Monday, September 21, 2009

Catching up after the TUC...

Regular readers of this blog (Sid and Doris Blogger) may be fearing that I fell into an alcohol induced stupor towards the end of the TUC. In fact my absence from the blogosphere can be attributed to the later-than-usual TUC running straight into some birthday parties (the sort with cakes rather than booze!) and what with branch work I have fallen behind in my blogging.

However you can now keep up to date with the hyperactive (if still sadly - if not at all mysteriously - anonymous) "UNISON Active" site - where the dishonesty of one author in relation to myself is a fine example of one of the perennial obsessions of those in the TUC who fail to understand New Labour and what it is doing to our movement.

In a report from the UNISON delegation meeting the author who can't remember their own name to put on their blog post also misremembers my contribution to debate on the CWU motion (which predictably fell last Thursday) which called for a Conference of trade unions on political representation. It is suggested by the unnamed commentator that I agreed that the purpose of such a Conference was to pave the way for a "new workers' party" or some such.

This is of course neither what I said nor what I think (but sometimes it is easier to attack someone if unburdened by honesty or accuracy!) I generally take the view that as near-impossible it may be to reclaim the Labour Party for the working class, to build something new would be an even harder task!

What interests me about this attack is not so much what it reminds us about how much weight to put on anonymous comment as that it makes the attack of choice of the leadership of our movement upon any new and innovative ideas which seek to address the crisis of representation of our class (which even they now admit to).

The Peoples' Charter got the support of the TUC - but not before many people accused it (wrongly) of simply being a stalking horse for a new political party. The admirable Trade Union Co-ordinating Group has doubled in size in its first year, but at its inception was (wrongly) accused by Derek Simpson of being a stalking horse for a new political party.

And the CWU were accused - on the floor of Congress by the General Secretary himself - of signposting the way to a new political party.

I do not want to see a new political party. If one has to come into being it will signal a great defeat which will have arisen because of the foolishness and weakness of the leadership of the Labour movement (and the ignorance of their anonymous cheerleaders).

The bogeyman of a new political party is conjured up to distract us from trying to hold to account those responsible for our inadequate intervention in the Labour Party.

The important distinction in the movement is not between those who hold Labour Party cards and those who do not - it is between those who want to see a movement that fights for its members and those who have given up.

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