Tuesday, 13 September 2016

Union leaders not listening

The largest of the civil service unions PCS is to hold a rally on behalf of Jeremy Corbyn in Brighton tonight. Their long term anti-Labour Party General Secretary will be unable to attend but other comedians are billed to perform. This takes place during the annual TUC conference which brings the countries trade unions together to supposedly work out a strategy to better the lives of their members.

Speaking in Brighton, TUC General Secretary, Francis O' Grady said:

The watchword of our Campaign Plan is: “Building Back Stronger”. That’s what we must do. Building a union movement. In touch with the everyday lives of working people. Reflecting their concerns. Talking their language. Alongside them in their communities, in their workplaces, and yes, on digital too.

"Reflecting their concerns". In other words taking up those issues that really matter to ordinary members and their families. Trouble is that UNITE with it's "one man, one vote" policy being in the form of Len McCluskey  and PCS in the hands of the far-left outside the Labour Party it would seem that the leading unions are not asking what it's members want in the form of the next government.

Both UNITE (affiliated to the Labour Party) and PCS (not affiliated) are throwing their resources behind an individual who does not have the support of the vast bulk of Labour voters and that would include the majority, though not all of their members. Oh yes there are layers of TU Reps who see Corbyn as the new messiah, but there are also thousands, especially in the civil service who do not even vote Labour.

Even worse it seems the majority of the public seemingly prefer Theresa May to Corbyn by a large majority. The growth of the Labour "left" is simply bringing together the various left groupscules, professional and occasional demonstrators plus some extremely naive young and not so young together into one place. It's not going to be much use if nobody will vote for Corbyn and his dysfunctional party.

Worse some unions like the PCS haven't even asked their members whether they want to support Corbyn, let alone back a party they are not affiliated to. When I raised this recently with one of the few NEC members I am still in touch with her reply was simply (and I quote) "It was in the best interest of members". So that's that no say by the people the NEC supposedly represent.

This attitude from the activists of the not so new Corbynite type left is not new. In fact there's nowt new about the about the left at all. Socialism is always "top-down" and the individual is always secondary to the "class struggle" which is why the whole ideology is so damned authoritarian.

And always fails badly whether under Lenin and Stalin or Castro or Maduro.

The vast majority of trade union members join up because they want a better deal and protection from bad management practises. They don't become trade unionists to overthrow capitalism. Indeed many TU members vote Conservative, Liberal and UKIP amongst others. That is their democratic right.

The left however use the unions for their own benefit and this has been obvious in the PCS for years which is why so many people myself included left. I saw first hand the kind of abuse that people complain about from the Corbynistas inside the PCS union, especially on their Facebook page. When Corbyn's supporters came to the fore on social media their behaviour did not surprise me for one minute.

There are unions better led and more responsive to their members wishes such as Prospect, but these tend to be the smaller ones and don't get the recognition for their work that they deserve. The focus is usually on the big brigades led by the dogmatic and out of touch left. It's one of the reasons unions have declined, especially in the private sector.

Such a decline is not good for ordinary working people but the "Corbyn effect" is not new, it's been happening in the unions for years. Until members are able (and willing) to reclaim these necessary bodies for their own use the situation will not change. Labour is heading towards it's demise as the usual suspects and others blindly follow the Corbyn road to nowhere.

If Labour collapses who will the unions ally themselves with then? Members will not wish to support an unelectable cabal of malcontents around Momentum. 

The Labour and trade union movement is currently marching to oblivion. It will be a glorious defeat the comrades will be fantasising over for the next decade or more of Conservative government. They will attribute blame to everyone but themselves.

The left are the Tories best friends.

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