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Socialist Case for Exit

Link to this page: https://www.socialistparty.org.uk/issue/900/22728

From The Socialist newspaper, 4 May 2016

Ex-TUC chief lines up with David Cameron

Sir Brendan Barber, former general secretary of the TUC, photo by Paul Mattsson

Sir Brendan Barber, former general secretary of the TUC, photo by Paul Mattsson   (Click to enlarge)

Glenn Kelly

Brendan Barber, former leader of the Trade Union Congress (TUC), has co-authored an article with David Cameron backing the European Union (EU).

Even when he was general secretary of the TUC, Barber never inspired any confidence as a workers' leader. He came across more like a middle manager who saw the TUC's role as arbitrator between its own members and the bosses it was meant to be fighting.

When it came to the EU, Barber - like many at the TUC - long ago abandoned the idea that workers could fight and beat the bosses. So instead he bows at the altar of the anti-worker EU bosses' club, and prays for a few crumbs from the table.

While some other union leaders have wrongly come out in support of the EU, what none have done so far is openly join up with the Tories. Barber's joint Guardian piece with Cameron has disgusted many trade unionists.

Cameron is a prime minister with the vowed intention of smashing union members' rights through the Trade Union Bill. A prime minister who has already cut over a million public sector jobs, with the promise of a million more. And here we have a former trade union leader openly collaborating with him.

What now appears to be emerging is that - far from conducting a fighting campaign to defeat the Trade Union Bill - a number of union leaders were willing to do a deal with the Tories.

Rescue

They have come to Cameron's rescue over the EU referendum in return for a couple of concessions on the bill - clauses that even Tory Lords didn't want.

The message these so-called workers' leaders are sending to the Tories is criminal. All the bosses have to do is threaten the unions' funding - and these 'leaders' will come running.

The Socialist Party campaigns for fighting, democratic trade unions based on workers' struggle, not backroom deals with the bosses.

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In The Socialist 4 May 2016:


Socialist Party news and analysis

Livingstone suspension: 'Slow coup' against Corbyn.

Bring down the Tories: organise to fight austerity

Doctors and teachers lead buoyant London march

Political censorship used against TUSC candidates

Ex-TUC chief lines up with David Cameron

2 in 5 fear rent trap

Aston Villa owners threaten 500 jobs

TTIP tip-off

Them & Us


1926 general strike

1926 general strike: when workers tasted power


Hillsborough

Hillsborough verdict - a magnificent testimony to courage and fortitude


NUS conference

National Union of Students conference: mood to fight education cuts must be turned into determined action


Socialist Party workplace news

Solidarity with junior doctors: TUC call a national demonstration now!

Museum strike solid

Usdaw conference shifts left and demands "backbone" from the union

Civil service: fighting the pay freeze

Library assistants strike against unviable shift patterns

Society of Radiographers conference: "We may be small but we are going to fight back!"

Workplace news in brief


International socialist news and analysis

Eyewitness account of France protests: build a general strike movement!

Ireland: Campaigners celebrate suspension of water charges


Socialist Party comments and reviews

Letters


 

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