|The News Line: Editorial
Wednesday, 21 September 2011
Miliband launches attack on unions and the Labour Party
LABOUR leader Miliband is planning to allow non-Labour Party members to be registered as supporters, and to vote in leadership elections, in the affiliated organisations section of the party.
This is to further weaken the trade unions who founded, built and finance the party, and constitutes an attack on the Labour Party itself.
Its bottom line is that a person who is opposed to being a member of the Labour Party can still help foist a leader onto the party that the subs-paying membership does not want, or keep a leader in office that the majority of the organised trade union membership want to get rid of.
With the depth of the capitalist crisis now just emerging, Miliband has an eye to the future and the kind of anti-working class policies that he will have to support or carry out to maintain capitalism.
At the TUC Congress, Miliband gave a hint of what was to come when he declared his solidarity with the Tories on the issue of strike action in defence of pensions.
He reiterated his opposition to the teaching trade unions strike action of last June 30th, and also condemned the proposed strike action to defend pensions to be held by the main TUC trade unions next November 30th.
That this was a stab in the back for the working class is obvious, especially since the trade unions have poured tens of millions of pounds into the coffers of the Labour Party to save it from bankruptcy.
Miliband is now preparing for the future by treating the trade unions, and the party, with the same contempt as did Blair and Brown pre-1997, when they brought in New Labour, weakened the trade union block vote, and dumped Clause Four, the clause that linked the Labour Party with nationalisation.
This was done so that they could pledge to the bosses that New Labour was ‘the party of business’ and that their government would be a businessman’s government, with massive privatisations, and a 100% worshipping of ‘globalisation’.
Miliband is now mounting a similar operation, but in a situation of massive capitalist crisis when the working class and the middle class face huge cuts, the privatisation of the NHS, the forced destruction of the Welfare State, and the replacement of benefits by ‘Big Society’ charities and their meagre hand-outs.
Blair wanted to show big business that Labour was the best representative for the ruling class.
Miliband aims to show that the concept of a ‘Labour Party’ is now out of date and has to be replaced by a ‘people’s party’, that will support making the workers pay for the crisis.
He aims to start this process by allowing non-Labour Party members to vote in leadership elections, so that people who are opposed to being members, but are critical of Tory policy, disillusioned Tories and LibDems can swamp the trade unions and be able to determine who will lead the party.
The object of this manoeuvre is to be able to carry on condemning trade union strikes, while campaigning to replace the current Tory-led coalition, with a Labour-led coalition.
That this proposed massive change in the nature of the Labour Party is being rushed through is the understatement of the year.
The proposal has just been made public and the issue is to be put to the vote next Sunday at the Labour Party conference where, no doubt, the ‘big’ trade union leaders, of Unison and Unite, will praise the move as making Labour much more acceptable to the middle class and of course the LibDems.
We urge Labour Party conference delegates to defend the trade unions and the Labour Party from this Blairite attack.
The unions must let it be known that they will break with Miliband on this issue, and use their financial and other power to throw out leaders who support Tory cuts, in favour of a leadership that will seek to bring down the coalition.
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