Just to clarify, the GP Conference in Birmingham wasn't all darkness and frustration.
I went to the fringe on "How can the GP fight the cuts?" called by the GPTU group.
The speaker was Rob Johnson, a West Midlands UNISON Organiser, and a Labour PPC and supporter. He spoke well about the devastation that Gideon is about to unleash, and how we need to form a wide alliance. Inspiring. Any questions?
There followed a series of diatribes against NewLabour from members of the Green Left and others.
So much for solidarity. I used to wonder if I should join Green Left (and if they would allow me) but I don't think I'll bother.
I proposed the idea of a General Tea Break as a form of solidarity-creating direct action against the cuts.
What the Cleggeron is proposing to do to the UK people is truly damaging and ideologically driven.
- The cuts must be stopped.
- Petitions and demonstrations, though necessary, are not sufficient.
- Strikes are unpopular, and damage the economy still more.
- A General Strike would be effective, but the people are not yet ready for it. They may be in a year or two, but by that time the damage will be done.
- Therefore, let us start with a General Tea Break. Here's the plan
After 5 mins they get to work.
As numbers gather, the time slowly extends.
If management comes and says "Why aren't you at your stations?" the response is "We are talking about the cuts. They are going to wreck this country, do you not agree?We were just going back to our stations, but since you are here, we would like to know what you think? Do you think it will end up with a General Strike?"
Management will get the idea, as soon as they realise it is happening in other companies. They will realise we are tooling up for a General Strike, on the QT. They will have a word with the Treasury, which will have to calculate on the economic costs of a General Strike.
I do not promise that this will stop the cuts in their stride, but it is a useful weapon. The thing is, it is so small (5 minutes, growing) that waverers will be encouraged to join. It could go viral.
Anyway, it was well received by the meeting, two commenter mentioned it, (which is like getting a ReTweet) as did Rob Johnson who actually said he would take it forward.
Once again, creative thinking may be seen as intrinsically wrong by some in the GP policy community, but not by all other groups.