Thursday, 25 July 2013

Time for Union Bosses to Get Real

I haven't had much that is positive to say about Labour recently. In Ed Miliband's quarrel with Len McCluskey over candidate selection in Falkirk my instinct is to side with the latter - up to a point. What really is such a big deal about a party with socialist roots fielding a working class candidate selected primarily by working class party members? And why is the presence of a significant working class element in any constituency party automatically considered to be cause for suspicion?

And yet when the Labour leader talks of changing the rules of the relationship with the unions by asking union members who support Labour to opt in rather than expecting those who don't to opt out he is speaking so much good sense.

Perhaps as somebody who is both a trade unionist and a community activist I am biased on this question. But why is it that I am expected to pay a levy towards a party that hates me for what I am and what I do when outside work, just because I happen to be a member of a union when in wage-slave mode? We work for so many hours a day, and do other things with the remainder of our time. Are we all to be classified merely by what we do whilst selling our labour?

The time when I had a duty to support the Labour Party solely by virtue of my being an unskilled worker is very long past. I respect the right of union leaders to support the Labour Party if they so wish, but they have no right to impose their views on me.

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