THE NEW WORKER

The Weekly paper of the New Communist Party of Britain
Week commencing 7th September 2018


Banners bright in Burston

by New Worker correspondent

BRIGHT SUNSHINE and record crowds contributed to another successful Burston Rally. It was on 1st April 1914 that children of the Norfolk village went on strike to support their teachers who had been sacked for organising agricultural workers. Every September the Labour Movement meets on Church Green to celebrate the event that was the longest strike in British history.

The traditional march, which takes the same route that the children walked, was led by two heavy horses pulling an open carriage, and included both the RMT Brass Band and the NASUWT Riverside Band. The sound of the Internationale could be heard across the Norfolk countryside. Banners and flags, from trade unions and other progressive organisations, including that of the New Communist Party, were carried proudly.

There was an atmosphere of enthusiasm and expectation that the days of the Tories were numbered and that we would soon see a Labour government led by Jeremy Corbyn. This sentiment was not shared, however, by a number of local Labour Party members who apparently would like Tony Blair to return as their leader.

A range of speakers denounced the Tories and their policies whilst welcoming the prospect of a real Labour government led by Corbyn. Their contributions reflected the disgust felt against the attacks being made on him by the gutter press and certain Labour MPs.

Poignant

A very poignant and impressive presentation was made by Mike Cushman from Jewish Voice for Labour, who said that the fake allegations of alleged anti-Semitism were a desperate attempt to harm Corbyn and take people’s minds off the real important issues of today — such as the impact of Tory policies and the crimes of Israel. He was warmly received and received long applause.

Mike Cash, leader of the RMT rail union, called for renationalisation of the Railways and dealt with the current fight to retain guards on trains. He called for a people’s railway where safety was more important than profits. Highlighting the steep increases in rail fares, he deplored the attempts to cap his members’ wages and pointed out that renationalisation of the fragmented system would save billions. In calling for action, he said: “The past we inherit — it’s the future we shape,” and: “When you stand up and fight you get results.”

Labour Shadow Chancellor John McDonnell condemned the media attacks upon Jeremy Corbyn and his progressive policies. Corbyn has done more than many others to oppose racism and always spoke the truth about Israel and Palestine whilst working for peace. McDonnell urged the movement to be ready for a general election.

Corbyn’s number two outlined a number of Labour pledges, including a restoration of full trade union rights with free collective bargaining and establishing a real living wage. The railways, water and other public utilities would be returned to public ownership; a million affordable homes, including council houses, would be built and cooperative development encouraged. He said that the money trees to fund investment could be found in the Cayman Island tax havens. McDonnell received a standing ovation from the thousands who listened to his words.