Archive for November, 2008

Obama, the unions and labour law reform: Ensuring the future of the new Democratic majority

Friday, November 14th, 2008

President-Elect Barack Obama has a formidable to-do list. Those who voted for him, and people all over the world as well, expect him to tackle the global economic crisis, the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, climate change, and much more.
Everyone understands that these are enormous undertakings. It is unlikely that Obama will be able to fulfil even a small fraction of what is expected of him in a single term in office. Indeed, to achieve the kind of fundamental change he seeks it is probably not an exaggeration to say that liberal Democrats need to be in power for a generation.


Obama’s victory, the Internet and learning the wrong lessons

Sunday, November 9th, 2008

One of the stranger things being said about Barack Obama’s election victory is that part of the reason for his success was his use of the Internet.
Obama, we are told, ‘got it’. John McCain did not. The young guy was clued in, and old geezer couldn’t use a keyboard.
Not only did the pundits say this, but the Obama campaign itself used McCain’s inability to send an email in one of its campaign ads. It was a way of saying that McCain was out of touch.
Much has been made of the fact that Obama raised a tremendous amount of money using the Internet, and that his website made use of cutting edge technology – including social networks like Facebook – very effectively.
The danger of all this is that campaigners are going to believe it is true. And my concern is that unions are going to buy into this as well.


Roosevelt or Clinton? Obama must choose

Wednesday, November 5th, 2008

After the cheering has died down, the empty champagne bottles recycled and we awaken to a new day in America, many of us are asking the question: what next?
One doesn’t need a crystal ball to predict what Obama will do in his first few months in office. The new Democratic president is going to introduce new legislation, re-order budget priorities, and attempt sweeping change. Top priorities will include grappling with the economic crisis, climate change and health care.
It’s important therefore to contrast the first few years of the Roosevelt administration with that of Clinton – and to ask which type of president Obama will be.


LabourStart’s UK edition improved

Monday, November 3rd, 2008

For more than a decade, LabourStart has provided online news for trade unionists. This summer the website underwent a major overhaul most of which was not visible to the casual visitor. But the changes have allowed British trade unionists to see things they could never see before.