IN a statement on Friday, the day after the general election disaster for reformism, the TUC General Secretary Frances O’Grady showed just what a puny force the trade union bureaucracy is trying to turn the powerful UK trade unions into.
She said: ‘We have to hope that David Cameron’s pledge to govern as a one nation Prime Minister will be his first major U-turn, for his campaign and manifesto were anything but.’
She is suggesting that the working class should live on absurd hopes that the Tory vandals will stop being just that. There is not even a hint of the reality that has presented itself, where the trade unions must take massive action to survive.
After parading her absurd hope she added: ‘His proposals on trade union law are so draconian that they would make legal strikes close to impossible. This puts him far to the right of almost every mainstream party in advanced democracies, and is likely to leave many of his more thoughtful backbenchers uneasy at a time when living standards are still running well below pre-crash levels. He will face an unprecedented campaign from Britain’s unions against this attack on the basic rights of people at work.’
Not content with her hopes, she invents a would-be alliance between the TUC and Cameron’s ‘more thoughtful backbenchers’. These are figments of her overheated imagination that are to take the place of strike action, which she opposes.
In fact, she was instrumental in removing from the agenda of last September’s TUC Congress the resolution carried, in two previous years, that Congress should study the practicalities of organising a general strike in the UK.
Right at the time when the policy should have been carried and a general strike organised she placed her hopes in the reformists of the Labour Party and her allies amongst the alleged ranks of intelligent Tory backbenchers!!!
Unite in Scotland is the only other union organisation to put out a statement on the election result, thus far. The statement reads: ‘Pat Rafferty, leader of the biggest union in Scotland, Unite, said: “‘It is time for change in the Scottish Labour Party. That is the overwhelming, unambiguous message from Scotland’s people, including its trade union members, on Thursday.
‘“Indeed, it is past time for change. Labour in Scotland has been bleeding support and credibility for years.
‘“The Party has now less than a year to put this right before the Holyrood elections . . . To expect trade unions to campaign for a business-as-usual Scottish Labour in those elections is to ask for the impossible.’”
As Rafferty admits it is ‘past time for change’. Labour is down to one seat! His solution is to threaten a strike, after the horse has bolted, without calling for a change of policy.
He however claims: ‘Unite has warned against the course being followed by the Party and has, alas, been proved right.’
However, as is well known, the Unite leadership around McCluskey has been the chief source of finances and political support for the Labour Party over many years, and was in a position to fight the developing debacle in Scotland and the refusal to fight austerity throughout the UK.
Some Unite leaders may have issued a few warnings, to protect their flanks so to speak behind the scenes, but they didn’t dilute, reduce or stop the millions of pounds going to the Labour reformists, which would have made a big difference, in forcing a change of policy and leadership.
Also, there was a huge delegation from Unite at last September’s TUC Congress, when it agreed to dump the resolution to discuss the practicalities for calling a general strike instead of moving forward to call it!
The Unite delegation helped to completely disarm the movement. The trade union leaders were party to the great betrayal carried out by Miliband over support for massive austerity to balance the bosses and bankers’ books.
The trade union leaders should resign along with Miliband and others! In fact they must be made to resign, since the workers are now facing a massive Tory assault that can only be dealt with by a general strike to bring them down to go forward to a workers government and socialism!