Why Unite engages with the Labour Party

Shiraz Socialist

Below is an edited version of the speech given by Jim Kelly, the Chair of London and Eastern Region of Unite, at a Unite ‘Reconnecting with Labour Forum’ in April. It was previously published on the United Left email list, and obviously pre-dates the present row over Falkirk and Miliband’s proposed changes to the unions’ relationship with Labour:

Living in the world of Neo-liberalism 

From 1979 onwards successive governments have been dismantling the institutions of the welfare state and replacing them with those of a no-rights, deregulated market economy – what has become known as neo-liberalism.

On any indices – workers’ rights, the gulf between rich and poor, we are increasingly living with the consequences of the rise of the neo-liberal state. For example child poverty:

·         3.6 million children living in poverty in the UK .

·         27% of children, – more than one in four.

·         Almost two-thirds (62 per cent) of children growing up in…

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