Friday, 30 March 2012

A problem with any kind of "representation"

I am, by and large, unconvinced by the concept of collective bargaining. It inevitably implies that most of the people who are represented by the union don't get the exact deal that they want. More importantly, I am equally convinced that, as with our parliamentary "representatives", once you hand over your interests to them, they become secondary to the interests and the motivations of the "representative".

Here is a case in point:

For every £10 given to The Labour Party £4 comes from #Unite. Not one Labour spokesperson supports their strike #learnthelesson #TUSC
- Nancy Taaffe on twitter

Now, I don't know who Nancy Taaffe is and I don't know if her statement is factually correct, but it does point out that given her beliefs and views, her "representatives", both within Unite (who continue to give money to Labour despite the lack of support) and Labour (who also refuse to support her) clearly aren't representing her and people who feel like her.

But the bigger problem is actually with Nancy Taaffe herself, and anyone else who believes in concepts like social and collective action and welfare to the exclusion of the value of the individual. Because I'm sure that this time next year, Nancy Taaffe and her ilk will still be contributing their union dues and will still be moaning that Labour doesn't represent her as she makes her cross next to the Labour candidate at the next election.

And the blind, tribal loyalties of Nancy and people like Nancy are exactly why there is a disconnect between people and their representatives. The representatives know they can count on a certain number of blind adherents and therefore they only have to tailor their policies enough to appeal to a relatively small number of "swing" voters (in parliament) or can carry on regardless (unions).

So, Nancy, perhaps you'll think about withdrawing your support from the union and from the Labour Party now?

No, I didn't think so.


bamboo investments said...

The basic point is this: In western societies these days, its all about "rights"; in Asian countries, its about "responsibilities". That's why they are eating our lunch.

Daedalus said...

I am in the odd position of finding I need to join Unite. My work means that I could find myself defending myself in court because my actions or inactions have resulted in death or destruction or both. Think Flixborough disaster I cannot afford the legal fees or the personal indemnity insurance for something like this, so I find that I will be a member of Unite along with 98% of my peers who do a similar job. Those who have found themselves in the position of defending what they have done, say the membership is worth every penny for the peace of mind a good barrister can bring at no personal cost. So I will be joining but I will be opting out of the political fund. It just gauls me that I will be contributing to Len McCluskey's rather generous salary package.

Anonymous said...

Nancy Taaffe does not in fact support Labour, but TUSC, the socialist alternative. So she has already 'withdrawn her support from the Labour Party' (although admittedly not the Union)

Obnoxio The Clown said...

Anonymous - it hardly invalidates my point that the vast majority of people do not feel represented by their elected representatives. ;o)

Anonymous said...

Time for a far-right tory fuckwit to be putdown.

Home address, now.