Friday, 19 March 2010

Why its wrong to blame the Unions




With the recent furore over the BA air crews upcoming strike in the news recently,I've been hearing a lot of the usual guff about them "having too much power, or bank rolling the Labour party". And I've been hearing this for quite a few years. Just take a look at the BBC Have your say on this topic.


This has always struck me as an odd comment to make, not least because its not actually true. But lets assume it is true that the Unions in Britain have a large amount of power, why exactly shouldn't it be the case? in a democracy or at least one that actually works in the real world its is the largest faction that determines the political discourse. and what body has the largest active membership in our Nation? well its either the Anglican church and then only in England (it almost doesn't exist in the Celtic regions) or the Trade Union movement. They far outstrip the memberships of all political parties combined.

Which brings me to my second point, the Right wings stressing of the Unions support of the Labour party. In fact those of you who watched Question Time yesterday will have heard panellists Shadow health minister Andrew Lansley, and the Second rate Simon Schama David Starkey waste several minutes making and reiterating this point. To which I have to say Durr. The Labour party was set up by Trade Unions to represent British Labour. The whole point of the Labour Party is to represent the Working Class and others who were victimised by British Capital.

And another thing related to this, if a Trade Union doesn't like what the Labour party is doing and they no longer wish to be apart of it, then they can leave if they so chose, which is what the Fire Brigades Union, and the Rail and Maritime Transport Union have chosen to do.

One particular stick the Tories are fond of using when the issue of a strike comes up is to accuse Labour of putting sectional interests before the nation. In fact if I remember correctly Lansley polished that old chestnut last night. This argument in general is absurd for a number of reasons, one being where Industrial Action is concerned all sides are sectional, there is either the employee or the employer, that's the reason there's a strike because the two sides cannot reconcile there differences; therefore the Conservatives are just as guilty of "sectional favouritism". Its like how for some reason Progressive taxation policies regardless of whole minuscule are always "class war" whereas regressive taxation such as tax breaks for the rich no matter how large for some reason aren't (for further expansion on this subject please see this).

For those who would like more information on the ongoing issues surronding the Strike and BA I recommend the Blog Air Strike

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