You only live once
WORKERS, JAN 2006 ISSUE
Dignity at birth. Dignity in infancy, childhood, youth. Dignity at work. Dignity if needing support or in trouble. Dignity in retirement. You only live once. Might as well live a dignified existence on earth and earn good wages and pensions. And spare a thought for each other to be really dignified.
Think what we could do if our dignity were not so often under attack. Think how relieved we would be if there were no estate agents, landowners, or employers screwing us down. Think how much better it would be if politicians disappeared. We could run things in a dignified manner.
How can we be dignified in Britain when our elected spokesman Blair kills, maims and mistreats workers at home and abroad? He is but a cipher of our weakness, which allows him to act like a president. Rather than telling foreigners like Bush what to do, he – like them – is entirely dominated by the lust for profit.
A lot of people would like to replace Tony and Gordon with their own undignified leaders who want to change Parliament in their favour. The indignity of social democracy returns. We have resurrection and repeat of past mistakes. Biggest mistake workers have made? Creating a Labour Party to play with parliament.
Ego of course is very undignified. Individual ambitions mean nothing. Dignity and self esteem only really come about because of the collective. I help you, you help me. Now we are talking about real dignity.
To have a leader of Britain so opposed to workers at home and throughout the world is an embarrassment. Blair plays the "sheriff of Nottingham" to eastern European entrants to the EU, seeking to get those stifled by EU trade rules into even more debt. He seeks to squash British unions, break the country up into competing tribal factions, and undo the dignity of industry, agriculture, state education, free health services, and jobs in public service. He is neither worse nor better than the Tories. They all represent something else, a foreign body in our midst.
He seeks to destroy Britain as a nation and take us into decadence with 24-hour drinking and American casinos. He has become a flag of convenience for the rest of world capitalism, as Thatcher did in her time – only with more success. The pathetic thing is he cannot outdo China and the US. He cannot outdo British workers either. That is his Achilles heel and ours.
We don't need a new Labour character, parliamentary party or representation committee to repeat the near fatal mistakes of 100 years ago. That we are beginning to act un-dignified is a matter only we can address. Do the business where you work and in your union.
We need to establish class power.