In my opinion we need to realise that the RMT is not going to stay on board TUSC without an indication we can recruit other unions. How do we win them? In my opinion there is zero prospect of any more joining until we establish a decent track record when it comes to elections. The reluctance is understandable. Unless TUSC has a relatively clear idea how to at least challenge for winning seats, then our only role will be to help the greater evil get elected. And, as far as our potential voters are concerned, the greater evil is the Tories and/or Lib Dems and/or UKIP etc.
TUSC has to prove there is more to us than splitting the anti-Tory vote. Under first past the post, we are at a massive disadvantage. We know we cannot form a majority government for a very long time. However, the electoral propaganda of some TUSC members makes me think they disagree. I don’t believe they are helping TUSC. If we want to climb out of the margins of politics, TUSC must give hope to our potential voters. Hope that maybe in three decades time we might form a majority TUSC government is not going to pile on those votes. That is to dismiss ourselves as an irrelevance in the here and now.
Capitalism has entered a new phase and it looks to me like it is drowning in an ocean of debt. None of us are going to get out of this without massive struggle. The alternatives are looking increasingly like socialism or barbarism again. That’s how it’s beginning to look in one country after another: back to the 1930s?
Short of a majority government TUSC can do quite a lot and we need to emphasise this. We need to explain what we can do in order to shatter the smears of those who dismiss us as an irrelevance. What TUSC can do is change the political climate within which the class struggle takes place. We can do this, not necessarily by winning seats. Substantially stretching our vote towards the tipping point where we do begin to win seats is a victory in its own right.
Our immediate aim in my opinion has to be to consistently score between five and ten percent of the votes cast. That will save deposits. And it grants us representation in PR elections: Holyrood, European Parliament etc…
Such successes mean we become players, just like the Lib Dems, Greens, UKIP. The class struggle is dependant in significant part on the access the exploited and oppressed have to the ideas of extra-parliamentary struggle. We have to legitimise every struggle against oppression and exploitation. Ed Miliband wants to rein all that in as an irritant in his One Nation Britain bullshit. But these are ideas that can fly. Promote them and we can facilitate a relatively rapid haemorrhaging of votes from Labour to TUSC. And, in the process, we can detach the best of Owen Jones contingent from Labour to TUSC. And that, in turn undermines any alternative pole of attraction to us. And that IS something worth fighting for.
The strategy I propose is not about winning Owen Jones or anyone else as an individual. It is a strategic approach towards the Labour left. It is about looking at the big picture. It is about making the best use of all the pieces we have left on the board, making sacrifices when necessary, deploying our troops effectively. And as we are successful doing all this, we pile on the votes. And we will create the conditions for TUSC’s contingent in each and every trade union to win affiliation from Ed Miliband’s One Nation Tory party to the Trade Union and Socialist Coalition.