A hysterical attack on unions who fight for a fairer society

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From: Bill Adams, TUC Regional Secretary, Yorkshire and the Humber.

I WRITE with puzzled amazement at the venomous comments aimed by Bill Carmichael (Yorkshire Post, September 14) at the hundreds of TUC delegates attending the TUC conference in Brighton. His hysterical attack on the political left bears no resemblance to what was actually discussed at the conference.

Mr Carmichael’s notion seems to be based on the fact that we as delegates and attendees, were all wearing T-shirts referring to the death of Margaret Thatcher. Well I for one didn’t see one trade unionist either buying one or wearing one while attending the conference. Not only was it distasteful, but it was not sanctioned by the TUC and was condemned by our general secretary Brendan Barber.

While Thatcher did destroy many working people’s employment through her supposed modernisation of industry, people on the left have worked tirelessly to improve the lives of those economic casualties by campaigning for re-training and investment in new industry, rather than leaving them abandoned to the ravages of the dole culture overseen by the Conservative government of the time.

He also rants on the issue of the transfer of wealth to the working classes. I’m afraid as well as encouraging a debt-laden approach to life, Margaret Thatcher and her government encouraged the principles of greed, self-enrichment and the abandonment of large sections of society to the ravages of free, uncontrolled enterprise.

We on the left, however, continue to campaign for a fairer society, for co-operative action to solve problems, and the concept of mutuality and partnership rather than the spiralling of 
greed, individualism and the ruthless business ethic of the top 10 per cent.

Perhaps Mr Carmichael should read a little more of what TUC delegates debated, which shows the good political intentions of people working together for the common good, instead of basing his obviously limited knowledge of trade union activity in such a narrow vein.

Politicians of all colours had some blame for the economic mess we are now in, and attempting to blame decent trade union delegates and working people committed to a better world in such fashion is nothing less than political bigotry.

From: Alan Carcas, Cornmill Lane, Liversedge.

THE TUC conference debates, and threatens, strike action against the coalition Government’s policies; a delegate to the same conference complains that she has “to make hard life decisions on whether or not I can choose to buy food”. Are we really expected to take these people seriously?

Not least when many retired people, and those on fixed incomes, have had an investment and private pension freeze since 1997.

Most of us thought that we had “danced on the grave” of the TUC over 20 years ago. It’s just that, after 13 years of Gordon Brown’s brand of Soviet-style economics, we can’t afford to buy the printed T-shirt to say so.