The following letter from a Campaifn for a New Workers' Party supporter in the Public & Commercial Services Union (PCS) was sent to the civil service union magazine, PCS View, which is sent to all PCS members.
Back in 1997 many PCS members welcomed the election of a 'New Labour' government, believing it offered a radical alternative to the Tories. The illusion was quickly shattered, however, when Blair and Brown launched their attacks on public servants' jobs, pensions, pay and working conditions.
Our members no longer harbour any illusions, as we saw in the recent local elections. They are able to see that it is now nothing more than a party of big business.
We are in a situation where the three main political parties are indistinguishable from one another. At the last general election we saw the amazing spectacle of MPs from Labour, the Tories and the Lib Dems engaged in a bidding war over how many civil service jobs they could axe.
So, if none of the main parties represent public-sector workers and workers in general, what are our options? Sadly, due to the virtual political vacuum that currently exists in Britain, the British National Party (BNP) has gained a certain level of support among traditional Labour voters on the basis of populist slogans that hide their true fascist and racist agenda.
In my opinion this makes it even more important for the trade union movement to talk about the question of working class representation and the need to link with community groups and socialists to build a new, broad-based party free of big business and capable of representing working people and driving the BNP back into the sewers from which they came.
PCS does a great job of defending our members' interests but I believe in the long term, the issues facing PCS members require political change.
Dave Lunn, Birkenhead