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The Labour Party Illusion and Socialism Ed Miliband’s speech to the TUC in September 2013 indicated that there would be no departure from the neoliberal politics and economics that have dominated the country since 1979. Frances O’Grady, General Secretary of the TUC, on the other hand indicated that this is precisely what is needed. In May 2014, along with Peter Mandelson, Ed Balls attended the Bilderberg Group meeting; the gathering of notorious anti socialist neoliberals. In June 2014 unions and workers’ organisations planned some of the most extensive strikes and demonstrations so far against the assault on workers and all things public. In May 2014 it was clear that the majority of people in Britain wanted a referendum on EU membership. The Labour Party did not. In preparation for an election victory that will require a continuation of the onslaught on pay, jobs, professionalism, pensions and workers’ rights, the Labour Party wants to distance itself in advance from its main future source of opposition – the trade unions. The trade unions have 6.5 million members representing the interests of 26 million workers. It is not, however, the relationship between the Labour Party and the trade unions that should be the focus of all attention, it is the relationship between labour and capital and their relative strengths. How can power for labour, the source of all wealth, be achieved so that the wealth of the country is used to benefit people not profit? The richest thousand or so billionaires in Britain have more annual turnover than the government. The One Nation vision of nineteenth century Toryism that Labour is seeking to re-establish, some hundred and more years after its death, has the benefit of arguing against Scottish and Welsh independence, but the disadvantage of supporting the removal of national sovereignty by remaining enthralled by the European Union and the United States. It has the advantage of not wanting to rush to war against
Syria, not wanting the break-up of Royal Mail and the NHS and disliking the bedroom tax and zero hours contracts, but the disadvantage of not being able to do much about these things. The Labour Party’s limited vision of managing capitalism through various permutations of tax and spend will not relieve the pressures on workers, nor remove the exploitative social relations which generate the wealth of capital. Indeed this approach is dangerous as it fails to appreciate that capitalism has profoundly changed. Capitalism has Ended the Post War Consensus Capitalism has taken the extreme approach of ending the post war consensus whereby all parties agreed that full employment, public services, collective bargaining, trade union rights, controls on capital, and independent decision making through Parliament were essential to running a national economy. Capitalism today led by the banks and the EU and US will not let parliament return to any previous time in history. Our dilemma is that we cannot return to post war social democracy and 1970s trade unionism. The old ways of protest and Parliamentary opposition are over. Obsolete trade union tactics are simply laughed at by the employers and the City of London. Download the full pamphlet Contact for printed copies to distribute
This pamphlet was written before the 2014 Labour Party Conference. Nothing has changed.
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