The news that Royal Mail workers have voted four to one in favour of industrial action against the impact of Con-Dem privatisation plans, throws into sharp relief Labour’s continued refusal to grasp the opportunities handed to it on a plate to scupper the Royal Mail sell-off. All it would take is a public commitment to its re-nationalisation after the next election. But this is of a piece with its failure to support the return to public ownership of the railways, energy and water. This should come as no surprise to socialists.
What’s curious, though, is the logic behind their feeble efforts to appear a bit more radical, without dropping their essential support for a pro-business, neoliberal ideology. This is destined to fail, as no amount of recalibration of a fundamentally flawed regulatory system can address the substance of monopoly power and the loss of vital infrastructure that used to belong to us all.
As Bertolt Brecht famously said, ‘If you fight you might lose, if you don’t you have already lost.’