Sunday, 15 August 2010

No Time for Complacency

At this stage in the GSD elections I wouldn’t write off any of the candidates; and, if the Left fights with itself we could leave the door wide open for Bayliss to stroll through. What the Left cannot afford is a split in its vote.

The reason we conducted a hustings last September was because we wanted one candidate to stand for and represent the Left of the union. This didn’t happen; and, I won’t bother to bore people on this to death with another re-run of that day.

However, having a single Left candidate would have been preferable. But, since we now have two we must fight the harder to ensure the candidate with the mandate of the UL, Len McCluskey wins; and, dismissing Bayliss as ‘unelectable’ is a complacency we can’t afford.

On the Labour Party leadership I agree; we, trade union members, should have the right to expect any candidate we promote to give us assurances on scrap those parts of the anti-trade union laws we want repealed.

We need also to be specific what we mean by repealing the anti-trade union laws. Because, there are parts of those laws that we won’t get changed, such as the re-establishing of the closed shops and show of hands ballots in canteens and carparks; which allow Labour MPs a get-out when we call for repeal – David Milliband used these examples for not supporting repeal at the Labour Leadership Hustings held by Unite a few weeks ago.

So, let’s not use catch-all phrases that allow MPs a get-out. Let’s tell them what we want; the right to strike without fear of losing our jobs; the right to secondary picketing; simpler balloting procedures; to make it more difficult for employers to use, often spurious and frivolous, technicalities to stymie action decided on by legitimate ballots; to force employers to furnish unions with true and accurate employee records when legitimate ballots are called.

Because, these are reasonable and achievable targets; yet, no matter how reasonable they are we’re not going to succeed under a Tory regime. Yet there are those in our number who appear to be calling for these measures to implemented now. The BASSA dispute is ongoing; and, McCluskey is showing good leadership. However, even a BASSA victory will not bring about a change in Tory culture.

We are living with uncertainty over our economic future. That is, working people and those of us who depend on public services are looking at a perilous existence. Personally, I’m looking at losing a care package that has enhanced my quality of life over the past four or so years.

It could be that with no improvement in my physical wellbeing; nor any change in my care needs that I’ll nonetheless be deemed capable of doing things I couldn’t do a few seconds before someone in Social Services brings down the axe – I’m not actually blaming the Care Manager of my Local Authority; executing these cuts will not be easy for them.

Finally, I hope Omar and our Comrades in BASSA are reinstated in the near future; I hope BASSA prevails over the bully boy Willy Walsh; I pray, which for an atheist can pose problems, that this ConDem Junta implodes; and, that the whole venture is thrown into disarray in the very near future. But, if it’s not let’s get ready to fight the cuts.

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