The Unite General Secretary election has thrown into stark relief a mistaken idea of working class leadership held in common by Jerry Hicks (Unite General Secretary candidate) and an array of other groups and individuals within the UK workers’ movement.
Their idea of leadership arises from an inadequate understanding of the present state of working class consciousness, and the necessity and the methods for its development.
These views (of leadership and the class) emerge particularly from those who are not seriously engaged in trying to organise within the class (in the trade unions and working class communities) to take it forward as a united and class conscious bloc in the face of the most ferocious onslaught from international capital it has yet faced. In other words, it emanates from those who have not taken up serious leadership positions within the class. Continue reading
By Jim Kelly
Chair London & Eastern Region Unite the Union (personal capacity)
I am putting this note forward to challenge the claim of Hicks and his confederates that somehow he is the candidate of the left and McCluskey just another bureaucrat. It is time to go beyond the hallmark of Hicks and his cohort ‘s infantile attempt to see all those in official positions as the same, and to see McCluskey as someone whose occupation is selling out the R&F. The starting point for unravelling all of this is to consider Hicks’ claim to be the candidate of the R&F. We need first to consider who the R&F are.
So who are the R&F? The main plank of Hicks’ campaign is that he presents himself as the champion of the R&F, indeed their self anointed leader in waiting. There have been no meetings of this “R&F group” to democratically decide on a candidate; Jerry didn’t even attend the last Grassrootsleft national AGM in November in Birmingham. He just elbowed any potential alternatives out of the race in late December, by anointing himself. Even the Catholic Church has to go through the ritual of an election by a conclave of Cardinals, but apparently not our “R&F” Continue reading
Theses towards a revolutionary programme
by Balazs Nagy, Workers International To Rebuild the Fourth International, 20 February 2011
Biased, fragmentary and very incomplete as the media reports are, some things are clear:
1. These movements are desperately short of revolutionary leadership. The long years of ruthess dictatorship have strangled even the more or less petty-bourgeois parties. There is no sign even of any bourgeois leadership independent of the ruling authorities, apart from groups and individuals tied to the dictators whom the workers have thrown out. Continue reading