Link to this page: http://www.socialistparty.org.uk/issue/535/4155
I told my union: "We need a new workers' party"
THE TRADE union, Unite, recently wrote to its members "to determine your thoughts on how you think the country is being run". According to the covering letter, "the Prime Minister wants to ensure his government listens and delivers on matters that concern Unite members."
Campaign for a New Workers' Party (CNWP) supporter Colin Trousdale returned this response (right) to Unite general secretaries Derek Simpson and Tony Woodley:
Dear Derek and Tony,
With regard to your letter dated 28/4/08 with the attached survey (copy included just in case you have not actually seen it). I think the first thing you should ask Gordon Brown is why, eleven years on, the anti-trade union laws have not been repealed, then break the Labour link at the very least until this is done.
My grandfather and father, both good trade union activists and Labour supporters, must be spinning. This is not the party I remember as a child or indeed as a young man. Tony Blair has blood on his hands and no matter how fervently he throws himself into his new-found religion he will not absolve himself.
Then we have the appointment of Gordon Brown as opposed to a democratic election (shades of Jackson's AEEU), in through the back door of Number 10 which he then throws wide open to the hated Thatcher. A bigger insult to working-class people/ trade unionists I cannot imagine.
On a local level I have a "Blair Babe" champagne socialist MP, Jack Straw's former secretary, whose only political conviction was to join the Westminster gravy train; who devotes most of her column in the local paper to her and her daughters' trips to Covent Garden opera and a jaunt to La Scala.
This is whilst sanctioning the sale of Rossendale hospital (a bequest to Rossendale people from a local philanthropist) for conversion to "yuppie" flats and upgrading Rawtenstall health centre to a PFI polyclinic adding, and I quote: "There's plenty of room to extend on the fields at the back".
We need a new workers' party, one representative of working-class people by the people for the people. To this end I enclose a petition for a new workers' party. Perhaps you could petition the staff in your office and see what they think and perhaps pass a copy on to Gordon to see if any of his backbenchers might like to sign up to a workers' party.
Since I have been old enough to vote I have voted Labour at every opportunity but would very probably waste my hard-earned vote rather than vote for them in their present guise if there was no socialist alternative in place for the next general election. I await your response with anticipation.
Yours in unity,
In The Socialist 28 May 2008:
Socialist Party campaigns
Socialist Party women
Youth and crime
Socialist Party feature
International socialist analysis
Socialist Party review
Socialist Party workplace news