is interesting. It is unsurprising that the TUC general council blocked this motion, calling for the TUC to look at the possibility of establishing a new workers' party. It is unclear whether the motion would have gained the support of the majority of delegates, but even a handsome minority would have been embarrassing enough. But the fact that trade unionists are pressing for it is significant, particularly as the consensus among union leaders appears to be that the unions must back New Labour in its pre-election hour of need. In particular, note that the main union pressing for this debate to happen was the postal workers' union, the CWU. The CWU is still affiliated with the Labour Party, but it is currently engaged in a serious struggle
with the government over the very cuts to frontline public services that the government said it would not carry out. The CWU is balloting for national strike action, and I anticipate that they will get a big 'yes' result. The fact that there are a number of unions interested in a left-of-Labour challenge could well form the basis of some sort of electoral coalition for 2010, but I think the lesson here is that such moves will tend to come from the bottom-up and as a result of direct clashes with the Labour government. Speaking of which...
Labels: elections, new labour, postal workers, strike, trade unions