Wednesday, May 09, 2012

The worst of times

Ken Livingstone got one thing massively right in his moving concession speech on Friday night. These are the worst of times.



Here at the front line of the implementation of Coalition Government cuts we face redundancies, privatisation and attacks on trade union time off - and this from a Labour Council such as those whose election we (rightly) celebrate (http://www.unison.org.uk/news/news_view.asp?did=7749).



In more than twenty years as an elected union branch official I have not known such constant and unremitting pain. I'm glad that our Party made gains in the local elections. However, our trade unions desperately need to find the means to assert some meaningful influence over the Party, as we consistently failed to when it was in Government. It's also important that we don't lose sight of the independence of our trade union from our employers, since we do occasionally have disputes with Labour Councils.



This raises the question of leadership of our trade unions - and it's not too late to chase up UNISON members to vote in the important elections for the Service Group Executives (http://unisonunitedleft.blogspot.co.uk/2012/04/vote-for-candidates-of-left-in-unison.html). UNISON badly needs more independently minded members of its ruling bodies who will be prepared to assert lay leadership.

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