Friday, 17 July 2015

Are Labour and the trade unions heading for disaster?

The news that Jeremy Corbyn "on course" to win the Labour Party leadership election does not bode well for the future. The left have put Labour in this position once before, back in 1983 with Michael foot and a manifesto that was once described as "the longest political suicide note in history".

The result was the consolidation of Thatcherism until Tony Blair came along and made the Labour Party electable again.

Meanwhile the miners were defeated, the unions were pushed back, privatisation became the disaster that we all knew it would be.

The left never learn.

And never grow up.

In order to change things Labour actually has to be in power. If they want to keep their ideological purity intact and never compromise then they are welcome to join the likes of the SWP standing on street corners failing to sell newspapers to passers by for an eternity.

The attacks on trade union rights are a threat to the very survival of the unions as an effective voice for their members.

Trouble is this is going to be a tough sell.

The arguments about regulated levels of support for strikes are supported by a large, if not a majority of the public. Small turnouts in votes are something the unions have failed to address and as was pointed out to me in a discussion on Face Book, comparing the turnouts to MP's election results will not was.

The reasons given? There are multiple candidates (or choices) in parliamentary elections, not just a straight choice between yes and no. And it won't be long before attention will turn to the voting figures in internal union elections. Lets face it they are abysmal.

In PCS barely one in ten vote and the elections were cancelled this year, something the government couldn't get away with.

Participation in the unions is very low. Activists dominate and whether they like it or do put members off. I never forget a comment from a few years back by a woman who I persuaded to try and become a rep went to her local Branch Executive committee and came back saying that they'd have her selling Socialist Worker if they could. She quit.

The far-left use many unions and their structures as a private playground for their failure to get anywhere on their own two feet. PCS is a prime example of this.

Someone asked me how I was finding my new union Prospect this afternoon. I said it was fine. I didn't have to look out for what the latest atrocity committed by the leadership was. Prospect is run by normal, mainstream union people. I'm happy with that.

Prospect sends out messages that tackle the issues that effect it's members and is not used for exhortations to the barricades at every opportunity.

Only when the unions are reclaimed by the real members that belong to them will they move forward. The barrier is and always be the comrades who just want to "fight this, fight that" and affiliate to every barmy cause that garners their opportunist attention every so often.

If you want to support things like the totally misnamed Stop the War Coalition then join it. Don't commit the union to it.

Union members have political opinions that go right across the political spectrum. Most members treat their union as an insurance policy.

No desire for "general strikes" or revolution.

Just fair play.

The "comrades" don't see it that way. They just use the unions for their own benefit.

Meanwhile the Labour Party lurches to political irrelevance under Jeremy Corbyn who has more than quite dodgy views on some issues.

I ceased being a "socialist" years ago. It doesn't work and the proof of that is not just in the clear historical failure of every attempt to introduce it, but is clear to anyone who watches the comrades at play. Given any kind of power they would become authoritarian dictators.

The lessons of the purges and the gulags have never been learnt.

They just pretend things would have been different under Trotsky, ignoring his role in the demise of democracy in the Soviet Union. Trotsky opened the gulags not uncle Joe. Trotsky developed the methodology that suppressed opposition. He just lost out to a smarter operator. Stalin.

The left fails because they are themselves incapable of rationality and reason which is why they have always never been able to co-exist in one organisation. They will never change.

In order to gain power Labour must be a broad democratic coalition.

Corbyn along with McCluskey are a barrier to progress.

It really is time for change or only the right will benefit.

I fear the ideological cul-de-sac of the socialist left will always hold both Labour and the unions back.

Is anyone up to the challenge to change this?

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