For at least the second year running delegates to the Trade Union Congress Annual Conference were faced with the shrill calls by a phalanx of members from the Socialist Party hiding behind the banner of the National Shop Stewards Movement calling for a 24 hour general strike.
The comrades had started their day in a small room and heard the same old recycled speeches of Bob Crow, RMT General Secretary and Janice Godrich President of PCS droning on about the need for workers to break with the Labour Party, bring down the Tories with a general strike, blah, blah, blah.
The Socialist reports (in all seriousness) that:
The hundreds of trade union activists who attended the National Shop Stewards Network (NSSN) rally and lobby of the TUC on Sunday will have left certain that the boiling anger at the tsunami of austerity is pointing towards an autumn of important battles.
Along with this is an ever-growing call for the TUC to name the date for a 24-hour general strike.
"The NSSN rally", said PCS president Janice Godrich, "has become a regular event at the TUC, setting the tone and a fighting agenda to turn words into action this year".
Janice finished by saying: "If we are going to send a message to the government, we need action on a scale not seen before".
Talk about overstating their case. People are not happy about the austerity programme and everyone is struggling to make ends meet but I hear no "tsunami" of anger amongst ordinary trade union members, even in the PCS union that Janice claims to speak on behalf of.
PCS has already had to bring its' own dispute to a halt due to both declining support from members with ever decreasing turnouts and a failure to achieve any of its declared aims.
Over the summer members of the PCS National Executive Committee have been going around the country speaking to local Branch Executives asking how the dispute can be continued. At no stage did occur to the comrades to ask if members actually wanted to continue or more to the point resurrect a dead dispute.
Its almost certain the Socialist Party and their lickspittles in the Left Unity alliance will be looking for more strikes in the autumn as Madame Godrich's speech indicates. In which case I have to ask why go to all the expense and trouble of an exercise of which the outcome is already decided?
PCS has hired a private company to collate the results of the questions that were put to us at these consultations. Can't wait for the outcome.
In the meantime the Socialist Party continues:
Those in the leadership of the TUC who have opposed the demand of many of last year's TUC delegates for a 24-hour general strike have offered the prospect of an elected Labour government as a way out. But who can wait in the face of these cuts and what will change if Labour is committed to austerity of its own?
This year the TUC has decided that "those unions who wish to may organise co-ordinated strike action. In other words PCS, the NUT and maybe a couple of others. Most unions will be sitting this one out as will the Government who can afford to at this juncture.
Yet with the winds clearly not blowing in their direction The Socialist concludes:
In every contribution the demand for the TUC to provide leadership and act boldly was raised. Opening the rally Linda Taaffe said: "A 24-hour coordinated strike is the clearest way to send a message to the government.
"It's no good waiting for Labour. The NSSN calls on the TUC and the trade unions to build a mighty force that can force Cameron to retreat.
Bob Crow received a standing ovation for his call " to start after leaving here to organise a general strike, let's put a date down and go out and do it!"
Sometimes I wonder what planet these people live on. Seriously I really do.
And their last words are:
Organised from below, growing pressure on the tops of the TUC, allied to those unions taking action, can lay the basis for an historic step forward in the months ahead.
Bloody hell they're invoking history now.
Does anyone remember their constant calls for the Nationalisation of the top 100 monopolies they constantly called for in their previous incarnation as the Militant Tendency.
This repetitious slogan is it's replacement.
Get real comrades. Take off your blinkers, put the outdated quasi-religious Marxist nonsense to one side, wake up and smell the coffee.
A 24 hour general strike isn't going to happen. Period.
So stop boring all and sundry with this nonsense and leave trade union work to the adults.