Ed Miliband walking in Thatcher's footsteps

4th August 2013

Miliband walking in Thatcher's footsteps? Don't just take our word for it.

UNISON has analysed documents released from the national archive and has found that in 1982 Thatcher and her advisers were looking at making 'reforms' to the link between trade unions and the Labour Party that were eerily similar to those that Miliband will present at his proposed special conference next year.

UNISON calls for a campaign to defend the link and defeat these proposals at the conference. They've done this without publicly defending UNITE against Miliband's vicious attacks and reporting to the police. 

But Miliband has revealed his absolute contempt for trade unions, referring to our 6-7 million members and their families as a 'narrow, sectional interest'. Not for some time have trade unions and the Labour Party been seen as complimentary partners in a combined labour and trade union movement. Instead, the Labour leadership views unions as little more than a source of income.

That contempt will be shown even more in the run up to Labour's special conference, as egged on by the Tory press to show independence from trade unions, the Labour leadership's attacks on trade unions are likely to increase. 

The best answer to Labour's attacks on trade unions would be for unions, like UNISON, to break the link with Labour themselves rather than waiting passively for Labour to neuter their waning influence in the party. With the pace of cuts, destruction of our NHS, declining living standards all increasing, trade unionists need a political voice to represent working class people more than ever. The £millions that would no longer be squandered on a Labour Party that does not represent our interests should not be absorbed back into union funds but instead used to fund a political alternative to act in our interests.

If UNISON, or another major union, was to join with the RMT in affiliating to the Trade Unionist & Socialist Coalition (TUSC), it would transform the political situation completely and present millions of disenfranchised trade unionists and working class people with a real alternative.
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