Tuesday, March 23, 2010

The End of New Labour?

At last night's meeting of my employer's "Cabinet" (which I am enough of a dinosaur still to think of as the Policy and Resources Committee minus the opposition) Councillors were careful to declare when they had an interest in any matter under discussion. The point of which is that we should be aware of any personal interests which might influence the judgement or conduct of elected Members.

Because I was there (to support a colleague addressing the meeting about Unison's plans to avert privatisation of some of our members' jobs) I wasn't watching telly and missed Dispatches (http://www.channel4.com/programmes/dispatches/#synopsis) which showed how some former Cabinet Ministers were allegedly less punctilious than our local politicians when it came to seeking personal advantage from public office.

The sordid end of the dregs of the Blair faction in Parliament inevitably raises a smile - but this will only be the "end of New Labour" which Colin Burgon welcomed yesterday if we can replace it with something else.

There's no point in simply slotting trade unionists into seats vacated by those now leaving to spend more time with their money.

Unison's recent experiences (http://news.scotsman.com/breaking-news/Livingston-MP-Jim-Devine-charged.6046759.jp) show that that can be less than successful (http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/scotland/edinburgh_and_east/8582248.stm).

To rescue the Labour Party - and defend our public services and the interests of working people - requires a strategic alliance between the trade unions and the Parliamentary and constituency left to shift the Party in the direction of the working class.

Unison's leadership - which could and should be at the centre of this alliance - will remain instead an obstacle to political progress as long as it gives such energetic priority to attacks upon leftwing activists in our own ranks.

Sent using BlackBerry® from Orange

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

No Jon,
Its not the end of New Labour, its the end of Labour