Phil's blog

Electoralism or class struggle? - Phil Dickens

While there are many pieces talking generally about the problems and limitations of representative democracy, this series looks at and debunks specific 'tactical voting' strategies and election narratives from an anti-electoral, working class perspective.

Voter apathy isn't the problem

The fifth in a series looking at and debunking specific 'tactical voting' strategies and election narratives from an anti-electoral perspective.

Alternative voting systems are no alternative

The fourth in a series looking at and debunking specific 'tactical voting' strategies and election narratives from an anti-electoral perspective.

Voting is no substitute for anti-racism

The third in a series looking at and debunking specific 'tactical voting' strategies and election narratives from an anti-electoral perspective.

The pitfalls of radical electoralism

The second in a series looking at and debunking specific 'tactical voting' strategies and election narratives from an anti-electoral perspective.

On holding your nose to vote Labour

Ed Miliband being hit in the back of the head with an egg

As the 2015 General Election looms ever closer, more and more media commentary is going to be dedicated to who people should vote for. Rather than talking generally about the problems and limitations of representative democracy, this is the first of several posts looking at and debunking specific 'tactical voting' strategies and election narratives from an anti-electoral perspective.

Government union busting and the PCS response

The PCS union is facing concerted union busting activity from the government. However, despite its rhetoric it has fallen into a retreat that helps nobody

Charlie Hebdo

A  candle light vigil at the Place de la République, in Paris

Earlier this week, gunmen attacked the French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo and murdered several of its cartoonists. Some thoughts on the various issues that have arisen out of this event.

Victimised reps forced to lobby their union in fight for support

PCS General Secretary Mark Serwotka holding a megaphone

Two union reps sacked by their employer for their trade union activities are lobbying the National Executive Committee of the PCS union tomorrow. In two very similar cases of union busting and victimisation, the union has failed to offer adequate support in quite different ways.

The 10 July public sector strike and going beyond formula

Tomorrow's coordinated strike by public sector workers looks set to be larger than the one on 30 Novermber 2011 that was billed as a public sector 'general strike.' But what does that mean, and are we in any better position now, industrially, than we were then?

10 July: a ‘season of struggle’?

An initial response to the announcement from the People’s Assembly that there will be a ‘mass strike’ on 10 July this year.

Leadership and the myth of apathy

Why aren't we rising up? Whether the 'we' in question is young people, the British people, or the poor, this is a question asked an awful lot by both mainstream and leftist commentators. Austerity, job cuts, pay freezes, workfare, poverty, food banks, police brutality, political corruption - it's all the rage, so why aren't we all enraged?

Nothing in common: unions as bosses

Paul Kenny, GMB General Secretary.

Some cursory thoughts on the contradictions created by trade unions, as the collective voice of organised workers, also being employers.

On union scabbing

Some quick thoughts on the need to respect picket lines and the challenge of the anti-strike laws and multi-union workplaces.

PCS hangs militant rep out to dry in HP dispute

PCS General Secretary Mark Serwotka

The Public and Commercial Services Union has in the past year worked to sabotage a dispute between its members at Hewlett Packard and their employer. This has culminated in the betrayal of one of their own reps, John Pearson, after he was unjustly sacked by the company.

People died for your right, not your obligation

2014 and 2015 are, in a row, two big years for electoralism. I'm already fed up with it.

Resolutions

General strike!

If there’s one thing, politically, that I want to happen in 2014 it’s for leftists to drop the demand for a 24 hour general strike from above and start building for an all out general strike from below.

Dan Hodges, mob mentality and the white working class

Dan Hodges has written an article for the Telegraph, using the horrific murder of Bijan Ebrahimi as an excuse to attack “the dark side of working class Britain.” This is an attempt to address the points he has side-stepped for the benefit of his polemic.

The Socialist Party have no right to demand one way solidarity from claimants

Following a debate on Twitter, several statements appeared online seeking to defend the PCS union over its position on welfare reform and sanctions. This is a response, particularly aimed at PCS Vice President John McInally’s piece for the Socialist Party.

Has PCS been outflanked to the left by a bosses’ union?

A look at two of many attacks faced by workers in HM Revenue & Customs. The contrasting responses from clerical grade union PCS and senior grade union ARC are worth noting, but not for the reason you might guess.