People Before Profit Cllr Shaun Harkin said,
“Former Secretary of State Karen Bradley will not be missed. She arrived without any understanding of the North’s politics, history or the needs of people here. She did nothing to address the fundamental issues people need help on. Maybe her time here will have dented some of her Tory arrogance that says they know all and what’s best for society.
Her Tory replacement Julian Smith won’t be an ally to the vast majority of ordinary people from all backgrounds here. Smith has voted in Westminster to attack ordinary people and to defend the rich and powerful at every opportunity. He’s voted for the Bedroom Tax and for punitive welfare reforms. He’s attacked trade union rights and voted for privatisation of the NHS and rail. He has consistently choose to punish students with higher tuition fees and opposed funding to put young people into work. And he’s a consistent attacker of migrant rights.
Smith has voted to cut taxes on wealthy corporations and has opposed raising taxes on banks. He has consistently defended the right of corporations to keep polluting people and planet for profit. Over many years he’s been a hatchet man for policies designed to increase inequality and hand more wealth and power to corporations and elites.
We can’t trust Smith and the Tories on the border. They will put the interests of Britain’s super-rich and their ‘Global Britain’ fantasy ahead of everyone here. This is what we expect from Tories. Smith should receive no honeymoon period.
Despite all this, the DUP are propping up the fractured Tories – but there’s no doubt Smith and Boris Johnson are planning further attacks on ordinary people that will deepen poverty, neglect of the North West and rip apart working class communities.
If we’re to influence what the new Secretary of State does it will be through people power campaigns and movements. The Tories will waste no time attempting to ram through their priorities here – we need to act with the same urgency. The imposition of Boris Johnson as prime minister by a few thousand Tory party members should propel people to start organising resistance now.”