British rail union denounces Blair as 'war criminal'
John M Cox
coxj at email.unc.edu
Tue Jul 1 20:21:00 MDT 2003
Union goes to war with Labour
Cabinet branded 'criminals' on Iraq
Wednesday July 2, 2003
Tony Blair and his cabinet were branded "war criminals" yesterday as an
organisation that gave birth to the Labour party faced expulsion in an
historic split with the government.
The RMT rail union voted to support the far left Scottish Socialists,
Plaid Cymru, Greens, Ken Livingstone in London and even suspended Labour
MP George Galloway in direct defiance of the Labour leadership. It also
halved its annual affiliation fees from 25,000 to 12,500. A year ago it
paid more than 100,000.
Bob Crow, hard left general secretary of the RMT, predicted the union
would disaffiliate from Labour after he accused the prime minister of
"putting the boot" into workers in Britain and abroad, including the
invasion of Iraq.
"I think if the Labour party continues the way it is going I cannot
honestly see that come five years time, we will still be in it at all,"
said Mr Crow.
The looming split between the party and one of Britain's most prominent
unions is one of the most serious internal crises to hit the Labour
leadership in recent years and underlines the problems facing Mr Blair as
traditional supporters turn their back on New Labour....
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