Wednesday, 2 December 2009

What's a Labour Government for?

Having slagged off Cameron in the previous post, now it is the turn of Brown and Darling - fiddling while Brighton's financial industry burns.

The announcement yesterday by Lloyds Banking Group that it was shutting its call centre in Gloucester Place - in fact they are vacating the building completely - was a major shock. Some 500 staff are facing either compulsory redundancy or compulsory relocation.

The shock was all the greater given that the bank is largely owned by the government. they actually going to do anything? Not on your life!

This actually goes to the heart of New Labour's problem. It could win some support by being seen to assert some authority over the bankers, but they can't - they are trapped in the headlights of their own neo-liberal policies.

It is time for the unions to step up to the plate. Unite needs to extricate its head from New Labour's arse and get organising. It also needs to sink any differences it may have with the more parochial LloydsTSB Union. Many people think (rightly or wrongly) that the LTU has the greater credibility with the workforce. Now is not the time for internecine squabbling.

The building at Gloucester Place is a symbol of the big expansion of the then-TSB in the mid-1980's, when it made Brighton the centre of its operations. Many people have worked there for years.

There is a possibility for a real campaign around this, not least because the bank have given 6 months notice - lets not see it wasted.

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