In last week’s Lincolnshire Free Press you printed a letter from Andrew McDonald on the subject of elected police commissioners. I have no quarrel with Mr McDonald on police commissioners but I would like to take issue with him on a couple of comments he made.
Just as the Conservative Party exists to run the country on behalf of the rich, so the unions founded the Labour Party in order to break the stranglehold of the rich and powerful and to give the working man a voice in Parliament, surely something to be welcomed.
As far as I’m concerned the only unsavoury thing about this is the way that the Labour Party takes union money yet does absolutely nothing for the working class.
The second point I would like to make concerns Mr McDonald’s remark that ‘unions have a blind resistance to any form of change’.
If he means a refusal to accept changes which mean their members having jobs and wages cut, their working day extended, their working lives lengthened and their pensions slashed to pay for a crisis they didn’t cause, then I would hope they would resist such changes with every weapon at their disposal.
Far from being resistant to change almost all of the important changes to the lives of working people over the past hundred years have either been instigated or supported by the trade unions.
Votes for women, the NHS, an end to racial and sexual discrimination, equal pay, sick pay, holiday pay, the minimum wage and health and safety (I’m talking about proper health and safety practices concerning workers in dangerous occupations, before it all got hijacked by the town hall jobsworth).
Resistant to change? I don’t think so! Without the massive contribution to our society by the unions we’d still be sending children into the mines and mills (if we had any left) and everyone would be working like slaves for 70 hours a week to take home a pittance, just like in the good old days.
Hang on. Isn’t that where Dave and his cronies are taking us at the moment?