Monday, January 26, 2015

The Greek elections and UK trade unions

http://touchstoneblog.org.uk/2015/01/could-the-greeks-bring-us-gifts-this-sunday/

The General Secretary of the Trades Union Congress (no less) posted the blog post to which I link above early last week in anticipation of what has now come to pass, Syriza's decisive election victory.

I'm not in Greece, nor am I an expert commentator on Greek politics, but - like any trade union activist in the UK - I welcome the rejection of austerity by the Greek people. The Greek decision seems to expose the really fundamental dividing line in global politics today (which the campaigning around TTIP also illuminates). That is the dividing line between democracy on the one hand and the interests of capital on the other.

‎Frances O'Grady rightly focuses upon the importance of our showing solidarity with the people of Greece at a time when Europe's financial and political elite will try to compel the Syriza Government to continue the troika's assault upon the interests of the Greek working class.

We must do all that we can to put pressure on our Government to respect the decision of the Greek people whilst at the same time seeking to draw relevant lessons from the Greek experience in the urgent discussion which we must have with our members about the political action we should take to promote our interests.

It would be overly simplistic (and Anglo-centric) to try to "read across" from Syriza's triumph (and the collapse of PASOK) to draw electoral conclusions for May 2015 - but the emergence of a Government of the anti-austerity left, which stands neither in the tradition of social democracy nor in the tradition of Leninism, does suggest that we all have some rethinking to do.

"Business as usual" for the leadership of the Labour Party and the trade unions no longer exists.

Sent from my BlackBerry 10 smartphone on the EE network.

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