Last night I gopt a leaflet through the mail from my union - Unison - urging me to vote Labour. Unison is a registered third party, and so it can spend money on election campaigns that, unless I'm mistaken, don't count towards a candidate's campaign costs.
Given they have the names and addresses of about 150,000 (they claim) electors, this is a highly effective campaigning tool for the institutionalised labour party.
They are quite right that Labour has achieved many goals, and espouses many values consonant with those of the trade union. But, then, the trade union's demands and values are about a defence of market interests for workers within capitalism - seeing, particularly, its own interest wrapt up in the old conditions of public sector bargaining from nationalised and municipalised industries.
Of course, we could batter on at the union that the real interest of their members is socialism - but until the members of the union are socialists and are able to use their weight to move the lethargic democratic machinery of the union that just won't happen.
So, that makes it all the more important that trade unionists make this clear by voting for the socialist party, either by voting for Danny Lambert if they can, or joining the write-in if they're outside Lambeth & Southwark. And more than that, we need you to join the Socialist Party and stand up in your workplaces and unions to be counted.
A little try at my branch recently failed, we sent a motion to conference affirming that Unison has no leaders, and asking the NEC to make that clear, the standing orders ruled it out of order, because they can, but I'll keep on about it, and if thousands of socialists in the union started to camnpaign for that instead of saving the pittance and stopping the thing, we'd start to see real movement, and a real movement.