Tuesday, June 04, 2013

That existential moment

The government has decided to include anti-union measures into a forthcoming anti-sleaze bill. The headline measure is that third-party organisations will no longer be able to contribute more than £100,000 to political parties in the year prior to election. The bill will also get rid of self-certification (i.e. if you sign a form and pay a sub you are a union member) replacing it with a certification officer empowered to mount investigations into membership lists. In the future you may think of yourself as a trade unionist but the government man may simply disagree.

Do you till think the government is nasty but weak? This government is ruthlessly and successfully driving the organised working class from public life. Let’s be clear, the unions get piss-all from the Labour link. Why are the Tories and Lib Dems bothering with this? This government’s mission is to destroy the basis of any organised opposition, radical or social democratic, to the capitalist prerogative. If this law is passed and not challenged there will never again be a workers party in Britain.

We’re going back to the future, we are facing the same kind of existential crisis as the American organised working class faced in the '50s. American workers movement today is a complete nil. It is simply not a factor in national politics. It was destroyed, never to re-arise. Short of some dramatic turnaround, probably resulting from outside events, the same fate awaits us. No fight back, just a long, miserable decline. Whither a revitalised left?

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