What is a Hard Left Faction?
“A faction is an organised group of people within a larger group, which opposes the ideas of the larger group”. “The term hard left describes those members of a left wing political group who have the most extreme political beliefs”. So there you have it, the hard left faction in UNISON described in a nutshell, but let’s look at it in a little more detail.
What is the ideology of the hard left faction?
They would say that they want a fighting union which translates to a union that puts strike action as its first point of engagement in a dispute. Industrial action of course has a place in industrial relations and can be an effective tool in resolving a dispute and this reporter fully understands its importance, but not all the time every time.
Why do the hard left faction call for strike action so often? You would have to look no further than their political sponsors, the SWP and the Socialist Party. You will often hear them shouting for co-ordinated action or a general strike. Cutting to the chase, the purpose of this is to bring down the government, which they naively believe will enable them to take power, facilitating the introduction of the SWP and Socialist Party’s twisted version of socialism through revolution.
Reader, you may think that this sounds a little extreme, but believe me when I tell you, this is no exaggeration or falsehood. Dig deep enough into the Socialist Party and the SWP and you will soon find it, this is the politics that fuels unison action.
You will hear them shout down UNISON’s leadership at conference, accusing them of being Blairight, right wing, gutless and other such choice handles. They either don’t or won’t understand the legal issues that face the activities of the union. They claim that legal jeopardy is a smokescreen for inaction, a barrier to prevent the union from fighting, a method of gagging them. They care nothing for the responsibility that the union has in protecting its members and itself. They would be happy to risk the integrity of the union in achieving their aims.
Legal jeopardy is a very real threat, to ignore the possibility of litigation, injunction and the freezing of the unions assets is quite frankly madness. Think about your branch not being able do anything because they have no funds, or because they have been served with a court order preventing branch officers from undertaking certain activities under the threat of being personally sued or even the threat of imprisonment? The leaders of the union have a duty to protect the union and its members.
The hard left faction still believe themselves to be able strike whenever they want to, their politics and ideology are firmly encapsulated in the 1970’s. They fail to acknowledge that the law has changed and the processes the union has to follow to protect itself are stringent and unforgiving. This has been further compounded by the Tory government’s unjust trade union act.
Does UNISON want to fight on behalf of its members? Well of course it does, but it has to do so within the confines of the law. This responsibility is never considered by the hard left faction, they would sooner ignore it because it does not fit their script. So according to them, your NEC is corrupt, your General Secretary is a Tory and the Officers of the union are in control. All faction propaganda to get members to follow them and their ideology.
Well so long for now and thanks for reading.