TONY Woodley, the Unite joint general secretary, has stepped into the row over the demand for a Labour Party leadership debate and a leadership election, by announcing yesterday that one would not be taking place.
He meant that the still considerable trade union bloc vote at the forthcoming Labour Party conference will be used to maintain Brown as Prime Minister, along with all of the vicious anti-working class policies that Woodley and his fellow members of the TUC General Council say that they detest, yet refuse to fight.
At the just-finished TUC Congress, Woodley and his allies were shouting loud for a motion that called for a day of action against Labour’s wage-cutting pay offers in the public sector, but when the POA trade union put forward an amendment to insert the word ‘strike’ between ‘day of’ and ‘action’, he and the General Council of the TUC opposed it.
Further, when the amendment appeared to be carried on a show of hands, twice, and would have been carried on a card vote, if the Unite card vote was used in the way its delegation had voted, the card was somehow mislaid. Unite abstained, and the General Council and the Brown government breathed again!
This incident tells you all you need to know about the politics of Tony Woodley and the General Council of the TUC!
Now the same trade union bureaucracy is set to keep any debate or division over the role of the Brown leadership, and whether it should be removed, out of the Labour Party conference.
The essence of this situation is that the trade union leaders are opposed to their members taking mass and general strike actions against the Brown government, since these would threaten capitalism, but are in favour of keeping Brown in office until he allows the Tories to return, to carry on where Blair and Brown leave off.
In fact, the demoralised trade union bureaucracy is already resigned to having the Tories back, and sections of it have been having discussions with the Tory Party and Tory officials over the issues that they will be able to collaborate on, with any future Tory government.
News Line urges John MacDonnell and other socialist Labour MPs to raise the issue of the Labour leadership and the policies of the Brown government boldly at the Labour Party conference and to insist that the only way to keep the Tories out is to dump the Brown and Blair policies and leaders and to carry out socialist policies to defend workers from the growing capitalist crisis.
Some of the most obvious socialist policies are to nationalise the energy companies; to agree to wage rises in the public sector that, at least equal the real rate of inflation; to ban the closure of District General Hospitals and the imposition of Polyclinics; not to allow a single worker having his or her home repossessed by the banks; and to organise a national plan to build millions of council homes.
For the trade unions the most important issue is to remove the current cringing reformist leaderships and replace them with revolutionary leaderships prepared to use the huge strength of the working class to bring down capitalist governments in order to go forward to socialism.
The truth of the matter is that the rapidly deepening crisis of capitalism is acutely sharpening the class struggle all over the world.
The central issue posed by the crisis is which class is going to bear its burden.
The bankers and the capitalists, and their political servants in the Tory Party and in new Labour are determined that it is the working class and the middle class that will have to carry the burden of the crisis.
The working class must be at least as determined that this out-of-date capitalist system, with its out-of-date ruling class and its out-of-date survival-of-the-fittest outlook will be consigned to a museum by a socialist revolution.
A conscious revolutionary party is required to lead this struggle to expropriate the bosses and the bankers and to bring in socialism.
This party is the WRP, the British section of the International Committee of the Fourth International.
Join it today to build the socialist future.