Election season is almost over. The GEC election results will be announced this week and we will know whether this first ad hoc attempt to challenge the incumbents has made a dent, or whether a more systematic approach is needed to beat the well oiled electoral machine that is Left Unity.
In either case, Your Voice isn’t going away. Not very long ago, we emerged as an informal grouping of people fed up with the way that things have been going in R&C Group and trying to effect change. With the election out of the way, it’s time to look at regrouping and becoming something more effective and more cohesive.
How we do that and how we orient ourselves is a debate that still needs to be had. One thing that those already involved agree on is that we need to be as democratic and free of internal hierarchy as possible – in contrast to the Left Unity model of central command and control.
But we also need to become as broad as possible. Right now, we are a small minority group within the activist layer of the union membership. So are Left Unity, albeit a bigger minority, and this may well be enough to win elections and control the GEC with a largely disenfranchised and uninterested membership base, but we want more. How do we get more than just activists involved and effect the wider culture change we’ve been saying is needed? That’s a debate that needs having too.
But that debate shouldn’t just be between a handful of people. Already, there have been numerous people in contact saying that they are interested in getting involved or that they would have joined us before now had they know about us. If that applies to us, or even if you’re not yet ready to jump on board but are interested in knowing more, then drop us a line.
We will be meeting up in Brighton during Conference week to discuss where we go next. From then we will be looking to organise a national meeting later in the year to more concretely establish ourselves and give Your Voice form. We would urge everybody who wants to be part of that to get in touch so that we can start building in workplaces and regions now.
We do not want to be another faction, cropping up at election time to get a list of names onto the GEC. The union needs a culture change where decisions are made by members at mass meetings and where we fight for the whole bakery rather than take crumbs on the promise of ‘jam tomorrow.’ To do that we want everybody who thinks the same to be a part of what we’re trying to build.