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Socialist Democracy Statement

A Real Alternative

For the first time in many years we are seeing working people on the streets with a real alternative to the bigoted hatred that blights all our lives and robbed young Danny McColgan of his.

The danger is that, as so often before, this alternative will become blurred and workers will become demobilised, leaving the field open once again for the bigots to resume their evil intimidation.  We can avoid the fate of earlier mobilisations if we are clear about what we stand for, what implications flow from that stand and the obstacles to turning that stand into reality.

Letís spell out the alternative that all trade unionists should have as a bottom line:

· Working people, whatever their creed, should be free to work where they choose.

· Working people, whatever their creed, should be free to live where they choose.

Many in this society have no difficulty in paying lip service to this ideal.  Itís following through that proves difficult.  Following through means unrelenting opposition to Loyalist paramilitaries who, both in policy and in practice refuse those rights to workers.  Instead of the pantomime of one set of alphabet soup agreeing to disband trade unionists require the immediate disbandment of all the loyalist paramilitary groups and oppose any section of the working class offering any support to the sectarian killers.

There is a further barrier to climb.  Trade unionists have to be clear that Loyalist paramilitaries have been founded, sponsored and supported by successive British administrations.  Even todayís killing is at the end of a long series of British investigations that found that the UDA was on ceasefire.  Secretary of State Reid speaks now of a minority of loyalist paramilitaries involved in intimidation.  What dishonest nonsense!

A final hurdle remains.  Workers need to recognise that the Trade union leadership, always anxious to balance in the middle, will shy away from any sustained street campaign against the bigots in return for a seat at the table of the great and the good.

Today on the streets we have an alternative to bigotry.  Thatís the easy part.  Keeping that alternative alive requires:

·  independent organisation by working people

· a willingness to stay on the streets and to take industrial action

· The understanding  that the government and bosses have benefited from and encouraged the division amongst workers and will oppose any militant campaign



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