Thursday, August 05, 2010
In the past month, while the contributors to this debate have been writing their pieces, a real movement against cuts has shown its first signs of life. Around the country, anti-cuts committees have been set up, often on the auspices of the local trades Council or a Unison branch. These committees are just beginning to find their feet, to produce bulletins, to plan demonstrations, street stalls and public meetings. At their best, they will be alliances of local worker and community activists, determined to work together to take effective action to force back cuts.
As is so often the case, the activity of the real movement has run ahead of its theorists. But what does that movement consist of so far? In what ways does the changing structure of the public-sector workforce determine the needs of that movement? What does it need to grow, and win?
Richard’s introductory essay is an excellent contribution; particularly as an analysis of the ideological dimensions of the crisis. But as I attempt to answer these questions, in the interests of productive debate, I’m going to focus on a few areas of disagreement and differing emphasis. First, though, we need to raise a few new issues...