Public sector pay disputes

Building an alternative to New Labour

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As Gordon Brown's neoliberal attacks on workers intensify, Mark Serwotka, general secretary of the PCS civil servants' union, outlines his vision for a fighting left in Britain today

The Tories, once thought by many to have been consigned to opposition for at least a generation, are gaining in the polls. The genuine hope that Labour would begin the long overdue process of reversing the effects of 18 years of Tory rule brought their 1997 landslide victory. But ten years on there is widespread disappointment and, arguably, we have a government in crisis. Gordon Brown has replaced Tony Blair - but with little evident effect or result in terms of government direction.

What's behind Brown's pay freeze?

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As public sector unions organise to resist Gordon Brown's pay freeze Kevin Devine asks what lies behind the government's obsession that higher wages cause inflation

Gordon Brown was more direct than usual in his response to a parliamentary question on the possibility of negotiations in the postal dispute. But he didn't say he welcomed the prospect of talks. "We must... tackle inflation, and people have to accept settlements that will ensure that inflation is low in the years to come," he said. "All workers should look at pay settlements as a means by which we can conquer inflation."

Can Things Only Get Better?

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The decision by Labour MPs to deny party members the chance to choose their new leader means Gordon Brown will take office at the end of June. Judith Orr looks at the problems he will face and the state of the Labour left, while Michael Bradley examines the response from the unions.

Gordon Brown's time has finally come. On 24 June he will take on the post he has coveted for over a decade. Brown quickly received some good press. The Mirror's headline was "A Leader Born to Serve Us", and there was a three point boost in the polls. The fact that there is a bit of a "Brown bounce" is not surprising. It could hardly be otherwise - he is replacing one of Britain's most unpopular prime ministers. There is a palpable relief that Tony Blair is finally going, and for some a desperate hope that "things can only get better".

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