People are sure to ask after all. Where were you when you heard that the Lindsey strikers had won? I was watching ‘American Dad’ on the computer, and idly checking the BBC website to check if someone was trying to sneak out some bad news, amidst the Jackomania. Perhaps that influenced Total’s thinking in the timing of their utter capitulation. But what caused their utter capitulation wasn’t the death of a former pop star, or the rumoured death of Jeff Goldblum (thankfully a hoax). It was the strength of the working class, and the reemergence of important ideas and principles.
Once again, the Socialist Party must take a great deal of credit. They performed in the textbook way in which a revolutionary party should behave, acting as an appendix to the intestines of the working class, recolonising the gut with healthy microbes, replacing the ones killed off by the harsh antibiotics of Thatcherism-Blairism. These microbes include the ideas outlined in their suggested actions for strike, which they were able to promote due to having members on the ground and in the union, and the kudos from their role in February. These suggested actions were as follows:
- Monday morning – burn the dismissal notices
- Organise 24 hour picketing of Total/LOR
- Appeal to tanker drivers and train drivers not to cross
- Continue to send pickets out to spread strike nation-wide
- Tuesday – mass rally outside Lindsey to be attended by workers from all sites on strike, and supporters
- Stewards from all NAECI sites should convene after Tuesday’s rally to set up an unofficial shop stewards network
- Call for boycott and blockades of Total petrol stations
- Contact French trade unions at Total in France for support
- Expand the LOR shop stewards cttee into a Strike Cttee to organise – picket rotas, leaflets & placards, press & media, fundraising & hardship fund, trade union support, speakers at meetings, etc.
The role of the Socialist Party at Lindsey was an important factor. Equally, perhaps more, important was the instinctive solidarity of the working class that kicked in. This instinct may have dulled over the last 20 years, with ideological and legal onslaughts, but it has reemerged these last six months maginificently.
Today, many people will be talking about Michael Jackson. That is understandable, and Phil makes a decent case for why Marxists should discuss his frankly rather tragic life. Personally I was not a fan, and have no desire to go into his life and work, but millions were and we should try and work in Marxist ideas about alienation and celebrity whenever possible.Lindsey, strike, solidarity
But today, let’s bask in the Lindsey victory. Let’s bottle the feeling, the confidence boost, and learn the lessons. Let’s shout it from the rooftops. We’ve started to win again, and we can’t let the capitalists bury that story.