Saturday, 27 November 2010
UNITED - against the Tory Suffolk County Council cuts.
As I made my way to Endeavour House in Ipswich this morning I was concerned that the blizzard type conditions would lead to the Rally against the cuts to Suffolk County Council becoming a damp squib. But Jeremy Pembroke, ex banker and now leader of the Tory run Suffolk County Council you do have ability! Ability to inspire people to give up a free Saturday morning, brave the snow and protest about the savage cuts planned by the Tories, yourself and Andrea Hill.
A comment on one of my previous posts, declared that the rally would be hijacked by the SWP and the far left, that never happened, the march was made up of, council workers, their families, Labour Party members, unions (FBU, UNITE, Unison, CWU, NUT and others) and students. The march was well organised and the police not only had no problem marshaling it but were also thanked for their help at the end of the rally. No surprise in one way as we were also campaigning to save their jobs as they also face the Condem cuts.
It was not hijacked by the SWP but it seems that the Suffolk Lib Dems and those from St Margarets in Ipswich have allied themselves with our protest. Now we welcome support from all the community in this campaign to secure the services that Suffolk people deserve. But the Lib Dems have a number of questions to ask themselves, how can they protest against the cuts in Suffolk but be prepared to support Clegg and Cable as they prop up the Tory Government and to make it worse in Ipswich, 3 of their County Councillors are in a coalition with the Tories, and supporting such acts as selling off our bus service. The St Margaret's Lib Dems were even giving out their focus newsletter on the Cornhill from a table that was also collecting signatures to support our campaign against these Tory cuts, but the same Lib Dem's seem to forget that Inga Lockington is a portfolio holder in the Ipswich Condem council. You can't have it both ways. Kathy Pollard the Suffolk Lib Dem leader was heckled at the rally, and I am sure she is being very honest in her support for our campaign but I am afraid that whilst Clegg and Cable in Westminster and Cann, Lockington and Chambers at Grafton House in Ipswich support Tory administrations she will not be taken seriously.
Best part of the day? There were a number - the 'Who ate all the pies? - Jeremy' song from the FBU and the young students from UCS and Northgate who spoke so passionately about the the Condem plans for their futures (something Kathy did not mention in her speech) and on a selfish point, the brilliant turn out from the Ipswich Labour Party, and the opportunity to be photographed with the branch banner, a banner my own father had carried ion the early 70's.
The Labour Party banner today outside the New Wolsey
The banner in the 70's with my late Father, Peter Ross
A great day for the Labour movement in Ipswich - now to build on that consensus of support to put pressure on Gummer, Poulter and the local Condem councillors.