening in the North-East. We've got a highly-skilled and able workforce, we've got a big share of the inward investment coming into Europe let alone Britain, and there's a lot the North-East has got going for it," he added.

Tony Blair's remarks are designed dress up the policies of the New Labour government to the North East and other English regions. What he is saying is that workers in the North East should disregard their desire to rebuild the North East and national economy which has been further devastated over recent years and subserviate themselves to the global market. According to the logic of Tony Blair they should only concern themselves with making the North East an attractive place for inward investment from the global monopolies. Such a course has proved disastrous for the economy of the North East over recent years with the dramatic demise of major inward investment companies such as Siemens, Fujitsu, Grove Cranes and Kaevernor and the continuing crisis of outward investors such as NEI, Vickers and so on.

At the same time, he is saying that workers should give up their desire for real progress and empowerment in favour of "devolution" to the regional assemblies, bodies which New Labour will create for the purpose of more efficiently facilitating the penetration of inward and outward investment to the regions.

Workers in the regions should not be taken in by these illusions of New Labour. They are not aimed at rectifying the devastation of the North East by the English bourgeoisie, a region which has been treated practically as a colony by these exploiters. They are not aimed at solving the problems of the working class and people of the North East or any other English region, nor at empowering them to take control of their own lives. The workers should organise around their own political agenda and take centre stage themselves in the politics of the country.

North East Correspondent

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Correspondence:

On the Class Conscious Workers, Party Members and Activists Becoming Centres of Politicisation

WDIE reported on March 24 that the participants in the enlarged meeting of the Central Committee's 5th Plenum resolved to become centres for the implementation of the decision to carry out the Millennium Press Project as part of the work to consolidate RCPB(ML) on the new historical basis. The March 23 WDIE report on the people's struggle against the plans of BMW to sell-off its Rover subsidiary called on the class conscious workers to become centres of mobilisation to break with the depoliticisation of the working class.

This concept, of being at the centre of implementation, a centre of mobilisation, really is a vital issue to be taken up by all Party members, supporters end activists. In essence it means much more than the whole Party fulfilling the responsibility of agreeing with the Party's general line for the current period [There Is a Way Out of the Crisis], paying dues and participating in a basic unit as an organ of class struggle in whatever work that unit is engaged in. It is also building the Party on the new historical basis by breaking with the depoliticisation of the class, by ensuring that each activist and member of the Party is a leader in the struggles of the people against the various manifestations of the anti-social offensive; that the Party members and activists work to assume the role of politicians in the working class. Not the self-serving, careerist, opportunist, caricature of a politician personified by the parties of the bourgeoisie. Definitely not the type of politician obsessed with keeping people from power, merely entering Parliament through the electoral machine to represent the interests of whichever big party.

Rather, being a centre of politicisation and raising the level of politics and becoming a working class politician means the entire Party doing everything to bring the people to power, encouraging participation in political affairs with the working class at the head, as the leader of all the struggles of the people against the anti-social offensive, as the only social class with the solution to the problems of the society.

In becoming centres of politicisation, the Party activists, the class conscious workers should distinguish clearly between political and ideological matters. Practical politics means uniting the people in struggle around the political programme of Stop Paying the Rich, Increase Investments in Social Programmes. It could also mean winning the battle to convince the class to adopt it's own independent programme, as contributed by the Party in the Draft Programme for the Working Class. In taking up its own programme the working class can constitute itself the nation and vest sovereignty in the people. In essence then being a centre of implementation of the Party's decisions or of politicisation of the working class is to enrich the consolidation of the Party on the new historical basis.

Party Activist in the Journalism Work

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