I think some of your impressions of AWL are wrong.
You are right that the trade unions didn't fight throughot the Blair Brown years. But there wasn't any pressure on the TU leadership to fight. LP became a shell and most of the left rank and file trade unionists wanted nothing to do with it (e.g. Socialist Party) giving a clear field for the right wing.
As more workig-class people get back involved in politics, the movement will becme more democratic and left wing. If we can get decent left wingers into leadership positions then they may hasten this process. But the results from th previous decade are not great - the SP/SWP control PCS and it has lost every industrial dispute it has entered into.
A revival in the TU movemen will mean questions are asked about the LP. We don't know what will happen but I expect there will be a time comin when we fight the class struggle inside the LP once again.
Yes, things can move very quickly and people can become quickly radicalised.
On ideological sruggle, I think that your idea is a bit elitist - only the elite need to understand the complex ideas and th masses are only good for action. I would put it differently. Workers learn from facts, not lectures. There are any number of facts that capitalism presents to our class that can turn masses of people into socialists. Facts are particularly obvious when workers egage in struggle. Part of our task is to create that critical political culture where people can think, debate, discuss the way forward - rather than try and get people to sign up to a ready-made 3 point programme.