6 comments on “Weekend Notes

  1. Lenny wrote: “I’m afraid that many people, picking up on the scoop, are missing the story.”

    Not the only thing that gets missed round these heah parts.

    Yeah, Rustbelt. Baboons much more entertaining. And more charming. 🙂


  2. That any “leader” of a self-described socialist organization would believe that the discipline of a revolutionary implies a docile acceptance of “leadership” is not becoming of a Marxist or a revolutionary.

    But who actually suggested that this was the case, ie that revolutionaries should accept the decisions of the leadrship in a docile fashion? Anyone who knows the personalities involved also knows that docility doesn’t come into it. Lindsey had the option of meeting with the CC and arguing her case, and that was what was requested. All she was asked to do was absent herself from this meeting and discuss the issue with the CC. This was not an unreasonable thing to ask. I’m afraid that many people, picking up on the scoop, are missing the story.


    • I was actually quoting Madam Miaow quoting John Rees to make a point about top down practice in general. The “leader” I am talking about here could just as well have been Lindsey German. I, of course, do not know Lindsey German, but from what I know of her, as you say, docility doesn’t come into it. Docility is for the ranks. The story for me isn’t the ins and outs of the present situation, of which I have admitted to being no expert, rather it’s the way ruinous pretensions of little big men (and the rare little big woman) come to think that an organization’s energies are theirs to direct. And on that, 20 years in the Trotskyist movement has made me an expert.


  3. Well, I shouldn’t throw stones. The ICTU leadership had to pretend to fight, even if only for a weekend. The US leadership seems to think a “play dead” strategy works best. It’s hard to kill something that’s already dead must be the reasoning. These recently released statistics says it all on the sorry state of the labor movement here. No wonder politics in this country is so awful. Five!

    “The US Bureau of Labor Statistics reported yesterday that there were five major strikes and lockouts in 2009 “the lowest number since the major work stoppages series began in 1947”. They affected 13,000 workers and resulted in 124,400 individual lost workdays – also “record lows”. The BLS defines as major any work stoppage in workplaces employing 1000 or more organized workers.

    During the past three decades – as technological change and the relocation of production overseas and to “open shop” states increasingly reduced the relative weight and bargaining power of the organized industrial working class in the US – there have never been 100 or more major strikes in a single year.

    Between 1947-1981, there had never been fewer than 100 work stoppages in any one year.

    In 1949, there were 262 major strikes or lockouts involving more than 2.5 million workers and resulting in more than 43 million workdays lost. In 1959, 1.3 million workers downed tools in large workplaces. In 1969, 412 enterprises employing 1.5 million workers were shut down. There were major work stoppages in 235 workplaces employing more than a million workers in 1979. Strike activity during this period peaked in 1974, as 1.8 million workers in 435 plants and offices reacted to the oil price shock.”


  4. Ouch, indeed. I was shocked to read above how even in Greece the roll over of the Irish trade union leadership is having an effect. I was glad to be able to let off steam today with the publication of a short letter in our main newspaer of record. ‘The Irish Times’. It reads:

    “A word to embolden the passive and perplexed leaders of the Irish Congress of Trade Unions: Greece is the word.”


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