The Observer reports today in its Business/Media section that
unemployment is now forecast to go over 4 million. The question
therefore arises as to what the labour movement and the TUC are doing.
The answer in short is nothing. At the same time as New Labour is
drowning in the stench of its own corruption and fighting like ferrets
in a sack, the Welfare Reform Act is being implemented. Parents of
children 1+ are now expected to ‘prepare’ for work that isn’t there,
i.e. leap over more hurdles. Sanctions will increase (and PCS are doing
little or nothing about this and their members will bear the brunt of
the odium) and of course Incapacity Benefit is on its way out. The
chief implementor of this is one of the chief crooks in New Labour,
James Purnell, he with the face of a Poor Law Commissioner.
Of course the TUC does have its own ‘consultative’ committee of
Unemployed Workers Centres, except it does nothing. It hasn’t even
bothered to issue a statement or a leaflet about the Welfare Reform
Bill. And a motion at SERTUC to withdraw from this useless committee
was rejected after the Chair had prevented the delegate from Brighton
Trades Council from moving it.
I therefore send this e-mail as a beginning of the process of trying to
recreate a movement to fight the attacks on the unwaged and unemployed.
Secretary – Brighton Unemployed Workers Centre