Few things in British politics were as ludicrous as the outcry in the press and from Tory/ Lib-Dem coalition ministers against the trade unions’ role in electing Ed Miliband.
And few things are as poisonous.
The trade unions, the labour movement, must not — they try to insist — organise and act to secure effective working-class representation in Parliament.
The response of the coalition and their media in effect says that when the unions begin to act that way — and what they have done to elect Ed Miliband is, of course, still a long way from doing it properly — they are entirely out of order.
The truth is that when the labour movement has no party of its own, then the working-class vote in general elections is massively devalued, neutralised, and reduced to little more than a token by the entrenched power of the bourgeoisie, in society and in the bourgeois political parties.
The banks and the stock-jobbers have their own parties — in the first place, the Tory Party. When things get serious they also have the Lib-Dem party.
Under Blair and Brown they also had the Labour Party. The New Labour government was shameless in its belly-crawling to the rich — to the bourgeoisie.
The British people won’t vote for a Labour Party that declares “New Labour” dead! The press and the coalition parties will see to that!
Their idiotic branding of Ed Miliband as “Red Ed” is part of that.
The labour movement should stand up to the witch-hunt and defend the trade unions’ right to ensure that their members’ votes count for something.
The unions and the Labour Party should not run before the press on this. They should boldly assert the right of the working class and its institutions to work for working-class interests in Parliament.
The unions have every right to participate in the Labour Party. And from our point of view, they have every right to reclaim and reorganise the Labour Party which they founded a hundred years ago.
Their role in the election of Ed Miliband is, we hope, a small down-payment on them doing that.