Welsh fire fighters break with New Labour, back Plaid Cymru

Amazing news from Wales:

Plaid has welcomed an “historic” donation from the fire fighters’ union in Wales to three of its campaigning Assembly Members.

Plaid Cymru AMs Jocelyn Davies, Janet Ryder and Leanne Wood each received cheques from the Fire Brigades Union (FBU) for their campaigning work.

Leanne at PCS rallyIn a letter from the FBU, executive council member Mike Smith said: “Janet, Jocelyn and Leanne in various ways have, during the past four years of the Assembly, assisted us in our lobbying and campaigning on various fire service issues.”

Plaid’s Leanne Wood AM, Chair of Undeb, the party’s trade union section, said:

” This donation from the FBU is very welcome and marks a historic decision to move away from Labour for such a campaigning trade union. I hope more unions see that Gordon Brown’s Labour government is cutting public services and doesn’t represent the interests of working people.

“Plaid has been a consistent supporter of fire fighters and other public sector workers over the years. We’ve seen them face attack after attack from the Labour government in London and the FBU has been at the forefront of attempts to maintain the fire service here in Wales.

“Plaid has forged close links with many trade unions over the years and we look forward to strengthening those ties to continue our fight for all working people.”

Leanne Wood AM added: “We’ll be taking up the FBU’s kind offer to meet in the New Year to discuss ways in which we can continue to campaign to improve the fire service in Wales.”

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5 Responses to “Welsh fire fighters break with New Labour, back Plaid Cymru”

  1. Renegade Eye Says:

    I think too many in the UK left, have a short term perspective about Labour. It is where most workers vote politically. It is run by a rotten group now. Even if it takes 30 years, isn’t worth it to reform it, rather than this or that new party.

  2. charliemarks Says:

    The FBU ended its relationship with Labour after a strike in 2002 which New Labour did its best to break.

    My view is this – the unions aren’t about to leave Labour en masse, but the example of smaller unions “playing the field” is something that the big unions can use in slowing the pace of neoliberal reform. At the moment, that is the union bureaucracy’s strategy – the path of least resistance. Grassroots pressure for the trade union movement to unite against pay cuts and cease funding the morally and financially bankrupt New Labour party is important. We haven’t got thirty years…

    Another reason why it is significant that Plaid are getting backing is that they support Welsh independence, which along with Scottish independence will be key to breaking the British state, and thus, it’s military power and the “special relationship” with the US.

  3. leftist Says:

    This is a backward step. We are heading for the situation in the US, where workers give money to whoever is singing the right tune that particular week. The Labour government may be appalling neo-conservatives but the working class still largely funds it and potentially still has the power to force it to act in workers’ interests – though we all understand that reforms won under Labour are only temporary and will never lead to socialism. But the key factor is workers’ consciousness. Founding the Labour party was an important step for UK workers in recognising their interests as a class. Giving money to a nationalist party under the illusion that Welsh businesses and Welsh workers have a common interest is diluting that class consciousness. The slogan ‘vote Labour but organise to fight’ is as relevant now as it ever was.

  4. leftist Says:

    And if Plaid is key to breaking the military power of the British state, how come not one of their MPs or AMs have opposed the proposed military academy at St Athan? (nb lots more on this at http://cardiffpr.wordpress.com.)

  5. charliemarks Says:

    Plaid aren’t key to breaking the military power of the British state. I can’t recall having claimed this – and if I did it would be wrong.

    Welsh independence is key to breaking the military power of the British state…

    The reason why Plaid are not opposing the military academy is because they are trying to be respectable to the ruling class. This is their strategy for independence. Remember, Plaid favours membership of the EU – the project of the imperial powers of Europe.


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