The forthcoming elections in AMICUS to elect the 48 lay member executive for the newly formed union of 730,000 members will be the beginning of a new era for workers in a whole range of industries. For many on the left over the years, the prospect of electing a leftwing executive committee to the former AEEU could only be a wild dream from which they would have expected to wake up at any minute. Yet the prospect is now very real.

The British TUC (Trades Union Congress) Congress opens up today. NUJ General Secretary and TUC  General Council member Jeremy Dear spoke to Socialist Appeal about the tasks and perspectives for the trade union movement

A general perspectives document on the economic, social, political and trade union position in Britain, produced at the beginning of 2003 by the Socialist Appeal Editorial Board.

In the nine months since the publication of our perspectives' document, The New Situation in Britain, events internationally and here in Britain have continued to accelerate.  The consequences of the imperialist adventure in Iraq have had an even greater impact in Britain than in the US. Here the furore over the death of weapons inspector Dr. David Kelly and the Hutton inquiry represent the most important crisis faced by Blair to date. It is clear that the new situation in Britain is part and parcel of a new, profoundly unstable and tumultuous period in world history.

In Part one of his article Phil Mitchinson looked at the world situation and how this affects Britain. In this second part he looks at the devastation of British manufacturing over a period of decades as shown by the investment and output figures he provides. He goes on to chart the degeneration of the British ruling class, from its far-sighted predecessors to the current degenerates who can't see past their bank balances. This reflects itself in the present mess the Tory party finds itself in.

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