Saturday, July 28, 2012

Report from the UK: Norfolk Coalition Against the Cuts

This 5 min film gives a flavour of the campaigning activity of Norfolk Coalition Against the Cuts. It also gives a snapshot of the position we face in Britain. The movement as a whole is not active. The working class is shell shocked and leaderless. There are small signs of new life stirring in the workplaces, which is helping revive the local trades council. But at the moment it is a handful of activists trying to get a campaign going.

At a national level the trade union leaders only move when they are pushed and always hope to limit actions to a token protest. There is no party representing the working class. I was on a Remploy picket line yesterday. This firm employs workers with disabilities and learning difficulties. This government is trying to close it. Workers on very low incomes are being threatened with redundancy.

I have been in political struggle for over 40 years and I still learn something new everytime I meet workers in struggle. In this case I realised what a low ebb the movement has come to. These workers expect the strike to be a failure, they expect to lose their jobs. Yet, as one put it, “at least I will know I did what I could to prevent it”. They are humble, inarticulate, reluctant to talk. Yet when I listened, they opened up about how unjust it is, how much they want to work, and how little they will be left to live on when they are made redundant. Some of them said they may come along to the next meeting of NCAC.  Ed Bober

No comments: