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Milliband booed at TUC rally

Photo report by Peter Arkell and Paul Feldman

Over 130,000 trade unionists and their supporters marched through London on Saturday in an anti-austerity demonstration called by the Trades Union Congress. Marches were also held in Glasgow and Belfast.

The turn-out in London was substantially down on March 2011, when an estimated 500,000 marched against the ConDems’ austerity policies. This can be attributed to the fact that marching through the capital on a Saturday afternoon to listen to a series of speeches will, on its own, not have any impact on the government.

And having Ed Milliband tell you that a future Labour government would continue with more or less the same policies was not an inspiring prospect. He was booed by significant sections of the crowd when he said that reducing the public spending deficit was necessary.

There were militant speeches from Len McCluskey, the general secretary of Unite, and Bob Crow, the transport union leader. Both made mention of organising a general strike. But McCluskey is working hand-in-glove with Labour leader Milliband at local council level and has no intention of launching massive strike action against the ConDems. Only Crow is really prepared to put his words into action, but remains isolated in the TUC.

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20 October 2012

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