Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Votes for prisoners' (guards)

Brixton Prison is in the ward as is the accommodation of some of the warders. At the GLA elections in May one of those on the TUSC list was Joe Simpson, the Assistant General Secretary of the Prison Officers Association.

Here is his election speech and statement

He says he has joined the Socialist Party but he hasn't. He's joined the ex-Militant Tendency which has tried to usurp this name that we've been using since 1904 and which is the main political group behind TUSC. Naturally we object to this, but it could be counter-productive for them in this election since the party name next to our candidate will be "The Socialist Party (GB)". If so, serve them right.

OK, prison warders like the police are "workers in uniform". It is odd, though, that someone calling themself a socialist should take a job guarding other workers who have been imprisoned, most of them for crimes against property. But the fact that some "workers in uniform" are prepared to call themselves "socialist", together with the Mitchell affair, refute one of the arguments (put forward, amongst others, by Trotskyists) that it wouldn't be possible for a socialist-minded working class to take power peaceably via the ballot box because the ruling class would not accept this and would set the "workers in uniform" at their service against the socialist movement. These show that workers in the police force, prison service and the armed forces are still workers with minds of their own who don't always think or do what the ruling class tell them, and would be highly unlikely to do this in the event of a socialist victory at the polls.

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