|SocialismToday Socialist Party magazine|
While attention has temporarily shifted to the Tory leadership drama, Tony Blair still finds himself in a weaker position than ever before. But would his departure from the scene mean the regeneration of the Labour Party? And what is the alternative to New Labour? CLIVE HEEMSKERK writes.
THE BOURNEMOUTH conference was certainly the most difficult for Tony Blair since Labour came to power in 1997. The leadership was defeated on policy motions on foundation hospitals and pensions. A constitutional amendment was passed allowing future conferences to debate eight ‘contemporary resolutions’ – four each from the unions and Constituency Labour Parties (CLPs) – instead of the current limit of four. If that rule had operated this year the conference would have debated opposition resolutions on Iraq and university tuition fees. Overall, more conference floor defeats were inflicted on Tony Blair this year than in his previous nine years as party leader.
One year into a government led by the Workers’ Party (PT) and hope has turned to anger. Working class people have been hit by job losses, cutbacks in social services and attacks on pensions. Now the PT is expelling left-wing activists from the party. ANDRÉ FERRARI, from Socialismo Revolucionário – the CWI’s Brazil affiliate – reports on moves to form a new left party.
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