Real Labour will be on picket lines tomorrow, not crossing them…
So, the leadership expects Labour MP’s to cross picket lines and go to work tomorrow. Nobody should be surprised at this, given the leaderships stated position of opposition to the strikes. Indeed, my only shock is that Ed Miliband has not supported David Cameron’s absurd calls for parents to cross them and run schools themselves.
In making this call, Ed Miliband and any Labour MP’s who do cross picket lines tomorrow are deliberately snubbing not just the trade unions but the thousands of Labour members who will be turning out in support of the strikes. Indeed, we could well be left with ironic scenes of Labour MP’s walking by Labour banners on the picket lines. Of course, any right thinking Labour MP should snub the leader, should not cross picket lines and they should join Labour members and the striking workers on them.
Any Labour MP who does cross a picket line should really and properly be held democratically accountable for that decision and face censure from their CLP. Today’s story is a classic example of how this leadership is, far from uniting this Party, cleaving it down the middle – setting MP against member, and itself against MP’s and the wider movement. One of my reasons for calling for this leadership to go is precisely this inability to unite this Party, its inability to think and act beyond its own deeply factional interests and provide proper representation to all sections of the movement.
It’s tempting in circumstances like this to walk away from Labour as many comrades seem to be feeling they should. Tempting, understandable and wholly for the right, principled reasons, but ultimately wrong. Now is the time to intensify the fight within the Party for democratic and socialist politics. It’s also time to recognise and remind, especially the soft Labour left, that this leadership is an absolute fetter on those politics. The soft Labour left is failing those members angry and annoyed at Ed Miliband’s actions by failing to properly represent their anger and they are as responsible for any loss in membership as the man himself. Finally, it’s imperative to remember that Miliband and any MP who crosses a picket line tomorrow do not represent Labour as a Party at all; the members who will be on the picket lines do and in setting himself and MP’s against them, Miliband has once again shown why he is unfit to lead this Party.