The working class and socialist left of UK have been long waiting for the trade unions to end their support to New Labour in and its current stands.
Why should the trade unions ditch New Labour?
When Ed Miliband was elected as the leader of Labour Party, media proclaimed him “Ed the Red”. The younger Miliband won the leadership election mainly on support from trade unions. Without this crucial support, it was impossible for Ed to defeat his powerful, charismatic elder brother David. In return, the trade unions hoped Ed Miliband would take New Labour back to its “old” Labour past.
But soon Miliband showed his real colour and clearly established that he is nothing but loyal follower of Blair’s New Labour philosophies.
Ed Miliband for past few years has been desperately trying to alienate himself and the Labour party from trade unions. Couple of years ago Miliband, like a parrot, repeatedly commented strikes were wrong when unions were fighting for their rights. Recently he was “incredibly angry” on selection of trade union’s candidate for Falkirk.
Per Miliband, the unions should not have any say and should be completely alienated from Labour party affairs. This is exactly what Blair initiated and established as “New Labour” in his re-wording clause IV of Labour constitution.
A mere comparison of old vs. current versions of clause IV will clearly show why the trade unions and working class should find the distance between themselves and New Labour.
Workers are nowhere in current clause IV! It now looks forward for the “enterprise of the market” to “produce wealth”!
Is this image any good for Labour? Let us examine:
- Per Labour’s own website, the party was created as a “result of many years of hard effort by working people, trade unionists and socialists, united by the goal of changing the British Parliament to represent the interests of everybody.” Nothing more to say here!
- The party could – at least at its present state – boast support and possible votes from the biggest group of working people in the UK (TUC with 54 affiliated unions claim it represents 6.2 million working people). Why should Labour estrange it’s own supporters and well-wishers?
- Last but not least, is the loss of financial boost received by Labour from those very trade unions Miliband is trying to get rid of.
Thus by history, current affiliations and financial support, Labour owes trade unions a lot. If Ed Miliband wants to alienate from the trade unions and workers, he should first change the very name of his party!
Why is Miliband trying to change the nature of Labour’s funding? This query unearths real crux of the matter. Of course Labour wants the money – but it wants to collect the funds directly from individuals and not via the trade unions. In effect, Miliband wants to silence the collective voices of working class.
Because, if the funds are individually obtained, collective voice of working class do not have any power; it cannot question (New) Labour and it’s not-so-labour-ideologies /policies it currently stands for. This is exactly what Thatcher wanted; this is exactly what any of the capitalistic parties and private corporate across world aspire to establish. Crush the collective voice of the working class.
Next question; why does the corporate, media and most of leading political parties fear – and hate – trade unions? Answer is in above paragraph; simply because, the trade unions amplify the collective voice of working class.
Now you can see that why this is an existential fight for the working class.
So, the question to TUs is why should they support a party which wants only their money, but not the TUs themselves?
The trade unions have two options:
- Fight back, kick out its capitalistic Blairite leaders and re-claim the party to realign what it was originally established for.
- Ditch Labour and form a new political party which will stand for the working class.
Both options have their own advantages and dis-advantages. Once started, the cleaning process will bring disastrous outcomes for first-few-years. But the right decision will prove itself correct in the long run.