Brian Coleman shows why we must reform trade union laws…..
Words simply do not exist to describe the truly loathsome nature of Brian Coleman, Boris Johnson and his coterie of hateful imps parading through London under the assumed name of the London Conservative Party. Coleman will be directly responsible should the London Fire Authority decide, as is being widely reported, to sack all of London’s 5,500 fire fighters. However, the inspiration and support for his class war attack on the unions comes direct from the Mayor’s Office. Boris Johnson has presided over a cataclysmic degeneration in industrial relations in the capital which boils down to his ‘my way or the highway’ approach to negotiations. If Coleman goes ahead with his action than Labour should on a national level stop sitting on the fence and start supporting the people it supposedly exists to represent.
Ed Miliband bears a share of the blame for what is unfolding in London; the Labour leaders now trademark equivocation has left London’s firefighters out on a limb. If he had shown courage and tenacity and offered the firefighters his support then he would have dramatically reduced Coleman and Johnson’s room for manoeuvre and exerted a great pressure on them to negotiate responsibly. He should reflect on the price of weakness come Thursday, a price he is probably to pay because it costs him nothing. If, however, he is feeling justifiably guilty then there is something he can do above and beyond supporting the sacked. He can and should promise an immediate review of all legislation affecting trade unions and an immediate repeal of those aspects which, frankly speaking, are an affront to democracy.
Brain Coleman is ably aided and abetted not just by his fellow Conservatives but by the law which allows this action to be conducted perfectly legally. It’s been great to see the Labour Twittersphere show its support to those under threat but we have to be prepared to follow our support to its logical conclusion which is to tear down allot of the legislation governing industrial disputes.
When John McDonnell tried to raise this issue the majority of the PLP mysteriously absented itself which speaks volumes about it sadly. This issue bears raising again however, because it cuts to the quick of a fundamental issue. For the right, freedom and democracy is for markets and things but for the left it should be for people. The freedom to defend yourself against such blatant injustices is one that all people should enjoy and is a pretty basic one; Labour should ensure this situation can never occur again and the only way to do this is a bonfire of the anti-union laws.