Len McCluskey speaks for the people
The Coalition of Resistance deplores the astonishing attack made by Labour leader Ed Miliband on Unite General Secretary Len McCluskey, following McCluskey's call for Labour to break from the austerity policies which are destroying the British economy and wreaking havoc in the lives of ordinary people.
McCluskey has a strong track record in opposing austerity and has spoken out about the terrible hardships now facing the working class: the cuts in benefit, wholesale destruction of the NHS, the bedroom tax and other measures designed to pauperise and criminalise ordinary people. Unite is one of the main backers of the People's Assembly against Austerity which is leading the campaign for a single united anti-austerity movement to take on the policies of this government - a vital development if any of the gains of the working class since the second world war are to be retained. McCluskey's recent championing of the anti-austerity position in the New Statesman has led Miliband to respond by saying that McCluskey 'does not speak for the Labour party' and that he was 'disloyal' and his statements 'reprehensible'.
In attacking austerity Len McCluskey is speaking for the whole working class, he is speaking up for the disabled, the pensioners, the young unemployed, those of poverty pay and millions of others. This is precisely what the Labour Party should be doing but is failing to do. The discussion raised by McCluskey is both essential and legitimate: it is over the future policies of the next Labour government and of the Labour Party manifesto going into the next general election - a process which is ongoing through the national Policy Forum. These are real discussions on matters of the highest importance for the future of the working class where anti-austerity voices must be heard and the opinions of a leading trade unionist - who speaks for so many, in and out of his union - cannot just be dismissed with hostility and contempt. The question underlying Len McCluskey's comments is the crucial one: if Labour is elected in 2015, will it be a government that seeks to protect and advance the interests of the working class or will it be a government that furthers the austerity agenda, destroying the NHS and what remains of our welfare state? This is the crucial debate.