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We need Attlee’s vision and courage again

November 22, 2009

This is a letter from Councillor Abjol Miah published in this week’s East London Advertiser

Clement Atlee was a giant of the Labour party, committed to helping the less well off, the poor and the vulnerable and to making a fairer, more just and equal society.

He was also the most successful peacetime prime minister who established the National Health Service and the welfare state, nationalising the commanding heights of the economy so that public utilities received the investment necessary to ensure they provided a good public service.

It is a disgrace that his statue outside Limehouse Library should have been boxed up for so long after it was damaged by vandalism (‘Clem Set to be Repaired’, Advertiser, November 12). I welcome the decision to restore his statue at a more fitting location.

What an irony, though, that Conservative parliamentary candidate and former banker Time Archer should e photographed by the boxed statue with someone no one has ever heard of from Etonian David Cameron’s front bench!

Attlee’s statue will stand as an indictment of the rotten Tory policies pursued by this New Labour government and Tower Hamlets council over the last dozen years.

But it will stand as an even bigger indictment of the Tories themselves. Attlee, I am sure, would have strongly opposed the deregulation of the banks started by Archer’s hero Margaret Thatcher and continued by Tony Blair, the deregulation that has brought the world economy to its knees.

What we need in Britain is a return to the policies of Clement Attlee – public ownership that ensures public services meet the public interest, a crash council-house building programme and a system of redistributive taxation to ensure those most able to pay make a fair contribution to the public purse which pays for essential public services.

This is something you will never get from the Tories and their super-rich friends.

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