Join the Socialist Party Join us today!

Printable version Printable version

Facebook   Twitter

Link to this page: https://www.socialistparty.org.uk/issue/598/8270

From The Socialist newspaper, 21 October 2009

Union activists discuss pulling the plug on Labour

A RECENT special meeting of Unite's United Left (UL) in the north west discussed the question of political representation. Supporters of the Campaign for a New Workers' Party (CNWP) clearly won the argument for trade union disaffiliation from New Labour. I had ten minutes to speak for breaking the link. The person defending Labour claimed Vauxhall wouldn't have been saved if it wasn't for Peter Mandelson!

Paul Astbury

I work as a plasterer. I said that now we don't have direct labour organisations employing construction workers for local authorities, it has meant much worse conditions in the building trades. I remember what Labour was like in the past, including when socialists ran the council in Liverpool. What we have now is New Labour, a party of bankers and billionaires.

Several Socialist Party members spoke. Dave Walsh explained why the Labour Party was formed against the Liberals, who like New Labour now, claimed to represent working people but didn't.

Harry Smith said if we don't provide an alternative, then the BNP will claim to. We need a genuine working class party to oppose the far-right, as well as the bosses' parties. Another Socialist Party member explained the situation facing Steve Acheson, victimised and blacklisted by construction industry employers. He urged Unite to get behind people like Steve 100%.

"After 12 years of being kicked in the bollocks by New Labour on top of the Tories," said CNWP supporter and longstanding Unite activist Eddie Roberts, "I move for disaffiliation of Unite!"

A guy who joined the Labour Party only 12 months ago thought it was time to break the link. A senior Unite activist said: "If I saw a real alternative party going forwards, I'd join it."

I answered that we're not launching a new party now but we're campaigning for one. Unite's funds should be used to support unions like the RMT standing in the elections, and to support our members like Steve Acheson, not for supporting New Labour politicians who put people like Steve out of work.

If it had been put to the vote, we would clearly have won it for disaffiliation. Everyone said we had won the moral argument in Unite's biggest regional United Left. Other regional ULs should hold similar debates. Unite should take it to the membership and let them decide whether we keep giving millions of pounds to New Labour or pull the plug.

Donate to the Socialist Party

Coronavirus crisis - Finance appeal

The coronavirus crisis has laid bare the class character of society in numerous ways. It is making clear to many that it is the working class that keeps society running, not the CEOs of major corporations.

The results of austerity have been graphically demonstrated as public services strain to cope with the crisis.

The government has now ripped up its 'austerity' mantra and turned to policies that not long ago were denounced as socialist. But after the corona crisis, it will try to make the working class pay for it, by trying to claw back what has been given.

  • The Socialist Party's material is more vital than ever, so we can continue to report from workers who are fighting for better health and safety measures, against layoffs, for adequate staffing levels, etc.
  • Our 'fighting coronavirus workers' charter', outlines a programme to combat the virus and protect workers' living conditions.
  • When the health crisis subsides, we must be ready for the stormy events ahead and the need to arm workers' movements with a socialist programme - one which puts the health and needs of humanity before the profits of a few.
Inevitably, during the crisis we have not been able to sell the Socialist and raise funds in the ways we normally would.
We therefore urgently appeal to all our viewers to donate to our special coronavirus appeal.

Please donate here.

All payments are made through a secure server.

My donation

 

Your message: 

 


In The Socialist 21 October 2009:

Postal workers must win

Post - a battle that mass strike action can win


War and occupation

Afghanistan: Troops out!

Afghanistan - end the bloody occupation


Anti-racism

Protests at the BBC: No to the far-right, racist BNP

WDL racists chased out of town


International socialist news and analysis

Sri Lanka protest: Shut down the prison camps!

Chinaworker.info journalist refused entry into China


Socialist Party news and analysis

Tommy Sheridan - a socialist fighter on a worker's wage

Laughing all the way to the bank

Fast news


Socialist Party workplace news

FBU strike to defend fire service

Leeds bin workers fight on

Giant energy company hounds unemployed electrician

First bus drivers give bosses a 'fright'

400 jobs under threat at Leeds

Striking at London Metropolitan


Education

Primary education: Report slams government policy


Political representation

Union activists discuss pulling the plug on Labour

Conference on political representation


Socialist Party reviews

The Greatest Show on Earth: The evidence for Evolution

Hard Times by Charles Dickens, reviewed by Linda Taaffe


Marxist analysis: history

When Britain's spies backed Mussolini


 

Home   |   The Socialist 21 October 2009   |   Join the Socialist Party

Subscribe   |   Donate  




Related links:

Unite:

triangleUnite: elect fighting socialist reps

triangleFight continues for safety on London buses

triangleNo return to unsafe construction sites

triangleRolls Royce threatens 8,000 job losses

triangleWoolwich ferry - workers secure 100% furlough agreement

Labour:

triangle75th anniversary of the Attlee Labour government

triangleCapitalism and corruption go hand in hand

triangleI left Labour and want to end capitalism - join us in Socialist Party

triangleWorkers need a new mass party to defend their interests

Labour Party:

triangleSocialism Today special issue: Lessons from the Corbyn experience

triangleBlairite general secretary elected - Starmer's takeover of Labour Party consolidated

triangleLessons from the Corbyn experience

CNWP:

triangleCNWP extended steering committee meeting

Reports and campaigns

Reports and campaigns

1/7/20

Fighting Fund

Fighting Fund: Target smashed by half time

1/7/20

Equity

Equity union president elections: re-elect Maureen

1/7/20

PCS

Change in leadership needed to secure union's future

1/7/20

Black Lives Matter

BLM has not stopped - protesters flock to Socialists

1/7/20

Ken Douglas

Red flags line road for Ken

1/7/20

Leeds

Leeds City Council in danger of bankruptcy

1/7/20

Socialist

socialism2020

1/7/20

The Socialist

Selling the Socialist

1/7/20

Cardiff

Cardiff community fights nursery closure: Council must step in

1/7/20

NSSN

Come to the NSSN conference

1/7/20

Sunday trading

Sunday trading: Government blinks first

1/7/20

Equity

Equity: Solidarity with Maxine Peake

1/7/20

Tower Hamlets

Tower Hamlets council strike

1/7/20

Ministry of Justice

MoJ cleaners' covid outbreak

26/6/20

Ken Douglas

Memorial funds for Ken Douglas and Mick Cotter

triangleMore Reports and campaigns articles...


Join the Socialist Party
Subscribe to Socialist Party publications
Donate to the Socialist Party
Socialist Party Facebook page
Socialist Party on Twitter
Visit us on Youtube

LATEST POSTS

CONTACT US

Phone our national office on 020 8988 8777

Email: info@socialistparty.org.uk

Locate your nearest Socialist Party branch Text your name and postcode to 07761 818 206

Regional Socialist Party organisers:

Eastern: 079 8202 1969

East Mids: 077 3797 8057

London: 07748 534 891

North East: 078 4114 4890

North West 079 5437 6096

South West: 077 5979 6478

Southern: 078 3368 1910

Wales: 079 3539 1947

West Mids: 024 7655 5620

Yorkshire: 077 0671 0041

ABOUT US

ARCHIVE

Alphabetical listing


July 2020

June 2020

May 2020

April 2020

March 2020

February 2020

January 2020

2019

2018

2017

2016

2015

2014

2013

2012

2011

2010

2009

2008

2007

2006

2005

2004

2003

2002

2001

2000

1999