The approaching October 20 A Future that Works demonstrations in Belfast, Glasgow and London will be a barometer of where the anti-cuts movement.
Last year the high points of this struggle were the March 26 London demo and the November 30 mass strike on public-sector pension reform.
Anything between 250,000 to 750,000 people were reported to have attended the March demo.
However, because this time round there are three regional demonstrations rather than just the one national one, it's likely that the London turnout will be smaller than before.
The media will no doubt jump on this in order to speculate upon the death of the anti-cuts movement.
There has been some loss of momentum in the anti-cuts movement since March last year.
This demo represented such a high point as the first big - indeed, truly massive - show of opposition against the coalition government.
People were left feeling exhilarated and asking: "So what are we going to do now?"
Despite a one-day strike in June by a handful of unions, the answer did not come until November 30 2011.
And again, despite some smaller subsequent strikes, there have been no further days of strike action that kept up the momentum.
So while we can't expect the October 20 demos to overcome all the deficiencies and problems, it is right to expect that there are certain outcomes.
Most crucially the anti-cuts movement would be strengthened by a national alliance of the producers and users of public services, organised and led by the TUC on behalf of its affiliates.
Job cuts lead to deterioration in the quality of public services, so it can't be emphasised too strongly that both producers and users of those services have a common interest in fighting to stop them. Service users may include those who are unemployed or unable to work.
We also need to see more unity between public and private-sector workers. Many public services are used by workers and their families from the private sector - another point to be emphasised.
So far the government has been able to portray the fight against the cuts as just about public-sector workers with their "gold-plated" pensions.
And there must be a recognition that industrial action on its own cannot win the political fights that are being fought.
While public-sector strikes are primarily political because they seek to put pressure on the government - rather than impose an economic cost - it is still the case that industrial action cannot involve all those who might want to be involved.
Support on picket lines by non-strikers is one thing, but involving strikers and non-strikers in an alliance where they can make equal contributions is quite another.
Recognising that such an alliance is necessary, Unite director of policy Steve Hart recently argued: "We cannot win the battle for the NHS simply by conducting a ballot of our members in the NHS. Defending the NHS is about me, my neighbours, our community standing up for our NHS."
New TUC general secretary Frances O'Grady is in an excellent position to spearhead the development of such a national alliance as well offshoot groups at regional and local level.
As a new broom with previous experience of campaigning with pressure groups - as well as a greater orientation on forces outside the trade union movement - she could make a huge contribution by leading in this way.
The trade union movement must become a force for wider social liberation, where it is known no longer to be concerned the narrower, sectional and more immediate concerns of just its members.
It would also put the trade union movement in Britain on a par with its sister movements in mainland Europe. In such a situation, the issue of the TUC calling a general strike would no longer look quite so odd as it might once have done.
Gregor Gall is professor of industrial relations at the University of Hertfordshire.
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