Friday, 5 July 2013

Labour and the Unions.

Let's take these figures at face value: Trades union membership is rising, even in the private sector and union Barons are trusted more than business leaders. That's perhaps not surprising in the slowest most anaemic recovery on record, one in which jobs are only being created on declining take-home pay. Lower productivity means more jobs, but on lower wages. People's living standards are falling and have been for longer than at any time in recent history. It does not follow that every Union member wants class war. One third of them vote Tory!.


Despite the headline numbers, It still means the Unions are a massive problem for Labour. Over half the electorate remember the 1970s and what untrammelled union power did for the country. There are obvious parallels with the Tories' polling on Europe: The electorate agree with broad Euroscepticism, without being fully convinced with the need to pull out. Europe is still a toxic issue for the Tories.

Unite is the Party's biggest donor, the Unions are responsible for the clearly inadequate Ed Miliband being picked over his much more competent, better looking, less weird and probably better hung older brother. The Unions are trying, openly to get as many of their people into the Parliamentary party as possible, and they're block-buying labour memberships to achieve this end, whenever there's a seat up for grabs. This is what happened in Falkirk.

And here's what they want:
The key policies we want to see trade union activists within the Labour Party fight for at every level are quite simple. It’s about giving workers the right to collectively struggle to change their conditions. We want to shift the balance in the party away from middle-class academics and professionals towards people who’ve actually represented workers and fought the boss. At the parliamentary level the key fight is against the anti-union laws. We have to restore the right to take solidarity action and strike effectively.
They are after a return to class-based politics:
We want a firmly class-based and left-wing general election campaign in 2015. We’ve got to say that Labour is the party of and for workers, not for neo-liberals, bankers, and the free market. That might alienate some people, but that’s tough. Labour has to be a working-class party — a party for workers, pensioners, unemployed workers, single parents, the whole class.
They're absolutely right "that might alienate some people". That is Labour's problem. Their backers, with whom they have an absolutely symbiotic relationship, on whom they are entirely financially dependent, and who have the whip hand not only over the money, but apparently the party membership too, are intent on dragging the Labour party towards a position: representing a shrinking traditional working class, benefits recipients and those paid to farm them and those people alone.

This is a recipe for annihilation in England outside the Northern cities. It's a platform which has seen Labour fail, and fail again. It's only when Tony Blair realised the country (or at least the electorate) was broadly "middle class" that they won three elections on the trot.

Unite are about to put the Labour party out of power for a Generation. And I for one am delighted.



3 comments:

Anonymous said...

I think you're wrong about one this. Ed will be the better hung. Call it God's little joke.

bilbaoboy said...

Must admit, the thought of Labour making itself unelectable, again, cheered me up no end.

The inability of the union people (and their upper middle-class 'owebee' supporters even if they have down wiv the yoof accents) to understand that their world is now a minority one, and shrinking, is fast becoming a joke.

Red Len actually hardly represents anybody, even within his own organisation.

Must be hard to realise you are practically irrelevant.

Anonymous said...

I'm always a bit surprised that Tories are so shocked when some on the Left advocate redistributing some wealth and power to the less well off in society.

Tories always have and always will fight exclusively and relentlessly for the richer and more powerful sections of society. Bankers creamed off millions for themselves, brought the world's economy to its knees, and have been completely untouched.

The drive for austerity (patent economic nonsense) has transparently been an excuse to attack the living standards of the poorer sections of society.

Why on earth shouldn't the Left fight for those who are less fortunate and privileged?

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