Wednesday, April 22, 2015
Workers need collective action - not Clegg's promises - and that means a Labour vote
I doubt any readers of this blog would be daft enough to believe that Nick Clegg's promise to end real term pay cuts in the public sector can be relied upon any more than his promise on tuition fees five years ago.
Generally, the only sensible voting option for public sector workers in England is to vote Labour. (I'd vote Labour anywhere else too - but I'm not commenting here on politics in the other nations of the United Kingdom).
Those who see voting primarily as a means of expressing their conscience and individuality (a bit like writing poetry) can indulge themselves if voting in a constituency where the result is not in doubt.
For those of us who see voting as a form of collective action to be carried out in the interests of our class, a Labour vote (particularly in marginal seats) is a clear socialist duty - even where having to vote for the tedious reactionaries associated with the "Progress" faction.
We will not see an end to the pay freeze because Nick Clegg may (perhaps) be deputy to whoever is Prime Minister next month - only trade union action can end the pay freeze.
If we succeed in changing the Government we will be fighting the Government we have just elected within months, if not weeks - as Ed Balls austerity-lite policies are contrary to the interests of our members.
If we do not succeed in changing the Government then they will take the fight to us immediately, restricting further our right to take collective action and preparing to undermine the income and viability of our trade unions.
We will have to fight against the policies of the next Government whoever forms it, but we will start from a far worse position if David Cameron is re-elected.
It will be easier to defeat Ed Balls' pay freeze than it has been - or would be - to defeat the Tories'.
Workers must vote with our heads - and activists must do all we can to return a Labour Government.
Sent from my BlackBerry 10 smartphone on the EE network.