Socialist Worker

Resist the right wing smear campaign against our trade unions

Issue No. 2378

The Tory-supporting press has declared open war on the Unite union.

The Sunday Times used its front page and two inside pages to dredge up allegations of intimidation and the Daily Mail and others followed in its wake.

It should come as no surprise that the Murdoch-owned press would rather trumpet false claims about trade unions than the genuine corruption claims against close David Cameron allies Andy Coulson and Rebekah Brooks.

But something more serious is taking place.

On the back of the defeat at Grangemouth, the bosses and their servile newspapers are trying to weaken unions further. 

They see an opportunity to ram home the advantage and encourage the idea that unions are useless and dishonest.

Politicians and commentators may talk of economic recovery, but many know that there are years of grinding attacks on workers to come—and that organised workers are an obstacle to that.

Mail columnist Max Hastings wrote recently that “The fact is that in the 21st century, all Western societies must work harder and longer for less.”

He added that anyone who “pretends we can escape the consequences of globalisation and get off the hook by loading more tax on banks and millionaires, is either a fool or a liar.”

That’s the voice of those who want profits up, workers put in their place and unions tamed.

The events at Grangemouth began with Labour attacking Unite’s Stephen Deans over the selection of the party’s candidate in Falkirk. Nothing has been proved against Deans or anybody else. 

The Unite-backed candidate has withdrawn from the contest. The trade unionists who joined the party legitimately are not to be allowed a vote on who the candidate will be. 

Both a Labour inquiry and the police have found no wrongdoing.

But none of this has stopped the made-up outrage from the press.  And when Labour figures like Jack Straw and Alistair Darling demand the issue is re-opened it feeds the frenzy.

We need stronger unions, more resistance in the workplace, and attacks on those at the top of society. 

Instead of attacking the unions, Labour should support every fightback and rage at the rich. 

Scandalously Ed Miliband and his crew show no sign of such polices. Instead of demanding a decent minimum wage, this week they came up with a plan to subsidise bosses who pay poverty wages.

The tactics of Unite’s leadership at Grangemouth encouraged the rabid dogs of the media to launch more attacks. 

We all need to stand together for organisation at work against the smears from the Tories and their supporters.


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What We Think
Tue 5 Nov 2013, 18:26 GMT
Issue No. 2378
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