Our Say

After G8 and the London bombings - the way forward

London terror attacks condemned

After Live 8:
from pressure to action

The G8 summit and political power

Make the G8 leaders history

A sham election

10 good reasons to boycott May 5

Don't be blackmailed into voting

Reject ‘dependency’ politics

No votes for New Labour!

Parliament seals its own fate

A secret policeman's government

Vote for "none of the above"

How to remember the victims of the tsunami

A state of crisis

New Labour and the big lie

Yasser Arafat - a revolutionary life

After the US election

Blood on New Labour's hands

Butler and weapons of mass deception

With 'leaders' like these, who needs enemies?

How to meet the threat from the right

Barbarians at the gate

Torture, values and lies

The silence of the lambs

War crimes in Iraq

The slaughter in Madrid

The unfinished business of the miners’ strike 1984-85

L’état – c’est New Labour

The death of liberal democracy foretold

Hutton washes the state whiter than white

Top-up fees and the market economy

Our challenge for 2004

New Labour's march to a police state

Bush & Blair - partners in crime

London Region revolts against FBU leaders

Postal workers in the front line

No turning back

Where we go from here

Stop the War Coalition leaders and political fabrication

Regime change begins at home

Blood on New Labour's hands

There's more involved than just Blair

New Labour, lies and spies

Firefighters should reject deal and disown leaders

BECTU vote on New Labour link a step forward

Time runs out for FBU leaders

New Labour's one-party state

The blind alley of crude anti-Americanism

Occupation of Iraq - time to move beyond protest

War is a test for principles

Iraqi defiance shocks and awes

FBU leaders who backed capitulation should resign now

Down with New Labour's war - for regime change in Britain

FBU at war with New Labour

New Labour, not just Blair, is the target

50 years since the death of Stalin - an assessment

FBU finds itself in Precott's trap

War is Peace - Blair's fictitious 'push for peace'

15/2: Global marches put power on the agenda

Crisis of globalisation behind attack on Iraq

Tell it how it is

An injury to one is an injury to all

War plans expose fraudulent 'democracy'

A 'regime change' in Britain is the answer to war on Iraq

FBU needs a new strategy

Challenging New Labour

A moment of truth in the fight against New Labour

Gilchrist says it how it is

Time to defy the anti-union laws in support of the FBU

FBU must ask for solidarity strikes

FBU leaders must ask for support now

New Labour provokes confrontation

Italian police attack No-Global movement

New Labour declares war on FBU

Don't let the FBU fight alone

UN writes a blank cheque for war

Blood on Putin's hands

Unions must support firefighters with action not words

Support the firefighters - defeat New Labour

Bush-Blair war agenda revealed

Seeing through New Labour's weapons of mass deception

The US media and the new garrison state

The BEGINNING of Politics

How technology could
free humanity

'Terminator' engineering: A threat to humanity

The future is socialist

Asylum legislation fuels racist attacks

Road map to the future

E-mail to hear about site changes, placing 'update' in body of message



Don't let the FBU fight alone

New Labour has provoked the firefighters into strike action with the intention of undermining the Fire Brigades Union. The Bain review's interim report - which only offers 4% now with future increases dependent on "modernisation" - is part of this strategy.

On the eve of the Bain report, Blair said that the "government's position hasn't changed from the beginning and can't change because we have got to act responsibly across the whole picture of public sector pay" and that was "why we obviously couldn't accept the 40% wage claim".

In other words, the Blair government is putting its entire authority on the line and will use the full force of the state and its friends in the media to try and isolate and defeat firefighters. The FBU was right to boycott the Bain inquiry because it lacked any real independence.

The confrontation between the Blair government and the firefighters is the most important since New Labour came to office in 1997. There is little room for compromise: to win their justified claim, the firefighters will have to defeat a government which is prepared for a fight to the finish.

It is no accident that Blair referred to the FBU leaders as "Scargillites". New Labour sees the FBU in much the same way that Thatcher and the Tories saw the miners.

Under these conditions, it is the obligation of trade union leaders who have voiced support for the FBU to call their members into effective action alongside the firefighters. Firefighters, who are defending public services on behalf of all trade unionists, should not be expected to have to fight the government and the state on their own like the miners were forced to in 1984/5.

That is why it is inadequate for other union leaders to say individual members will be supported if they refuse to work without adequate fire safety. It puts the onus on the individual when the union itself should take a lead.

It is time for supportive unions to defy the Tory/New Labour anti-union laws and organise official solidarity action. Their members are already angered by New Labour's privatisation/low-pay economy and will respond if it is made clear that a setback for the firefighters would damage the whole trade union and working class movement. The FBU leaders should not hesitate to ask for this kind of support, which they will need if they are to win their fight.

The attitude of New Labour towards the firefighters' claim is inseparable from the Anglo-American plans for the imminent invasion and occupation of Iraq. Money set aside for the overthrow of the Iraqi government on behalf of the oil companies would pay for the firefighters' claim many times over.

But New Labour is a capitalist government whose priorities are about making the world safe for the operations of the global corporations. That is why trade unionists have to discuss as a matter of urgency the building of an alternative to Labour to represent the interests of workers and prevent the catastrophe that Bush and Blair are preparing. The Movement for a Socialist Future is campaigning for such a party. Help us make it happen.

Have a look at the firefighters action page