Sunday, 24 July 2016

The surge in popularity for "the movement" #themovement

The extraordinary surge in membership of the Labour Party is easily explained.

A very simple something is being done....for the first time in decades. 

People are starting to hear about what the movement actually is!

It shouldn't be a surprise that tens of millions of people have no idea what it is. So why vote for it? Why support it by getting involved in a Trade Union or the Labour Party?

Ours is an essential, permanent mission to deliver everything decent that unregulated capitalism never will:

* Steady jobs, providing reliable incomes for stable, decent family lives.

* Fair distribution of the wealth created by capitalism.

* Dignity and safety when falling on hard times.

* Improving health and education, provided universally and free.

* Working towards first class public services, transport and national infrastructure.

* Leisure, leisure time and access to leisure for all.

Supporters of our movement differ on how we deliver.  I favour universal collective bargaining and free Trade Unions working towards the first two of these objectives, with a committed Labour government working towards the rest.  I think capitalism would then deliver on leisure, with the state stepping in for the bits the market won't do, eg public parks, libraries etc.

Our work will never be finished. When we are strong, we deliver social progress. When we are weaker, we do our best to resist the rolling back of previous progress.  We've largely been in "resist" mode since 1980, allowing those threatened by the movement to dismiss us as a protest movement.  This is nonsense.

In the UK, the Labour Party is the main political voice of our movement, although of course it must also reach out far beyond to gain power.  Together we are the only possible vehicle for positive transformation of society.  The very idea that our movement wants protest over power - a common criticism, indicates a fundamental misunderstanding of what our movement is for.

Our movement is permanently necessary and permanently relevant. It will still be here long after the death of anyone just born. With the exception of the Royal Family, Unions are the most enduring institutions this country has ever known.

Now that some people are managing to articulate what we are for, very suddenly Labour is the biggest political party in Europe.

The better understood our global movement is, the less people tolerate the daily abuse thrown at it by the media.  Wherever our movement is weaker, the attacks upon us are bolder.

Be it flag waving nationalists or foreigner bashing right-wingers, the political groupings doing well across Europe are the ones who very clearly stand for something.

For far too long there's been woefully little promotion about what the labour movement is, or what the Labour Party is for.  That's helped enable a gradual unpicking of our historic achievements. The return of mass poverty, a severe housing crises and ever creeping privatisation being just some of the awful consequences.

Those of us who understand our movement are hugely proud of it, so let's shout it from the rooftops and keep growing.

What does #themovement mean to you?

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