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Author Topic: The Consciousness that is emerging  (Read 1548 times)


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The Consciousness that is emerging
« on: April 07, 2011, 10:57:41 pm »

The Consciousness that is emerging is that it is the workers that must constitute themselves as the opposition

Workers' Weekly Health Group


Unison Health Service Group Conference 2011:

The Consciousness that is emerging is that it is the workers that must constitute themselves as the opposition

This years Unison Health Service Group Conference comes only just over a week after the mass action in London when over 500,000 people took part in the TUC march for the alternative. Delegates were rightly proud that 120,000 Unison members took part in the march and this was reflected in an upbeat and militant mood in the debates at the conference.

In the forefront of this mood was that the trade union movement had at last found its feet again and Dave Prentis once again repeated his call at the conference and in the rally outside the Conference centre that the issue for the workers now was not to stand still but to march on. He also stated that in the future the union would only support politicians that took a stand with the union and that the union would defend its members with all its resources at its disposal. He congratulated the union on playing the leading role in fighting to defend the NHS and said that this was the deciding factor in bringing Ed Miliband and even Norman Tebbit into opposition to the Con Dem health bill.

If there is a consciousness emerging from this building opposition of the workers it is that the working class movement in the form of the trade unions have to play the leading role otherwise the whole society is going to be consumed by the havoc that the pay the rich system is wreaking on the public services and the wider economy. The Consciousness that is emerging is that it is the workers that must constitute themselves as the opposition.

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Labour Party does not present itself as any alternative

It was quite noticeable particular among the younger delegates, but also among many of the seasoned union activists that they do not believe that Labour present any alternative to the ConDem government. This view was further confirmed when John Healey Shadow health Minister addressed the Unison Health Group conference on Tuesday April 5th.

There was vigorous applause from selected delegates for the penetrating questions as to what Labour health policy would be. However, there was no applause for the evasive answers which almost all carried the caveat that the answer depended on what the situation would be in 4 years time and therefore he could not answer the question, or answered in the most vague manner. This was even greater confirmation, if confirmation was needed that not only does the Labour party present no alternative but that they have no plans to even fight back, or any conception that the government may fall at the hands of the workers before its full term.

All the Minister presented was five points to change, but not stop, the Health bill. He feebly defended the record of New labour on health, which drew derision at one point from the delegates, when he highlighted the creation of NHS Trusts as a shining achievement of new Labour! He criticised the health bill, not for opening the NHS up to the private sector which he said the Labour Party agreed with but because it unleashed the “full force” of the market. Of course this is line with their theme all along in Parliament that Condems can achieve the same aim for the rich with less opposition if only they don't cut “to deep and too fast”. Also, quite telling was that Labour's opposition to GP commissioning did not extend to ending the commissioning provider split. An aberration that the Labour Party had introduced when in Government to create a very costly market in health care which he admitted had already led to the privatisation of 1 in 20 services before the Condems came to power.

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