first thoughts - no life after death
WORKERS, NOVEMBER 2003 ISSUE
Two of the most significant gatherings of workers take place in the autumn. First the TUC then the Labour Party Conference. The sun shines for the TUC and the leaves fall for the Labour Party.
This year the trade union sun shone more brightly than for many years. The TUC uncoupled the trade unions from the Foreign Office, from state control of effective trade unionism and from the de-industrialising agenda of the government. It expressed independence of thinking and revealed the sharp difference between the aspirations of workers and those of capitalism and its government.
Panic set in fairly quickly as a result. Rather than building on the strength of Congress and the aspirations of workers, the arrogant so-called 'Left' decided to try and channel the newfound clarity of the workers' movement into attempting to revitalise a dying Labour Party - notwithstanding the party's support for the government, which in turn hammers the workers.
Every manner of ad hoc, provisional, interim, self appointed, transitional committee has been established to reclaim, rebuild, resuscitate, resurrect, return to, repeat, re- incarnate and rehabilitate the Labour Party as the true expression of the working class.
With only 170,000 or so members left and most of its organisation in meltdown, with constituencies and wards open to re-entryism, the Labour Party is ripe for another round of plunder by the virtuous and 'socialist'. Ironically, or perhaps fittingly, as usual the dream will star key figures rejected by their unions over a long period of time. Tomorrow's great socialist MPs are today's politely unwanted trade union has beens.
We have a dangerous and volatile new version of the old siren song developing. It says that the Labour Party must lead us to the Promised Land through unity of the 'Left' and Parliament. In effect, it says that what workers have rejected in their millions must be reinjected by those they have ejected; Old New Labour will be replaced by a new generation of New Old Labour!
Enough. This government must go and workers who reject all that Parliament stands for must step forward.