Monday, 13 September 2010

Unions & a Yes Vote

At a packed Undeb fringe meeting at conference last Thursday, the issue of the role of the trade union movement and a yes vote was discussed. Cynog Dafis and myself looked at the likely scenarios and the requirements of the campaign and almost all in the room appeared to agree with two main arguments: -

  • The trade union movement is crucial in delivering a yes vote
  • They must be allowed to campaign away from any Tory 'yes' campaign
Of course, this was not a problem in 97, as there were about 3 Tories in Wales working for the yes vote, but not this time. Almost all their Assembly group support a yes vote as do several Welsh Tory MPs and they will be sharing platforms with other parties as part of a generic yes campaign. The fact that the unions would rather drink cyanide than work with the Tories is not necessarily a problem, as long as they campaign separately yet still communicate. There were several parallel campaigns in 97 and they largely worked in harmony.

The difficult part will be to motivate the trade unions into motivating their members and that has to be linked to the cuts. Even though a yes vote will not stop the cuts, it will allow new legislation without London interference and also enable a more progressive left wing agenda, at least if you vote Plaid anyway!

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