If you think this is bad Mark, things can get alot worse…..
People who caution Mark Serwotka to stay quiet on the eve of an election forget one fundamental thing; Serwotka doesn’t care about the Labour Party and its electoral fortunes are of no concern to him. One can reasonably argue that the same may not be true for his members who, should Serwotka’s remarks find their fruition in the election of a Conservative government, will have a chance to experience the difference first-hand. As I have said before; nothing obliges union leaders to subordinate themselves to Labour’s electoral health but you get the feeling in Serwotka’s case the attack was deliberately timed to do as much damage as possible.
Serwotka told the NUT:
“I have to say to you this, that if you judge a government by how it behaves as an employer, this is the worst government in the history of this country,” he said.
“I tell you why. Not because I have any illusions that David Cameron is going to be better, he’s going to be dreadful, but the facts speak for themselves.”
He went onto say:
“I can tell you absolutely that even though I worked on the frontline under the governments of Margaret Thatcher and John Major, all of our members tell us there has never been a worse time to be a civil servant than under the current Government.”
Serwotka recognises a Conservative government will be ‘dreadful’ yet can only solve this problem by calling for united strike action. In other words, he has no *political* answers to those listening on the conference floor so, his grandstanding ends up meaning little more than cheap propaganda points for the Daily Mail, Telegraph etc. He may well be familiar with the term ‘useful idiot’ given his politics; that is what he has made himself. The problem for Labour is that Serwotka’s words are more damaging as a poison demoralising our core vote. Also, the problem is that they speak to a truth that the relationship between the unions and Labour is no longer strictly speaking healthy, in fact, it’s actually borderline abusive.
Many people would not advocate the things I do nor go as far as I would like; however, there has to be a recognition even from those who feel themselves on the ‘right’ of the party that the balance has shifted to the point where it is actually now very one-sided. This is not healthy for the Party and it’s something that will have to change; for example, on the unions we are no longer even prepared to stand up for the tenants of basic democracy. Fissuers in the relationship between labour and the unions cannot be allowed to become fault-lines. They have to be healed; for the electoral health of the Party in both the short and the long-term.