Friday, 1 March 2013

UPDATED. Eastleigh By-Election: TUSC less popular than Elvis!

Whilst the main focus of the media has been on the Liberal Democrat victory and the rise of the UKIP vote in yesterdays by-election and the crisis this may cause the Prime Ministers continuing leadership of the Conservative Party, heads will also be turning in the headquarters of the RMT union this morning.

The RMT  are part of a electoral alliance known as the Trade Union & Socialist Coalition. The other organisations backing the TUSC are the Socialist Party (the remnants of the Militant Tendency) and the Socialist Workers Party, Their candidate polled a mere 62 votes last night coming behind the Beer Party (235), the Monster Raving Loony Party (163) and even the Elvis Party (72).

Clearly the working class were not impressed by the TUSC candidate Dez Proctor whose campaign fell on deaf ears. Of course the comrades are "twittering" about a "media blackout" blah, blah, but the fact remains their candidate did not connect in any way, shape or form with anyone except a handful of malcontents that probably exist in any constituency.

The RMT will now have to seriously consider whether their members money (and their time) is best spent on this fringe coalition of Marxists. Bob Crow was already on record bemoaning the so-called "media blackout" but given the problems faced by the SWP that have been covered in the press of late, the publicity could have turned toxic.

In fact the TUSC itself will have to consider whether an alliance with the SWP is damaging to its' future prospects. The Socialist Party has long been angling to get the civil service union PCS involved in its' activities. Indeed two of their main leaders are leading figures in PCS; Chris Baugh (Assistant General Secretary) and John McInally (PCS Vice President).

The PCS union has adopted a policy of "standing & supporting candidates" in parliamentary elections, but PCS members may well wonder if the use of increasingly scarce resources is wasted on such politically motivated projects. The policy is designed to benefit the far-left cults that subscribe to it rather than the members whose union has been considerably weakened under Marxist leadership in the last decade.

Although I am not a member of the Labour Party, it was founded by the unions way back when and remains the main focus for the bulk of the trade union movement as it is the only realistic option available for us as trade unionists.

The sectarians of the far left can bleat as much as they want. Their outdated and frankly dangerously authoritarian politics are no alternative. The working class remain unimpressed.

The Beer Party sounds attractive enough though!

I'll 'ave a pint.


Unsurprisingly the organisations behind the TUSC have remained silent today on the low level of support their candidate achieved.

The Socialist Worker website writes about the by-election without mentioning the TUSC candidate at all, but attacks the moves to the right of the voters. The SWP then call on people to attend the Unite Against Fascism conference tomorrow. For those following the current crisis in the SWP, Martin Smith is apparently "not to stand" as an officer for the UAF.

Meanwhile the Socialist Party despite updating their website fail to mention the by-election at all. Perhaps the comrades are too busy packing their bags to go to their Annual Conference in Clacton over the weekend.

The RMT Union say nothing either. By-election? What by-election?

The same could apply to the TUSC website itself. They updated today without mentioning their result either.

Licking their wounds I'd say.

Another pint?

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