Recently on both Twitter & Facebook there has been a lot of talks about Labour leader Ed Miliband has said that strikes to defend pensions are a mistake as they will fall into the tory trap.
Well many on both Twitter & Facebook are saying that Labour is supposed to be for the working class people but how can they be wrong when workers are asked to pay more to work longer for less and that @Ed_ Miliband must lead by example after all the trade unions and members voted for him to be leader of the party.
The difficultly that Ed Miliband has is two folds:
During his leadership campaign he said that he will support the strikers. It seems that he has broken his promise to some in the Labour Party.
Secondly, as the leader of the party he has to make hard choices as the press or the media will have a field day which the coalition will really enjoy just as much as the press would on PMQs. Has brother E. Miliband made the right choice given that he did so well on the last PMQs. This is one of those moments when Ed Miliband will have to rest with his conscience and be made accountable to party conference.
He has also said that the Labour Party has lost touch with its core constituents.
But Miliband can’t square this circle when Labour’s core constituents and founding parents are organised labour – the trade unions which are striking. He seems to forget that under the Human Rights Act articles 10 -11 see below:
Article 10 Freedom of expression
1Everyone has the right to freedom of expression. This right shall include freedom to hold opinions and to receive and impart information and ideas without interference by public authority and regardless of frontiers. This Article shall not prevent States from requiring the licensing of broadcasting, television or cinema enterprises.
2 The exercise of these freedoms, since it carries with it duties and responsibilities, may be subject to such formalities, conditions, restrictions or penalties as are prescribed by law and are necessary in a democratic society, in the interests of national security, territorial integrity or public safety, for the prevention of disorder or crime, for the protection of health or morals, for the protection of the reputation or rights of others, for preventing the disclosure of information received in confidence, or for maintaining the authority and impartiality of the judiciary.
Article 11 Freedom of assembly and association
- Everyone has the right to freedom of peaceful assembly and to freedom of association with others, including the right to form and to join trade unions for the protection of his interests.
- No restrictions shall be placed on the exercise of these rights other than such as are prescribed by law and are necessary in a democratic society in the interests of national security or public safety, for the prevention of disorder or crime, for the protection of health or morals or for the protection of the rights and freedoms of others. This Article shall not prevent the imposition of lawful restrictions on the exercise of these rights by members of the armed forces, of the police or of the administration of the State.
Unions have taken the democratic decision to withdraw their labour. If Miliband doesn’t respect this, then he is tacitly condoning strike-breaking which no union member should do.
How much longer will it take before the current leadership of the Labour Party realises that, if it had stuck to its founding principles and respected its historic supporters, “new” Labour could not have been invented to serve the bankers and the Eurocrats.
Yes, Labour could have won the 2010 general election if, when it was in government and bailed out the banks, it had also have ensured that we, as taxpayers, were promised our money back – and with interest – rather than letting billions be squandered on obscene bankers’ bonuses. We are the majority shareholders, so let’s call it what it is – public ownership.
This year’s elections in May saw many previous Lib Dem voters turning to Labour. They felt betrayed by the Lib Dem leadership’s decision to join a coalition with the Tories and ditch the policies that seven million of them had voted for in the 2010 general election.
Labour gained 50 per cent more seats in England, winning 37 per cent of the poll – up from 29 per cent in the general election.
But as long as the Labour Party continues to accept the false case for public spending cuts – instead of arguing for progressive taxation, public ownership, investment in manufacturing, energy, public transport, housing etc – then it may make mid-term gains but will never be accepted as an alternative government.
As the Labour Party revives locally and engages in discussion of its future policies, it is important for the working class and peoples of Britain that the Labour Party is reclaimed for the labour movement if possible.
Workers need a voice in Parliament. After all, that’s why the unions founded it – so that labour would be represented at Westminster.
Labour needs to look at the real reasons why it is not advancing more in the face of the government’s vicious dismantling of public services and irretrievably seeking to roll back all the post-war social gains that are our welfare state.
Labour’s weakness is that it doesn’t – or can’t – offer a clear class analysis in opposition to Tory cuts.
The argument that cuts are only wrong because there are “too much, too quickly” is wrong. It’s not a macho case of boasting that “our cuts are better (but smaller) than yours.”
Labour should be saying that there’s no need to make any cuts at all because, as most of us have come to realise, we’ve got the money but it’s going to the wrong people and only boosts the scandalous profits of big business.
Miliband must ditch the bankers and the bosses and start building a class-based party.
Those unions which supported Ed Miliband to lead the party of labour should be demanding a change of policy to support their conference policies.
A much more powerful case will be made if it can do this collectively. Just as unions combine together against this government, they should stand together to strengthen the party best able to represent them and their members.
In the past three months more than 90 per cent of Labour Party donations came from the unions. Don’t those who pay the piper have the right to call the tune?
After all, they are accountable to members as to how they spend the money.
Many Labour followers on both twitter & Facebook believes that as long as many of the biggest trade unions are affiliated to the Labour Party, the potential exists to wage a broad-based, resolute fight to reclaim the party for the labour movement and using the right policies to pursue to the voters.
But this will require the unions to fight both inside and outside the Labour Party to change to policies that offer a real alternative.