We are not storming heaven, but being marched precariously close to the precipice. The Trade Union Congress is not our tool for emancipation – and neither can it be. Why are we being so skilfully pacified by ‘our’ institutions? We should see clearly how Brendan Barber, Ed Miliband and friends have steered us so neatly toward the cliff-edge. We might crash onto the rocks below, and in the waters that roil about them the TUC, transfixed, might capture a glimpse of its own continued social relevance. Such a shattering fall will surely tear us from our fond illusions. We would hope, however, that we can awake of our own accord. It is time to throw aside the TUC’s terrifying rattle of ‘jobs, growth and justice’. It is a rattle which never belonged to us in the first place, nor is it something we actually seek.
What happened on March 26? The official answer is clear: hundreds of thousands of ‘people from all walks of life’ marched for an ‘alternative’. Who in fact were they, and what are their interests? And what material recourse do they have against their managed impoverishment? Among all the cloddish asininities emblazoned in grim edible pinks across a million A6 flyers, not once does the TUC mention class. Its current agenda is one of banal inclusivity. It assumes the necessity of this programme (though of course it makes no public argument for it) on the grounds that it must build the largest possible coalition against state-led austerity. The official slogan is “All Together For Public Services”.