Men fight and lose the battle, and the thing that they fought for comes about in spite of their defeat, and when it comes turns out not to be what they meant, and other men have to fight for what they meant under another name. (William Morris - A Dream of John Ball)

Thursday, November 16, 2006

Another Queen's Speech is Possible...

The Queen’s Speech was a bit of a disappointment – so short it would fit on one page of Labour Left Briefing (though I think they’ll have better stuff to put on it) – it offered nothing to the trade unions.

While Blair was praising his (now?) chosen successor, Gordon Brown, Brown’s opponent John McDonnell MP has published an alternative Queen’s Speech  It sets out what a genuine Labour Government would be doing (which would happily coincide with the policy priorities of my trade union, UNISON). The alternative speech deals with a host of issues of importance to trade unionists – it includes;

An Equalities Bill which would protect LGBT people from discrimination in the provision of goods and services and remove age discrimination from the minimum wage (both UNISON policies).

A Housing Bill which would give local authorities the fourth option to improve public sector housing whilst retaining both ownership and management of the housing stock – in line with the policies of UNISON, the TUC and the Labour Party.

An Education Bill which would abolish tuition fees and Academies – again in line with UNISON policies.

An NHS Reform Bill which would abolish foundation status and bring services, including NHS Logistics, back in-house. These too are UNISON policies.

A Trade Union Freedom Bill in line with the policies of the unions and the TUC.

A stronger Corporate Manslaughter Bill as promised at Warwick – but not delivered.

There is plenty more and it is all good stuff – it is worth reading in full.

Trade unionists need to be debating these alternative proposals, which reflect our policies, and considering how to promote them. None of these proposals were in the programme for the Government which is supported by the present Cabinet. Maybe that’s why there is no news release welcoming the Queen’s Speech even on the website of the TUC. (At least, not as I write this…)


Anonymous said...


Let's be clear, this year's Queen's Speech was simply a nod to conformity and tradition rather than setting political agenda. While the PM wants to be seen to be putting bold policy in place, the reality is that the next prime minister will just create another fresh, headline-grabbing programme of authority-stamping spin.

It was Tony Blair's final effort to influence how he will be remembered; a desperate attempt to re-write history. But the death knell on his legacy has officially tolled, where no amount of legislation will distract from the stark reality; that he will always be remembered for taking this country to war, based on the premiss of a lie, and the irony that his foreign policy and allegiance with a Bush administration was the ultimate weapon of mass destruction."

Captain Sensible, Leader of The Blah! Party

Adele R said...

UNISON policy sounds alright. You've got a good union there!!

Adele R said...

You've actually got a good Gen Sec as well. After seeing him in action opposing privatisation at conference I wouldn't be so sure that he'll back AJ for deputy leader.