Steve Hedley. Senior Assistant General secretary of the RMT. Giving Labour Heartlands his personal views on some aspects of the left and the state of play today.
My union was amongst the very few to have backed Brexit.
We did so because we see the European Union as a boss’s organisation which institutionalises the free movement of capital, labour, the free market.
The resultant neo liberal system based on privatisation and deregulation are clearly advantageous to the capitalist class and detrimental to the workers and our organisations the trade unions. Markets previously closed to private capital and rapacious profit making continue to open up. As previously nationalised sectors are being forced into private hands against the will of the majority of people in the countries involved.
The railway industry is a case in point with next year’s Fourth rail bill ensuring any European firm can bid for any railway franchise throughout the EU. This means that Labours promise to Re-Nationalise rail would be incompatible with continued EU membership.
I fully expect similar legislation will quickly follow for all that remains of the public sector in Britain including the NHS and indeed similar services all over Europe.
I fully understand the Tory liberal and Labour right trying to undermine the democratic will of the British electorate in order to serve their capitalist paymasters, this should surprise nobody. The labour right also have the added incentive of being able to undermine Corbyn in the process.
What is more concerning is those masquerading as left wingers campaigning for a “people’s vote” in the event of a no deal Brexit.
It is in my opinion absolutely despicable to give the Left cover to a clearly anti worker pro privatisation agenda. We have a toxic lash up of miniscule Left groups (with very questionable policies like opposing the right to return for Palestinian refugees) and (not very) Left trade union bureaucrats who may have half an eye on political careers prancing around the country with no mandate from their members.
Just who these people are purporting to represent and on what authority is questionable to say the least. Did they hold a members referendum and perhaps a second one if the first didn’t give the answer they wanted?
This disregard for democracy is not only the height of arrogance it is positively dangerous. The far right are on the rise and to give them a gift of overturning a democratic decision would be beyond folly.
Working class People have rejected the EU Neoliberal capitalist superstate, maybe admittedly in a confused way but nevertheless they’ve rejected it. Everyone including the Labour Party must acknowledge this and act accordingly to avoid possibility catastrophic consequences.
Article by Steve Hedley Senior Assistant General secretary of the RMT. Giving his personal views outside of is official capacity.
Steve Hedley RMT Deputy General Secretary
Article by Steve Hedley Written for Labour Heartlands.