Interview with Martin McMulkin
Lifelong trade unionist and socialist Martin McMulkin was, until he retired, the Unite convenor at Jost in Bolton for many years.
In 2019 he became a Labour councillor in Bolton but he was unwilling to simply facilitate cuts in local services.
Really interesting interview with Martin McMulkin .. mirrors pretty much what is happening in Sunderland .. only worse here. Most Sundays I get a home cooked dinner delivered from a big ex mining family who held out during the strike .. and are still bitter against scabs .. yet such is their disillusionment with the towns Labour group they and former militant shipyard/industrial workers will be voting Tory/anyone but Labour, in May .. desperate situation. But all is not lost; I agree with Martin McMulkin .. fighting progressive Independent Cllr's can reconnect with the disillusioned and left behind and outwit corrupt government.
Mark, Individual martyrs are people with courage, principle and
commitment. In 1972 "WE" (me in CP) got a Labour Conf policy condemning
the Housing Finance Act. ClayCross and London Boro Camden with partial
support from one or two other Councils interpreted the policy of non
implementation. A strong mass movement had proceeded the actions, with
communities in the respective areas supporting their Council's (note
not individual Cllrs) actions in refusing to put up rents.
National L.P. refused to support or endorse the 2 Councils actions,
which was disgraceful, nevertheless, it was mass action, it was not
putting responsibility on an individual. For us to gain change, it’s not
for as many individuals to stand up, but rather collective Party and
mass action. This has to be worked for, note the Anti Poll Tax campaign.
Yes, then individuals did stand up, with jailing's, but then we had
mass support for those individuals and the campaign throughout the
country. Those individuals actions complementing the protest movement
outside the jails caused and created change.
Midlands mobilised for the election in Clay Cross to give maximum
support. The five Skinner Bros (David - I did an interview with, for
the CP) paid a very heavy price, all Cllrs surcharged, bankrupt, unable
to stand for Cllr again, etc. I note you want our Cllrs to stand up and
refuse implementing the Tory Cuts. Of course, this should be our aim and
campaign. Before asking Cllrs to individually take the stand, we must
first mobilise the movement, so their subsequent action is meaningful.
now, to not implement the cuts, we need to support their individual
action. But I would stongly argue that just as important, at the same
time, is the need for the mass campaign. History teaches us that though
its full of individuals, where real socialist change occurs, it comes
from heightened workers consciousness which gives rise to mass movements.