In a previous article “Who fooling who” I debunked the image that the leadership of the MSJ (Movement for Social Justice) is trying to put over to the public, and that is, to create the belief that their group is the legitimate vehicle for working peoples’ hopes and aspirations.
In fact, I could well imagine their response. It would go along these lines. ‘Yes, we were formed in early 2010 to build a mass based party in time to effect the politics of the expected 2012 general election. We did not cater for Manning’s wildness in calling an election two years before time. So we joined the opposition, hammered out an agenda and entered the election to get rid of a corrupt government.”
That being history, they would conclude, all working people are free to join our ‘vanguard party’ for salvation.
Meanwhile, from my perspective, what I am seeing is spin, subterfuge and sinecures for the chosen few. I say few and not two, because the usual triumvirate of McLeod, Abdulah and Belgrave (Teddy) is still operating; with the last mentioned using COSSABOS (Conferences of Shop Stewards and Branch Officers) not as mechanisms to develop tactics to deal with serious outbreaks of class struggle but as lectures/seminars to recruit MSJ members
But that is their style. Lyrics, media posturing, top-down speechifying from self-ordained priests of the working class. Let’s look at this phenomenon from a historical vantage point.
The unions behind the MSJ evolved from a breakaway of the labour federation (NATUC) over some petty personality clash for leadership and they called themselves FITUN. What makes the situation a quagmire is that many of the leaders of the NATUC during this period have proven to be hopeless bureaucrats posing as union leaders but in reality see themselves as businessmen feathering their own nests.
I must admit this is a broad brush view but perception shapes reality. And the perception is that the vast majority of these leaders on both sides of the divide are like insurance agents. Workers must pay dues and eventually they will get an increase dictated by the state which will continue to pauperise them further.
At the same time a Minister of Labour who evolved from the bowels of the class is unable or unwilling after two years to effect an agenda hammered out at the historic COSSABO of April 18th 2010.
Then a five per cent cap is instituted by government on all collective negotiations and the union leaders can only unveil hollow threats to change the tide of affairs. The proposed month of ‘heat’ ended with a walk-about in Sangre Grande. What is the point I am trying to make?
It is that working people must not and cannot believe that there is any Moses or czar who can make you become masters of your destiny. It takes sacrifice, unity and a well thought out vision amongst ourselves that must be carried out, oft-times, by successive generations to become a reality.
Since our union leaders will not open these avenues for theory and practice, but instead bastardise the COSSABOS, victory cannot be secured. In a subsequent article I will touch on what is meant by victory.
My parting summary therefore, is to quote Shakespeare’s Mercutio in Romeo and Juliet, “A plague on both your houses” – the PP government which includes the MSJ and the bankrupt PNM.