Forgive me, but I thought it was the ‘Labour’ party

Just a quick comment on the furore surrounding the potential strike by tanker drivers, and the government’s response on this…

Seems to me that they have deliberately kicked sand in the air on this one in order to distract from the more serious news about shenanigans surrounding Tory party funding and access to the Prime Minister. By ramping up the pressure by telling people to keep their tanks topped up and jerry cans full, they have caused panic buying. But, more insidiously, they have tried to put the Labour party on the back foot by taunting them about the funds they receive from Unison – the union who represent the tanker drivers.

On the radio last night a Labour minister was challenged on this, and asked whether Labour supported the strike. The minister stumbled and bottled it, and generally got himself in a right muddle.

I think there was an opportunity missed here. What I think people needed to hear was this: that the Labour party was founded to represent working people, and if the tanker drivers have a genuine case against employers who are trying to deny them fair pay and conditions then they have every right to take industrial action. The banner on the official Labour site says ‘With You in Tough Times’ – but I’m not sure we heard that yesterday. No one wants a strike, but for the Labour party to back away from industrial action appears to be a total denial of its founding principles – that of giving a voice to the workers, to balance out the power of the employers.

It’s this sort of political fudging – where everyone is trying to be everything to everyone, where everyone races to the middle – that means that a) nothing actually gets done because the energy created by political difference does not exist and b) everyone gets fed up and disillusioned with politics, because it is so obviously about getting into power, rather than working to bring to bear your core beliefs.


One response to “Forgive me, but I thought it was the ‘Labour’ party”

  1. Good to hear from the other side of the pond on this one. Not sure if you have been following politics in the USA but we seem to be having the exact opposite problem. Instead of everyone running to the Middle, everyone is running away from the middle, leaving us with no common ground between the two parties and often and legislation is opposed purely on party lines and therefore nothing happens.