The message from Osborne’s Autumn Statement is absolutely clear.
THERE WILL BE NO END TO CUTS.
It doesn’t actually matter what Labour Councils do. Which services they want to save. The cuts in April will be followed by more cuts in 2014 2015 2016 and 2017 and it won’t stop there. This is the new normal, austerity as far as anyone can see.
The situation in Greece is were Britain will be in a few years time.
Under Osborne and the ConDem Government Britain is within weeks of losing its AAA credit rating. This is the start of a slippery slope, which will lead to higher interest rates, and higher mortgage payments for millions of already hard pressed working families.
Cuts in spending are sucking the life out of the economy of cities like Hull; reducing demand leads to a spiral of decline leading to even deeper cuts in the future. Osborne won’t stop digging.
Labour Councillors are now being put on the spot. We have a choice: implement the Tories cuts for them or organise a fight back.
Already this week we have seen John McDonnell write to every Labour MP asking them vote against the Welfare Cuts Bill, http://l-r-c.org.uk/news/story/lets-seize-upon-this-opportunity-to-fight-poverty-says-john-mcdonnell-mp/
This is in addition to the rally call made by Owen Jones in his article http://www.independent.co.uk/voices/come-on-you-local-councillors-resist-these-cuts-8166546.html
And locally we have seen the tremendous response to the campaign on the NHS led by local Labour Party members Dermot Rathbone and Danny Marten.
In the past Labour Councils have followed a dented shield policy protecting services in any way they could. The right wing of the party want to carry on implementing Tory cuts in order to stop Pickles taking control of the council. We can’t give in to this blackmail.
The trouble is it will be Labour Councillors who get the blame for cuts if we simply implement them without a fight.
Labour councillors were not elected to implement cuts many were elected on a programme of fighting cuts imposed by the previous Liberal Democrat administration.
We need to organise the fight back. Demand the return of the money taken from the city. Call a conference in the city of every ward branch every Labour Councillor and affiliated trade unions and include community groups. We need to organise public meetings on the cuts in every ward and we need to stand firm against the Tory government.