THE Labour party and the trade unions released a joint statement from the Warwick policy conference yesterday.
This revealed why the Prime Minister was able to leave the conference just after he had opened it.
Not only did the expected trade union revolt against Labour’s Thatcherite policies not happen, the trade union leaders just rolled over and allowed the Labour Party right wing to trample all over them.
What happened to the famous 130 demands that were to be extracted from the Brown leadership? They were just tossed into the bin. The conference would not tolerate any slackening at all in the anti-union laws, and the unions’ request to be allowed to take secondary action was not even considered.
Neither were the demands for free prescriptions and free school meals for primary pupils.
The policy conference treated the trade unions and the working class like dirt. There was not even an attempt to disguise the fact that it was full steam ahead for three year wage cutting deals, privatisation, and the ending of all workers final salary pension schemes.
The joint union-party statement that emerged is truly pathetic since it does not deal with a single policy.
It states: ‘The Labour Party today announced it had agreed a comprehensive policy programme looking ahead to a fourth-term Labour Government.
‘Representatives for the local Labour parties (CLPs) and trade unions joined government ministers to welcome the deal, following a three-year process of consultation and discussion. The policies will go forward to feed in to Labour’s manifesto.
‘Simon Burgess, Vice Chair of the National Policy Forum, said: “This has been a comprehensive policy process unique in British politics. We have spent three years in close conversation with the British people, the trade unions, business and voluntary organisations”. . .’ And business has won hands down.
The statement continued that ‘Tony Dubbins Chair of the Trade Union Liaison Organisation (TULO) said: “After three years of discussions, culminating in an intensive weekend of keenly debated issues, the unions are pleased to join the CLPs and ministers in welcoming a set of policies which we believe positively address this agenda for the future of the British people. We have worked together co-operatively and effectively in the finest traditions of the Labour movement”.’
Dubbins was unable to name or laud a single policy decision that had been reached.
No wonder Brown was able to quit the conference – the trade union leaders were in the bag and were determined to do nothing that would rock Brown’s boat.
Now the same union leaders will be handing millions of their members’ subscription money over to the Brown gang so that they can carry on serving the banks.
Also, by their refusal to bring down Brown they have opened up the door for the emergence of a much more right wing government in the next few weeks, one that will be specially designed to fight the working class and the trade unions.
Brown’s adherents are boasting that once their master has had his holiday he will be back waving an axe and sacking a number of cabinet members.
Brown will then move his government to the right under the propaganda banner that what is needed is a government that will serve the nation in its hour of need, and not a special group.
He has already brought in the ex–CBI boss Lord Digby Jones and Admiral West into his government, after just failing to convince Paddy Ashdown, the ex-Liberal leader to join.
Brown will reform his cabinet to the right by bringing into it Tories and Liberals all the better to wage the struggle to force the working class and the majority of the middle class to bear the whole burden of the capitalist crisis.
The working class must get ready for the big class battles that are directly ahead by removing its reformist trade union leadership, bringing in leaders who will not hesitate to bring the Brown government down to bring in a workers government and socialism.