Wednesday, November 29, 2006

What are we going to do now?

At the end of each episode of Spike Milligan’s Q series I seem to remember the characters approaching the camera asking “what are we going to do now?” It is a good question for trade unionists.

When even former enthusiasts for partnership between unions and employers can see the social space for this shrinking under the economic pressures of globalisation, and when the Chancellor, in whom some trade unionists place hope, urges us to evangelise this globalisation, it is increasingly clear that the unions face difficult choices.

What is our political strategy? UNISON decided in 2005 what it wanted from a third term Labour Government. Without denying the positive achievements of the Government since 1997, you have to admit that we are not currently getting what we wanted. On the contrary we are forced to confront the Government over the LGPS, the future of the health service, housing and education. That’s without even thinking about Trident, Iraq and a dozen other issues.

My personal views are pretty clear to anyone who reads even a little of this blog. I think the trade unions need to back a challenge to the current Government within the Labour Party. I know that there are those of you out there who disagree with me, so please, accept this invitation to tell me what the other strategy is. How will acquiescence in the accession of Gordon Brown advance our interests?

(Thanks to both of the John’s whose blogs inspired me to write this…)

1 comment:

NUJ 4 John said...

all we CAN do is keep the pressure on. I think it's taken a long time for people to realise Gordon really isn't going to even approximate Labour values - however more decent he may be as a human being than Blair.Alot of us, myself included , had illusions. Well now we havent because he's not talking the labour talk any more. He doiesn't need to.
So at least the union leaders can't pretend they don't know what they are getting andthat Brown will somehow morph into Old Labour.They are going to have to standup and be counted or be completely discredited. Lobby them.Lobby the MPs.Get McDonnell on that ballot paper. Don't give up!