The trouble with the Labour Party leadership and the trade union leadership, they’re quite willing to applaud millions on the streets of the Philippines or in Eastern Europe, without understanding the need to also produce millions of people on the streets of Britain.
All too often miners, and indeed other trade unionists, underestimate the economic strength they have.
Yet what you need is not marches, demonstrations, rallies or wide associations, all of them are important. What you need is direct action. The sooner people understand that, the sooner we’ll begin to change things.
The labour movement had the best opportunity in 50 years to transform not merely an industrial situation and win an important battle for workers in struggle, but an opportunity to change the government of the day.
There’s a feeling that strength is determined by the size of a union. That clearly is nonsense.
The trade unions and the Labour Party… failed miserably. Instead of giving concrete support, and calling upon workers to take industrial action, they did nothing.
You may see the emergence of a new political party from the body of the trade union movement which represents a very clear-cut socialist alternative policy and which gives expression to the views of the trade union movement in parliament.
If you’ve got an industry where you’ve got massive investment, it doesn’t matter whether you bring in alternative supplies. You still lose the money on that industry.
Contrast that with the call of the Liberal Democrats in April, when they were prepared to call upon the British people to participate in a 24-hour strike. It shows how far to the right the Labour Party’s gone.