Wednesday, 30 April 2008

Democracy in action ?

I see that New Labour are at it again, coming up with their latest version of ersatz democracy. The Guardian reports today that Golden Brown has plans to send Constituency Labour Parties and affiliated unions six draft policy documents and invite their amendments in time for the next general election manifesto. A certain negative backlash, it seems, is expected from the anticipated unfavourable results from tomorrow's local elections. Such pessimism !

Of course, social democrats and socialists in the Labour Party may ask why we don't simply have a comprehensive democratic policy making making process in permanent operation ? Such optimism !

Just what will happen to the responses from constituencies remains rather obscure. If Golden Gordon Brown is still running the show, his waste paper basket could be overflowing. 

Tuesday, 29 April 2008

Why am I a carer ?

Well I could possibly be a caree rather than a carer. I'm old and have chronic conditions. My OH is undoubtedly in greater need. I recognise that.

The point is that there is no joint assessment of medical need for both carers and carees. Nobody knows if I am remotely capable of caring for her. Apparently. I have no obvious qualifications for the job. I am not a trained nurse and I do have a back condition, as well as more obviously life-threatening conditions. Of course, our GPs, etc., could find out, but I know for a fact that they don't want to. Actually, they already know, but are in denial. Facing up to the reality of the situation would mean that they would have to do something about it.

It's potentially the same for everyone. If it's not you now, it could be in the future.

We campaign. There aren't many of us yet, but we are here.

New Labour are in trouble.

New Labour are undoubtedly in trouble. Should I really care about this ? From joining the Labour Party in 1950, I have experienced many ups and downs. The post-war Labour Government, so full of hope, built the welfare state, the most civilised thing that any government has achieved in this country. Unfortunately its foreign policy was seriously misguided, as always.

Who could have imagined the advent of New Labour in those promising times ? A project devoted to privatisation and neoliberalism generally and the support of immoral imperial wars. Bathos gone mad. So now New Labour are in trouble, why should I care ? Why did the fools in my party allow New Labour to take control in the first place ? Winning was everything for them, but they could have won a much greater and more enduring victory. I care about New Labour being in trouble, not because I care about the assorted Blairites and Brownites pursuing their putrid political careers. A curse on both their houses. If New Labour are in trouble, then the Labour Party itself is in trouble. Is there still enough of the Labour Party, beyond the dominant New Labour hierarchy, left to be worth saving ? I don't know.

I would like to see a united opposition emerge now. The Labour Representation Committee and Compass, with others, united to replace the neoliberals with an authentic social democratic programme. I am not crying for the moon, as much as I might like to see the development of an international movement for socialist democracy. But here and now, do the LRC and Compass have the moral courage to overcome their differences and take the lead ?

The Green Left in the Green Party look so enticing to me. We can't wait on Labour forever.

Greetings to fellow carers and their carees.

Monday, 28 April 2008

A trade union for carers ?

Carers work. Workers deserve a wage. Carers receive an allowance, ie a pittance. Old carers don't necessarily receive even that. They are too old to work, so how can they expect a wage, they already get a pension? 

If they are too old to work how can they be carers ? Caring is very hard work, particularly if it is of the 24/7 variety.

Carers need a trade union to represent their interests and get them a proper wage. Will the TUC support the establishment of a trade union for carers ?

Sunday, 27 April 2008

Hello from Dugsie

I'm Dugsie

A Septuagenarian socialist carer with attitude.

I'm angry.

Angry about what New Labour have done to the Labour Party. Angry about the situation of the sick and disabled in our society, of whom I am one. Angry about the predicament of carers in this uncaring society.

We care. Why the hell doesn't the Labour Movement ?

I'll be around from time to time.