“But the question really for the TUC is “if not now, then when?”
The reality is, despite the incredulity of Andrew Neil and commentators at the BBC and SKY much less clued in to what is happening in the real world than he is, there will be a general strike. Or, to be precise, there’s going to be coordinated strike action across several industries. And it is going to be sanctioned by at least some of the trade union leaders. And they will do this in the full knowledge that technically they’re breaking the law.
The reason there is an inevitability about all this is because a head of steam will build up from the rank and file at some point. Maybe it won’t be as soon as some of us would like. But the state of the economy will force David Cameron’s shower of Thatcherite omnishamblers to launch a class war against the 99%, a much bigger war than anything we’ve seen so far. And there is simply no way this class war is not going to go unchallenged. The question socialists must address is not whether there can be indefinite class peace stretching into and beyond a general election expected to be several years off. The question is what is the best way for socialists to prepare for battle. We cannot do that by writing Ed Miliband a blank cheque.
Ed Miliband got booed yesterday because he wanted to be booed. You could tell from his idiotic grin that his Blairite advisors told him to insult the protestors. He revelled in his notoriety, just like Neil Kinnock did during his witchunting speech and Tony Blair during his Clause Four moment. Provoking socialists is exacly what will win him the praise of the broadcast media, and those are the people he cares about: the hirelings of Rupert Murdoch and George Entwhistle.
Ed Miliband is today indistinguisable from the Blairites he was elected to place back in the box. His One Nation propaganda is nonsense. It is the rhetoric of surrender to the 1%, to the class of parasites who suck humanity dry: surplus value vampires. Ed Miliband’s One Nation bullshit has made him flavour of the month with SKY News, the BBC and Channel Four News. It is nothing but justification for wages slaves kissing capitalist butt.
Ed Miliband surrenders more and more ground to David Cameron and Nick Clegg not because he thinks this is necessary economically. He does it because he thinks he’s got Labour’s core vote in the bag. He does not.
TUSC isn’t going to surrender, comrades. There are five by-elections on the cards. Even without the benefit of proportional representation, these can help catapult TUSC into the foreground of national politics. Labour’s opinion poll lead over the Tories and Lib Dems will make their core voters far more adventurous than is typically the case during general elections. These by-elections will make Labour voters far more willing to experiment, happier to indulge their own deep-rooted left-wing instincts. These people will want to express entirely justified unhappiness with Ed Miliband’s austerity lite. They will want to cast a vote of no-confidence in Ed Miliband’s rightwing politics, given half a chance.
All Labour Party and other socialists should work alongside TUSC to make this happen. What have you got to lose?