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Year 2005 No. 71, May 18, 2005 ARCHIVE HOME JBBOOKS SUBSCRIBE

The Reactionary Agenda of the Labour Government

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The Reactionary Agenda of the Labour Government

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The Reactionary Agenda of the Labour Government

The agenda of the Labour government as set out in the Queen’s Speech of May 17 is one of consolidating reaction, attacking individual and collective rights of the working class and other sections of the people, and responding to the priorities of the monopolies in the conditions of the profound world economic and political crisis.

The election was held to consolidate this agenda and, despite any claim to a mandate being torn to shreds with the election result, the profoundly anti-democratic nature of the political system has ensured that Labour is citing a parliamentary majority to push the agenda through.

The government claims it put education, health and welfare at the centre of its legislative programme. The acceleration of the "reform" of public services is being put on a par with the "mutual respect" of the public, in the context of economic policies which ensure "sound public finances".

What is happening is that, in the context of the overall attack on the public good which the New Labour agenda has represented since day one, the delivery of social programmes to the enrichment of the private sector and the primacy of the agenda and claims of the monopolies on society, the onus is being put on the people to pick up the pieces of the torn fabric of society.

Political dissent is being declared beyond the pale, and all who do not volunteer to participate in the exercise of "consumer choice", the "opportunity society" and the private property heaven being painted in New Labour’s vision are to be considered excommunicated from the rights of citizens within that society. Dissatisfaction with the status quo and demands for change, opposition to narrowness, chauvinist values and the government’s demand for subservience to neo-liberalism – these perspectives among the people are being branded as opposition to mutual respect, and hence anti-social. Whereas the government’s implied agenda of "the correct work-life balance makes you free" is being pushed, not only in the government but in the monopoly-controlled media, in order to denigrate and suffocate all enlightened views and the claims of human beings that their rights should be respected and guaranteed.

So far is the government’s agenda from the people’s instincts for progress and enlightenment, that the aim of government, as society’s representative, to be responsible for that society is expressly disavowed. Instead a social consensus is being sought by the Labour government that human beings are individually responsible for their own fate, while denying them any role in determining the direction of society, both domestically and internationally. The backward philosophy being pushed by the government is that the social system is inviolable and universal, not only beyond the influence of the governed, but the final unquestioned stage of historical development. Because of this, the argument goes, the only role of government is to curb the behaviour of those who do not or will not fit in, under the guise of tackling crime and disorder and increasing security, while reforming the welfare system and tackling immigration abuses and combating terrorism.

In the face of the public perception, the experience of the working class and people, that the monopolies are riding roughshod over people’s lives, and the state is acting to enforce this domination and deprive all sections of their rights and the workers of their dignity, the government’s programme for the economy is being declared one promoting "efficiency, productivity and value for money", "enhancing shareholder value" and "removing outdated or unnecessary regulations or legislation" for big business. This "streamlining" and the removing of "red-tape" could not contrast more strongly with the increasing panoply of legislation designed to shackle the behaviour of individuals and to entrench a culture of "hard-working families" as the only collective which is to be recognised.

This agenda even extends to the 2012 Olympic bid, which is given pre-emptive legislation to establish the "necessary powers to ensure the delivery of the Games" (including focusing on intellectual property, funnelling of public funds into the coffers of the monopolies, and so on). Thus the government dreams of the Olympic Games as being a testament to the glory of Britain in a way reminiscent of the way the 1936 Berlin Olympics were to be a vindication of "national socialism".

Not even the armed forces escape the "modernising" agenda of New Labour’s corporate vision, and a "single system of service law", as discontent and disquiet grows within their ranks on the illegality of aggression abroad and the fascism and anti-humanity inculcated internally.

In short, the Queen’s Speech outlined the government’s proposals for consolidating its agenda for putting in place a corporate fascist state, while pursuing its agenda for aggression and war abroad in the service of Anglo-American imperialism. It is a legislative programme divorced from the any aim of servicing the public good and reflecting the public will, and begging the question as to the role of government in a modern society.

WDIE calls on the working class and people to reject and oppose the government’s reactionary agenda and to fight for the alternative, for the rights of the people and for their claims on society, and to put an end to the government’s programme for fascism and war.

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