The public sector pay cap must be lifted immediately, and thankfully many turncoat Tory Cabinet Ministers agree, despite having voted the wrong way on this issue just last week.
Justine Greening (the Tory Education Secretary), Michael Gove (the Tory Environment Secretary), Jeremy Hunt (the Tory Health Secretary), and Boris Johnson (the Tory Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs), all seem to believe that Jeremy Corbyn was right. More and more of these confused Cabinet members are turning to the Tory press to let the world know that the pay cap might have to be lifted after all.
Certainly if the treacherous Blairites in the Parliamentary Labour Party were serious about forming a new political organisation to speak to the needs of disaffected business elites, they might want to reach out to these Tory traitors.
Nevertheless, in Parliament today, Labour’s Shadow Education Secretary, Angela Rayner, did what was necessary and drew attention to this astounding level of Tory hypocrisy, saying to the Tory school standards Minister, Nick Gibb:
“The Education Secretary was not the only one haggling with the Chancellor in the Sunday papers. Her predecessor, now the Environment Secretary, said that he always listened to public sector pay bodies. He must have forgotten that he actually abolished the school support staff negotiating body. Will the Minister now look at reinstating a pay body for support staff, and does he support lifting the 1% pay cap in education?”
Gibb, as one might expect, sidestepped this question and then repeated the standard misrepresentation on the nature of the real term funding cuts to school budgets by stating: “We are spending record amounts on school funding…” Tory doublespeak.
Earlier in the day Shadow Health Secretary Jonathan Ashworth also made a related point in Parliament with regard to the growing divisions within the Tories ranks over the pay cap, noting:
“The number of nurses has fallen for the first time in a decade, which is why we need fair pay now. I read in the newspapers that the Health Secretary now supports the Labour party policy of scrapping the cap, although he did not vote with us last week.”
Surely the Tories are on their last legs, ready to crumble in ruin at the slightest push.
Here the fighting workers at Barts Health Trust in east London may be the start of a developing movement to provide such a push, as today they launched their first day of strike action today to defend jobs and to break out of poverty pay.
Moreover, now even the Bank of England is facing the “first strike at its Threadneedle Street headquarters in its history after members of the Unite union voted for four days of industrial action in a dispute over pay.”
Demand an end to Tory austerity NOW, and let’s unite and bring a Corbyn-led Labour Government to power.
At the same time, it is critical — as Labour’s new Shadow Fire Services Minister, Chris Williamson, has already made clear — that Labour requires MPs who “reflect the political program that is overwhelming supported by Labour members and by Labour supporters.” If Labour MPs “aren’t prepared to do that,” Williamson added, “then it will be up to members in their local constituencies to find someone else who will.”