Someone claiming to be Alex White says Labour mustn't support strikes because the party needs the support of the electorate not trade unionists (http://labourlist.org/2011/11/labour-backed-strikes-not-in-my-name/).
In an analysis that my "O" level politics teacher would have returned with a lot of red ink this unfortunately ill-informed blogger says that unions are out of date and need the Party more than it needs them (a view from which the Party Treasurer might dissent perhaps?)
However the conclusion of this second rate opinion piece is truly breathtaking, and is as follows; "Like it or not, this coalition was voted in. They have a mandate. Do the unions speak for the electorate? Of course not. When they do, will the last person to leave Britain please turn out the lights?"
To get so many things wrong in so few words is quite an achievement. Neither the Tory nor Lib Dem manifestos justify the assertion that the Government has any sort of mandate for its cash grab on our affordable and reasonable pension schemes. (By this logic the Opposition ought not to oppose but should simply wait for the next election).
As for whether or not unions speak for "the electorate" - I think it is important to remember that people don't come to life only at election time in order to comprise "the electorate". In between time we live as workers, consumers (even bloggers!)
For the great majority of us who have to work if we are to pay our bills (the group which we "old fashioned" socialists sometimes describe as the working class), the trade unions very much exist to express our interests. UNISON speaks up for the public services that comprise the social wage upon which working people depend, not only for the pay and conditions of our members.
Rather than echoing Murdoch's Sun in 1992 ("will the last person to leave Britain please turn out the lights?"), this dismal Blairite blogger would be better advised to lie down in a darkened room so they can get over their shock at working people standing up for our rights. (Or prepare to join a picket line and get the political education they have so far missed out on!)
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