The TUC demonstration in London on March 26th has the banner title of ‘There is an alternative’.
And there is. This should be the day we say "Defy the cuts, confront the anti union laws and follow the lead given by the students by supporting walkouts and occupations."
Jerry Hicks, who came second on a strong and uncompromising platform in the election for General Secretary the country’s biggest Trade Union ‘Unite’ said: " We deserve better from our side. Barber [Brendan] just doesn’t cut it. Last week he [Barber] said, The phoney war is over. What phoney war? What we know is that unemployment is at its highest for 17 years!"
Jerry Hicks went on to say " Ed Milliband has been propelled to Labour leader on the votes of trade unionists, which makes him the leader of the opposition, yet he goes along with cuts [just not so deep]. He supports war no matter what the cost, but would not support what he calls ‘irresponsible strikes’, insulting all those who are prepared to fight. He needs to look up the word opposition to see what it means. Maybe as trade unions we should only cough up our cash when he does right by us."
"I know who the enemy is. It was the bosses of the banks and financial institutions that caused this crisis and we, the taxpayers bailed them out. That’s why we should not pay the price in cuts to jobs, pay, and services. Nor should we be being forced to pay more, to work longer for poorer pensions."
The Con Dem government are ‘hell bent’ on a cuts agenda, but there should be no cuts at all. The very rich and big business owes us the debt and they should be paying the price. They have failed to pay £120 billion in non-collected tax. Well collect it! Tax the banking bosses’ bonuses along with the profits of big business. End the foreign adventures; bring the troops and warplanes home.
But words alone will achieve nothing so what comes after the march is the big question. Will the TUC be like the ‘Grand Old Duke of York’ marching us to the top of the hill, simply to march back down again. If our side doesn’t get off its knees then we will be the first generation ever to hand down a worse society to the next.
The TUC and unions like my own Unite, needs to be member controlled instead of being stuffed full of appointed careerists. That’s one of the reasons I am supporting ‘Grass Roots Left’ candidates in the current unite NEC elections.
People power can, has and does change things just as when over a million people broke the law and refused to pay the Poll Tax, smashing both it and Margaret Thatcher. Throughout the Middle East and North Africa, people are risking everything to challenge old orders.
The employed and unemployed, pensioners and students, we are at a watershed moment. If we were to inspire a fraction of these millions to organise and fight, we would be unbeatable.
How are we to be judged by the children of tomorrow?