Trade unionists and MPs came out fighting at a Morning Star fringe meeting today, demanding more jobs and higher wages to lift Britain out of the doldrums of recession.
CWU general secretary Billy Hayes told the rally - "For a People's Britain not a Bankers' Britain" - that, despite Tory claims, there is no evidence that you can cut yourself out of a recession.
He argued: "We want to see a wage-led recovery by giving people pay rises.
"The government can lift the economy by supporting public services and putting Britain back to work.
"It's ironic that under current so-called deficit-reduction plans the deficit is increasing," he added.
Mr Hayes praised the newspaper for its "100 per cent" record in supporting real issues affecting workers at home and industrial issues around the world.
Labour MP Katy Clark said: "We need to take the debate beyond simply accepting that cuts are necessary.
"The Morning Star will play a key role in reframing that debate. We need to adopt the kind of economic policies that the paper has been pushing for a long time."
Unite general secretary Len McCluskey said: "As far as I'm concerned the Morning Star is a paper we've got to work strongly to support and get distribution and circulation much sharper as it's not what it should be.
"It's only the Morning Star that puts forward the policies of working people and their organisations.
"This is our time. The austerity programme is simply not working. Neither the Tories nor new Labour understand a plan B. We need to demonstrate that there's a real alternative.
"Trade unions are your moral compass. We are the big society.
"If those in power say we're dead then why are they constantly attacking us?
"Because they realise that organised labour is a very powerful force."
And Morning Star editor Richard Bagley hit back at Labour leader Ed Miliband's "ludicrous" attack on trade unions as he attempted to shield himself from Mr McCluskey's broadside over Labour support for a public-sector pay freeze.
"Trade unions are representative of a much wider group of people and it's wrong to denounce them as special interest groups," he said.
He indicated the massive potential for the newspaper and in developing the arguments beyond its current readership, adding: "The stakes are really too high for us to fail."
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