Thursday, October 14, 2010

How do we fight the cuts?

Having had an earlier post on this subject not so much savaged by a dead sheep as somewhat criticised by a seriously unwell little lamb ( I think it worth returning to the important question of how we need to fight cuts in public services.

The key is local activism, mobilising and learning from workers on the ground and from our communities who are the users of our services.

Trade union branches must be central to this campaigning - and have a vital role to build up our own membership and organisation through this struggle - yet we must avoid trying to dominate the alliances we must make.

We need to approach community campaigners with solidarity and humility. UNISON in London needs to learn from the errors made by the office in its approach to London Citizens for example.

We need however to approach politicians with caution and relate to them on our terms and not theirs.

This applies both to Labour Councillors (and MPs) (including those union activists whose first loyalty is to their Labour Party positions rather than our members) who may want us to fight ConDem cuts whilst swallowing those proposed by Labour politicians, and to revolutionaries who have already worked out for us what we should be doing. Workers need, IMHO, guidance from neither source. I have confidence in ordinary members of our Union far more than in any politicians.

(For those of us with Labour employers it goes without saying that this caution about politicians also applies - with bells on! - to Opposition Councillors!)

The essence of resisting cuts is - as the SERTUC Regional Secretary said to the embarrasingly inquorate UNISON Greater London Regional Council earlier today - the sort of campaigning that saved jobs in Lambeth's One O'Clock Clubs this summer. We need campaigns which unite workers and service users and pile effective pressure on decision-makers.

I look forward to guidance from the Union at Regional level which will educate our activists at local level about how we could be doing even better.

In the mean time we'll just keep fighting.

Sent using BlackBerry® from Orange

1 comment:

Steven McCaw said...

I think the cuts are great news! I hope they really hurt. Perhaps it will wake some of the sheeple off their couches and to actually realise that politics does interest them, and does affect them. The more pain the better. Perhaps they may even question what happened to the country they used to have sovereignty over, or why we pay so many billions to the EU, or who the unions actualy stand up for. The sooner they realise they are simply a reource and that nothing is going to be done to protect them the better!

The elites, bankers and multinationals have far too much power. At least the French are taking a stand! Maybe one day the people of this country will stand up too and demand their country be returned to them, and dispose of the corrupt LIbLabCon party and their single vision for who owns and rules our people!

Happy days, roll on the cuts!