Sunday, 31 May 2009

Twenty Years On I

It is good to be reminded, both that perhaps the most successful movement against Communism was a trade union one, and that perhaps the most successful trade union movement was against Communism.

But Solidarity was and is linked to the Church, and thoroughly conservative socially? How can this be? The incredulity will be all over the place this week.

You see, those expressing it will be either old campus Hard Leftists or old campus Hard Rightists, both of whom assume the campus Hard Left to be normal within the Labour Movement, and indeed to be any true part of it at all.

So they have no idea that much of our own trade unionism had its roots in churches. Nor that as a whole it was always a force for social conservatism, particularly for the safeguarding of paternal authority in the form of that authority’s economic basis in skilled work. Nor that it routinely marched behind banners that depicted Biblical scenes or characters appropriate to the trades in question.

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