Wednesday, May 01, 2013

Vote Labour

There are no local elections tomorrow where I live or where I work, but in much of England a minority of the electorate will cast votes for local Councillors.

The option which ought to be open to us is to vote Labour. Working people need a political voice and that is what the Labour Party was created to be.

It's not much of that right now of course, and hasn't been for some time. The key problem is not so much the infestation of Blairite careerists from "Progress" - it's more the consistent inability of the trade unions to use our influence effectively.

My own trade union has a risible approach of backing anyone in a Parliamentary selection if they are members of our Union.

Given that UNISON members in Parliament delivered a bigger majority for Foundation Hospitals - against UNISON policy - than the Government could then command in the Commons as a whole, it is clear that the current approach of the big unions to the Labour Party is almost the exact opposite of that which you would adopt if you sought real influence and power.

Nevertheless, the trade unions could still one day seek to do real and useful political work on behalf of our members. Labour retains the potential to be a party of and for working people. Particularly if we shifted the leadership of our trade unions we might then have a Party worthy of support.

No credible electoral alternative exists or is in prospect for working people. As mind-bendingly impossible as it may seem that we should be able to turn the Labour Party into a vehicle for socialist politics, this prospect is less remote (by an order of magnitude) than the abiding fantasy that some other, better, Party can be built to the left.

Vote Labour.

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