“We’re out in the cold, only able to observe,
as big money still lunches with those paid to serve.
Gagged! As dread pervades throughout our core,
we can only assume this is a declaration of war.”
Wales has a proud and active tradition of trade unionism. I followed in the footsteps of my dad and I’m proud to say I have been a trade union member all my working life. Without trade unions we wouldn’t have sick pay, weekends or annual leave. We wouldn’t have regulations keeping us safe in the work place or fair and equal treatment. Therefore, I’m always bewildered to hear someone say they don’t believe in trade unions. Why wouldn’t you? Aren’t we all stronger when we stand together?As my son grew up, I stepped up from being an from being an armchair activist, stepped up from signing petitions and shouting at the TV and became an active foot soldier in the working-class fight, finding solidarity in the trade union movement. That is when I caught the political bug, there’s no turning back after that.
The trade union movement is representative of 7 million members throughout the UK, far bigger than any political party. This scares those that seek to represent not the people they are paid and elected to represent, but big cooperation’s and the banking elite. That’s why the latest tory assault on the unions with the trade union bill, needs to be opposed from every direction and every step of the way. The fact the torys want to impose a 50% minimum on strike ballots, when their own government reigns control on only 24% vote of the population; shows their inconsistency in approach to democracy, dependant on who it serves. Additionally, removing the funding that trade unions can donate to political a party, which is predominately labour, their greatest opposition. This is another sign that they are continuing to assault equal playing fields in this new term.
This along with the Lobbying bill of 2014, better known as the Gagging Law; carving up the constituency boundaries to their benefit, chucking over 800,000 people off the register by changing the rules – most of which are young people who would not vote for them and their support for TTIP; this government has nothing but distain for democracy, as they seek to enter us into an age of kleptocracy.
This is something that our Welsh Assembly is showing strength with, as Labour, along with Plaid and the Libdems have dropped their differences and are working together to oppose this bill in Wales. Cross party alliances are vital to oppose this government assaults upon the people and the environment. Some say will say that talking class politics is divisive. But we can’t deny that it is happening, that it is real, we can see it, we can hear it and we can feel it here in Gwent. As a Wales Green Party Prospective Assembly Election Candidate I will stand in solidarity with anyone who opposes this bill and will remain to be an advocate to work with other partys for the sake of the cause. As candidate and, as an activist, I will always fight for not just an environment fit for the future, but for human rights and dignity of the people, particularly advocating for those who don’t have a voice.