Durham Miners' Gala hears Bob Crow's call for a new party for workers
SATURDAY'S Durham Miners' Gala (13th July) was the first time in 115 years there hadn't been a Labour MP speaking from the platform said Davie Hopper, general secretary of the Durham Miners' Association.
Huge applause followed when he went on to say it was probably just as well considering recent events.
But the massive crowd gave warm support to TUSC national steering committee member Bob Crow, RMT transport union general secretary, who called for the trade union movement to work for the creation of 'a new party of labour' to challenge head on the pro-business, anti-worker agenda of the three main political parties, Tory, Labour, and the Liberal Democrats.
Speaking in advance of the Gala, Bob Crow said: "Over the past week we have seen Ed Miliband dancing to the tune of Tony Blair and the rest of the New Labour conspirators as he seeks to hack away at the last remaining shreds of influence held by those who created the party that he leads, the trade unions.
"If others want to stick around and be insulted by those whose only interest is our money and not our ideas then that's a matter for them, for the rest, there is a whole world of opportunity outside the constraints of the Labour Party and the RMT would urge them to embrace it and join us in this new political project.
"RMT was expelled from the Labour Party almost a decade ago and in that time we have actually increased our political influence as we have had the freedom to back candidates and parties who demonstrate clear support for this trade union and its policies.
"If others now join us after the contempt that they have been shown by Ed Miliband then together we have a world to win.
"This is a moment of huge opportunity for all those sick and tired of Labour's embrace of pro-business, pro-EU, neo-liberal policies and we should seize it with both hands.
"While this rotten Con-Dem government seeks to impose punitive charges on anyone seeking justice at an Employment Tribunal from this summer the Labour Party have said nothing.
"The whole programme of Labour now is to try and sneak into government by default on the basis of a manifesto that could trade under the title 'Carry on Cutting'.
"Our job is not to prop up the political class behind this racket, our job is to sweep it away.
"With the latest assault by Labour on the unions the time is right to start building an alternative political party that speaks for working people and the working class communities that find themselves under the most brutal attack from cuts and austerity in a generation.
"Clinging to the wreckage of a Labour Party that didn't lift a finger to repeal the anti-union laws despite thirteen years in power is a complete waste of time. The time for an alternative party of labour is now".
Bob's call follows the recent decision of the RMT's annual conference to re-affirm the union's participation in the Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition (see http://www.tusc.org.uk/16803/06-07-2013/rmt-conference-re-affirms-union-support-for-tusc ) as the first step in the long-term task of building independent working class political representation.