Saturday, October 01, 2016

Idiocy in Liverpool

In three decades of labour movement activism I have witnessed some truly monumental stupidity.

Last week’s Labour Party rule amendment to prohibit Labour Councillors from supporting unlawful budgets is up there in the top ten. For an opposition Party to commit its representatives irrevocably to obeying laws set by its opponents is the craven act of an eternally subaltern opposition.

Today we refuse to countenance the setting of a budget which doesn’t balance – because that would be “unlawful” – and when tomorrow a racist Government decrees that local authorities must police immigration status what then shall we do?

This is the pitiable inadequacy of a labour movement in decline. UNISON members will recognise this idiocy in the repeated refusal of the Standing Orders Committee (SOC) for our National Delegate Conference (NDC) to permit even debate of motions about how our trade union might break the law.

Now that we have failed to prevent legislation which requires unachievable ballot turnouts before we can take the national strike action which is the only way to reverse our falling living standards, our obsequious refusal to countenance illegality decrees that we shall continue to decline.

Any genuine trade unionist, any genuine socialist, knows that our job is to fight for justice and that the question of whether or not how we fight complies with laws made by our opponents is a purely tactical question.

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