Tuesday, April 29, 2008

A bit of politics...

There are those in our movement who think that the electoral chances of the Labour Party are more important than fighting for our members interests.

I don’t agree. I think the first job of trade unionists is to build the trade union movement as a tool we can use, as trade union members, to defend our collective interests. Political campaigning is subordinate to that.

However, for the next couple of days it is worth spending a bit of time persuading trade union members in London to use their votes on Thursday.

On the day that it is reported that Rome has elected a Mayor from the political far right, and with the threat of representation for the politics of hate in the London Assembly, we need to work to maximise the turnout on Thursday. Electoral support for the far right legitimises racism and homophobia and goes hand in hand with violent hate crime.

Although neither of the two candidates who can win the election for Mayor of London supports all of UNISON’s progressive policies – the present incumbent privatised the East London Line (in spite of trade union opposition) for example – there is nevertheless a very clear choice. We may be a long way from seeing every worker in the city earning the Mayor’s living wage – but at least we have a living wage target set by the Mayor to aim for.

With four lists, and two Mayoral candidates, to the left of Labour there’s lots more that could be said but not right now.

It’s time to get the vote out, stop the far right, and re-elect the least worst Mayor of London currently available.

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