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Monday, April 29, 2013

Should the Society be affiliated with Labour?

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An issue that periodically raises its head at the Annual Delegates Conference is whether the Society should line-up with other trades unions and be affiliated with the Labour Party.

Speaking at this year's Annual Delegates Conference (ADC) in Brighton, Gary Watts of London Region, said: "At best the Tories tolerate us and the Lib Dems have sold their soul to gain power. Labour may not be perfect - and under Mr Blair they lost their way - they have made mistakes, but this is the party that created the NHS, their greatest single achievement."

"We, as NHS workers, and as members of the trade union movement, which gave birth to the Labour Party, should support affiliation."

However, not all members present at conference agreed. Gareth Thomas opposed the motion on behalf of the Society's UK Council: "I am a member of the Labour Party, but how many Society members are?"

Chair of the North West Region, Andy Pitt added: "If we affiliate we could lose members. This Labour Party is well removed from Labour parties of old." Neil Howard, also from the North West, commented: "Labour is not a socialist party and that's my objection. New Labour are as guilty as any in promoting privatisation in healthcare."

Conference overwhelmingly rejected the motion to affiliate.

What do you think to the debate? Should the SCoR align itself with Labour?

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