VETERAN socialist Tony Benn has called on people in Luton to demonstrate against the government’s austerity programme in London on October 20.
Speaking at a rally at the University of Bedfordshire on Monday night, he said an “old war” was taking place between the “very rich and people who want to create wealth for the nation”.
Thousands of people are set to march through London on October 20 in protest at the government’s spending cuts, which trade unions say are hitting the poorest in society hardest, and further damaging the economy.
Mr Benn said: “We must never forget that in 1830 only five per cent of people had the vote. The Tory party was upset when that was extended, because they recognised that democracy was a powerful weapon for reform.
“If you can’t afford anything you can use your vote to buy collectively what you can’t afford to buy with your wallet.
“The Labour party is a voice for the people. It is based on trade unions and those that they represent, and it is their voice in parliament.
“That is what we are defending on October 20.
“I believe that if we campaign strongly enough, we will win. But it depends on our determination.”
Luton North MP Kelvin Hopkins told the audience that the government’s cuts programme was “wholly wrong”.
“So far we have only seen twelve per cent of the benefit cuts and six per cent of public services cuts.
“This is an appalling prospect for us all and just shows how insane and cruel this government is.
“People have already been coming to me with benefits problems.
“One of my constituents was suffering from cancer and heart disease and could not get out of bed, but was told by Atos that he was fit to work.
“The Tories are trying to destroy the world we created after the Second World War, an empowered world, and drive us back to where we know our place.”
The Luton Trades Council is organising coach transport to the London demonstration. Contact Richard Gates at firstname.lastname@example.org