Sunday, September 27, 2009

Congratulations to UNISON Labour Link

As I head out in the sunshine to join the happy crowd of trade unionists here to welcome our Party in Government to the Conference at which it makes plans to win the next General Election I remember the wisdom of the UNISON Labour Link Committee in 2007. I recall the Chair saying that; “We need an election-winning team to face down the Conservatives.” And that “Despite policy differences, Gordon can win an election for Labour.”

How wise we were as trade unions not to lift a finger to encourage MPs to have a contest for Labour Leader in 2007 - ensuring that the Parliamentary Labour Party stayed on message and gave its overwhelming endorsement to our own Dear Leader. How prescient were our leaders in realising that solid support for Gordon would be repaid by his adoption of so much of our policy agenda.

Imagine if our leaders had been so foolish as to show even the slightest support for the candidate of the Left at that time!

Had that happened a debate around policy issues might have pushed the Labour Party in Government back towards a broadly social democratic and left of centre political agenda - instead of the wonderfully popular mix of projected spending cuts, social authoritarianism and militarism which now seems certain to deliver a historic fourth term.

Congratulations are due not only to the Labour Link Committee but to all those General Secretaries of the big unions who have held to the "steady as she goes" political project which has delivered - and will deliver - such significant results for trade union members.

No wonder the supporters of Gordon Brown in our trade union are proud to reveal their Labour Party membership when seeking election to our National Executive Council. They have done so well.

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