Cuts, Privatization and Resistance

Neo-Liberalism and the Local State, 1974 to 1987

Author(s): LOWES, David E
ISBN13/Barcode: 9780850366334
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‘a very useful examination of the resistance against earlier phases of the attack on local authorities, in particular that which occurred between the early 70s and 1985. The study of nature of the attacks over a period of 20 is a useful tool in explaining where we are at now in local government. But even more interesting is the record of the level of struggle by trade-unions, community organisations and the Labour Party, the later particularly at local level.’ Socialist Resistance

Lowes's tremendously detailed account of the fightback against local authority cuts provides a serious contribution to our understanding of how the political context influences the strategies and tactics of the anti-cuts movement. Its account of the development of trade union militancy, and its links with activists' campaigns, will surely help us in determining a strategy to win in the current context. Socialist Review
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This book looks back to earlier opposition to the Cuts and to difficulties in mobilising the Labour Movement Taken at face value, the events recounted here represent little more than fluctuations in the numbers of people employed by the local state and of the services it provided. Economic circumstances appear to have determined the re-organization of local government. Delve below the surface, to the real social world of happenstance and struggle and one can see parts of a broader battle to replace Keynesian social democratic orthodoxy with neo-liberal ideology. This process was played out in society as a whole and within the labour movement. Why ask about the success or failure of these early attempts to resist the neo-liberalism? Just another academic exercise? Our current situation emerged from the neo-liberal restructuring of the local state. Privatization and other measures effectively removed decisions about service standards from the democratic arena. This was part of a deliberate strategy to depoliticize related issues in the eyes of the local electorate and ensure that the local state is no longer a means through which socio-economic interests can be advanced. The importance of the period lies not in the immediate outcomes, both the issues and the manner in which they were contested point to what has happened since, what the present government is doing and what hope there may be for an alternative programme that goes beyond piecemeal resistance. ‘a very useful examination of the resistance against earlier phases of the attack on local authorities, in particular that which occurred between the early 70s and 1985. The study of nature of the attacks over a period of 20 is a useful tool in explaining where we are at now in local government. But even more interesting is the record of the level of struggle by trade-unions, community organisations and the Labour Party, the later particularly at local level.’ Socialist Resistance Lowes's tremendously detailed account of the fightback against local authority cuts provides a serious contribution to our understanding of how the political context influences the strategies and tactics of the anti-cuts movement. Its account of the development of trade union militancy, and its links with activists' campaigns, will surely help us in determining a strategy to win in the current context. Socialist Review Contents: Preface, Introduction, Part I: Historical Context 1960-1979, The Role of the Local State, The Neo-Liberal Project, Labour Movement Activism; Part II: Retrenchment and Retreat 1979-1984, The Conservative Agenda, The Defence of Local Government, Liverpool as Enigma; Part III: The Primacy Parliament 1983-1987, The Vagaries of Rate-Capping, The Campaign of Non-Compliance, Conclusion, Postscript. Appendix, Bibliography, Index.

Additional Information

ISBN13/Barcode 9780850366334
ISBN10 085036633X
Author LOWES, David E
Binding Paperback
Date Published 13 Nov 2012
Frequency No
Report Date N/A
Pages 187
Publisher Merlin Press

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