Arguing for a blanket repeal of the Anti-Trade Union Laws is the wrong strategy. We don’t even have the support of all trade union members here; many wouldn’t want a return to the closed shop or going back to the days of a show of hands to determine strike action. How exactly would that be achieved with today’s fractured and dispersed industrial composition.
Breaking the law in order to change it only works when sufficient numbers are involved – by the way Omar, it’s a Tory government we’re now dealing with. As for having the moral high ground on the BA dispute; the courts don’t make decisions on moral grounds they do so on points of law - or at least that’s the way the law is supposed to operate; I imagine the law makers believe that any law they pass is by definition morally fit for use.
BASSA and Unite did have massive support for its actions both against BA and the Anti-Trade Union laws. And, we won some important victories at the High Court. However, these judgements weren’t given on moral grounds; no, we won because we left little or no room for BA’s lawyers to introduce spurious and frivolous breaches of the law as cause for action; because there was no room for the judge to misinterpret our balloting procedures.
There is a sense out there, propagated by some of the more revolutionary minded amongst us, that the British working class is ready to rise against the injustices that have rained down on them for the past 20 or 30 years. I don’t feel a sense of this at all. ‘The Cut’s are spoken of in terms of the catalyst by which the revolution will take form.
In some ways I wish this was true; but, in reality I look around me and despair of the Left. The Left is as fragmented and full of ideological splits as ever it was. There is no cohesion in our ranks; we’re disparate groups fighting for control of an ever shrinking Left base. Until we can get our act together we’re destined to scribble away in the margins of politics while the pages are written by others.