Skip to main content

Harness the power of the workers, urge trade unionists

Shadow chancellor John McDonnell warns that the people will not tolerate the suspension of Parliament

BORIS JOHNSON can be brought down by “harnessing the power” of a united working class, the leader of Britain’s Civil Service union has said, as shadow chancellor John McDonnell warns that the people will not tolerate the suspension of Parliament.

PCS general secretary Mark Serwotka hit out today at the “cabal of hard-right, free market fanatics” plotting for an election win to “wreak havoc on this country.”

He warned that the PM poses a “massive threat” to working people in Britain and said that the destruction of the labour movement is “firmly in Johnson’s sight.”

He lamented how the Brexit “frenzy” has reached “fever pitch” and conceded that Labour’s policy shift towards supporting an “ambiguous Remain” will make an election based on domestic issues a challenge. But he also said that the “record levels of poverty, homelessness and destitution show that what this country needs is a radical Labour government.”

He asserted: “I firmly believe that by harnessing the power of its half a million members and the many hundreds of thousands more activists across the trade union movement, Labour’s message of hope and optimism can defeat the selfishness and greed of Boris Johnson’s Tory Party.

“The stakes have never been higher.”

Mr Serwotka’s intervention came as shadow chancellor John McDonnell denounced the PM’s running of Downing Street like Oxford’s elite Bullingdon Club.

Speaking at an event on the government’s upcoming spending review, Mr McDonnell warned that the public would not be treated “like serfs” by the government and that the people will not accept the suspension of parliamentary proceedings.

He warned the PM: “Trying to undermine the very institution that people have given their lives for, to secure this democracy — to try to undermine that flies in the face of a whole history and centuries of democratic advancement in this country.

“I don’t think the British people will tolerate that. They have stood up to dictators before and they will stand up to this one as well.”

Parliament will be suspended from September 12 until the Queen’s Speech on October 14, after the monarch ratified Mr Johnson’s request for prorogation on Wednesday.

Thousands of angry demonstrators led by the People’s Assembly rallied in Whitehall on Wednesday night. Meanwhile a legal challenge by anti-Brexit campaigners in Edinburgh — backed by around 70 MPs and peers — sought an interim stop on Mr Johnson’s ability to suspend Parliament.

Their barrister Aidan O’Neill QC said: “Prorogation is being used to create something which is irreversible, that the UK will be made to leave the EU deal or no-deal — do or die — and Parliament is being prevented by abuse of the power of prorogation from doing anything about it.”

The judge is due to give his decision at 10am tomorrow morning.

Speaking to Labour supporters in Westminster Mr McDonnell attacked Chancellor Sajid Javid’s spending review as a “panic-driven stunt budget” that is laced with “grandiose announcements” about health, education and police spending.

He said: “The new Prime Minister seems to have dazzled some people with his boosterism and clowning.

“If you enjoy clowns my advice is go to the circus. Don’t put them in No 10, in charge of our country.

“He tells us all to be more optimistic while labelling as ‘doomsters’ those who don’t fall for his routine.

“Try telling that to children who have just spent the summer scavenging in bins for food — according to the Childhood Trust — because they can’t afford to eat without free school meals.

“Tell that to those being housed in shipping containers due — according to the Children’s Commissioner for England — to a shortage of affordable housing, cuts to universal credit and the housing benefit freeze.

“Telling the truth about the poverty created by the Conservatives isn’t ‘running Britain down’.

“Solving those problems won’t come from crossing our fingers, hoping for the best and trusting the Tories with our public services.”

OWNED BY OUR READERS

We're a reader-owned co-operative, which means you can become part of the paper too by buying shares in the People’s Press Printing Society.

Become a supporter

Fighting fund

You've Raised:£ 8,065
We need:£ 9,935
16 Days remaining
Donate today