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(en) Freedom 6402 25 Jan, 2003 - Labour's friend

From Worker <a-infos-en@ainfos.ca>
Date Sun, 2 Feb 2003 09:00:42 -0500 (EST)

      A - I N F O S  N E W S  S E R V I C E

Gilchrist has managed to turn a straightforward 
industrial dispute into a political one. As there isn't the 
remotest possibility of the FBU bringing down the 
government, that leaves two explanations for his 
motivation. He really is a Scargillite, and wants to lead 
his members to a similar heroic defeat. Or he's a loyal 
Labour Party member, and as such is fighting a 
rearguard action against moves to disaffiliate the FBU 
from the party. Given that other unions would certainly 
follow, and that union bureaucrats are, with one single 
exception, all loyal party members, this would account 
for the vocal support Gilchrist has had from Monks, 
Prentice and other rightwingers.
I tend to think the second explanation is more credible. 
The Labour Party's Campaign Group and its allies from 
the 57 varieties of Trotskyism are frightened of nothing 
more than the party's collapse. For all their talk of a 
new 'mass party of the left', the realistic ones know that 
the left is highly sectarian and nobody in it wants to 
work with anyone else. The reason things turned out 
different in Scotland is because Militant really were so 
much bigger than anyone else, and had some success in 
certain areas at building a real base. They were also 
prepared to allow factions within their pet Scottish 
Socialist Party.
There's no chance of anything like that happening in 
England or Wales. So, despite it being explicitly hostile 
to the working class, there really is no other show on 
the road for the left besides New Labour. Of course, 
this makes fighting within the unions for an end to the 
Labour Party link even more crucial.
Martin H.

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