Thursday, September 05, 2013

Don't let's shoot ourselves in the foot!

Those of us who believe that an institutional link between trade unions and the Labour Party, founded upon collective affiliation, is essential to the health of our democracy face numerous challenges and opposition on all sides.

Trade union affiliation is the rock upon which the Labour Party is founded as a voice for, by and of the organised working class, the only force capable of leading and achieving fundamental social change.

As well as those who want to rescue Labour from this embarrassing heritage and make it safe for SPADs from Oxbridge, there are those in the trade unions so frustrated by events that they want to give up on party politics.

The suggestion from UNITE's Scottish Committee that the largest affiliate should boycott Party Conference ( amounts to a considered plan to shoot ourselves in both feet at once.

By comparison, the decision of the GMB Executive to reduce it's affiliation to the Party ( seems almost skillful.

Since the GMB's delegation to this year's Conference will already have been set, based upon it's current affiliation, and since delegations to a Special Labour Party Conference mirror those at the previous Annual Conference, this is plainly a negotiating position.

However, those who want to dissolve the relationship between the unions and the Party into a relationship between atomised individuals and a political elite will clearly seize upon this tactic to make their own dishonest case.

Their case is dishonest because they don't admit their true goal, which is to secure adequate state funding to permit the perpetuation of our party system into a future in which mass membership parties wither away because they cease to offer us a meaningful choice.

Trade unionists need to rally to the cause of defending our right to a collective political voice - by supporting the Tolpuddle statement to defend the link (

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Anonymous said...

GMB to e 420,000 votes at the special conference next year? But paying for 50,000. As if. top flogging a dead horse.

Anonymous said...

I seldom agree with you. But on this you are spot on. Unhelpful public posturing from affiliated unions won't help win the argument.