Saturday, June 04, 2011

UNISON Labour What?

UNISON Labour Link should be to the fore of the mind of UNISON activists as the biennial elections for half of the National Committee are now upon us.

Of course that may not be the case. Many UNISON members are not even aware that we are affiliated to the Labour Party, since the fact of this affiliation is as embarrassing to our leadership sometimes as it was to New Labour.

After all, we had thirteen years of a (supposedly) Labour Government which took privatisation to places the Tories had never dreamed of, whilst UNISON's affiliation to the Party in Government seemed to leave us devoid of influence.

UNISON Labour Link has been the most consistently inadequate part of our national trade union, if you judge it by what it has achieved for our members (if you judge it by what it has achieved for the Labour leadership you might arrive at a different conclusion of course).

Socialist UNISON members in the Labour Party certainly need to organise to ensure that we stand candidates in these elections, as we cannot continue to have members of a national UNISON Committee who think that the interests of the Party leadership come first.

UNISON Labour Link needs to be used to press for UNISON policies in the Labour Party (whether in Government or Opposition). I respect those who want to build an alternative to the Labour Party, whilst looking forward to the time when they realise that won't happen.

We need UNISON's voice to the Labour Party to be articulated by those who want to be forceful in the name of our members - not those who want to be Members of Parliament!

One thing that I am sure that the Labour Link is not meant to be for is to enable paid officials to try to develop an alternative leadership in branches under Regional supervision. I am pleased to think that I must have been misled by those who have led me to think that such a possibility exists...

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