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May Day Manifesto
Defending the Welfare State. Mr. Blair's "Reforms"

By Michael Barratt Brown
November 1998
Spokesman
ISBN: 0-85124-615-X
126 pages, Illustrated, 5 7/8 x 8 "
$19.95 paper original


New Labour seeks to "reform the welfare state" within the context of stringent curbs on public expenditure. Unsurprisingly, these commitments do not impress organized labor, or those non-governmental organizations which have always worked with the poor, the disabled, pensioners, or young people. As the implications of these deep policy commitments of New Labour have come home to more people, there has been a growing sense of revulsion among "old" Labour Party members. The Independent Labour Network seeks to promote association between those who have supported the traditional social program of the Labour Party, and to help organize the resistance to New Labour's attacks on those commitments. That is why we are launching the May Day Manifesto. There will be a number of parts which follow this one, covering a range of important subjects. All are offered in the hope of provoking a discussion and agreement on a comprehensive Manifesto, which will attract widespread support, by the year 2000. This first installment concerns maintenance of the welfare state and the social wage. It dismantles the arguments of those who seek to overturn the post-war settlement. The reason we began at this point was simple: it was here that many of the most vulnerable people in society were coming under attack. So, this Manifesto seeks not only to enrich our understanding, but to bring practical help to those in need.


Politics