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Tim Roache calling on trade unionists to back Corbyn

At this year’s Durham Miners’ Gala. GMB General Secretary, Tim Roache.

“If we had had any of the other three candidates last year, we would have continued to lose all the millions of voters we have lost over the years.
[Jeremy Corbyn] offers us an alternative, He offers us proud trade unionism. He offers us one movement. He offers us the link between the trade union and the Labour Party, and the political influence that that gives us. So, let’s back him, let’s get behind him, let’s give workers that united voice that we need”.

So if you are a GMB member, vote in GMB’s consultative ballot on who the union should support, let’s follow Tim’s advice and vote for Corbyn.

Vote with your head, and your heart.


  1. Kate Thomas says:

    Thank you Tim. I agree with you. Jeremy Corbyn, as leader of the Labour Party and with Labour in power offers us the best chance of strengthening the unions. We have had 4 decades of legislation diminishing the power of the unions. The unions protect our wages and our working conditions. We need it.

    As John McDonnell said when speaking to 100’s in Liskeard last weekend, “austerity is a political choice, not a necessity”. What does austerity mean? 1 in 5 parents skip meals to ensure their children eat. In a 6 month period in 2015 over half a million 3 day food supplies were handed out. In 2014 just over] 5% (5.3%) of all jobs were minimum wage – that’s 1 in 20. The estimate for those on less than the living wage was over 20% (21.7%), that’s 1 in 5 people.

    HMRC tell us that a third of men and half of all women will pay no income tax this year, a total of 23 million people whose income is so low that they do not pay income tax at all. (May 2016) This have and have-nots society and Labour needs to address this.

    What Iceland and the US did after the great financial crash of 2007-08, was apply fiscal stimulation to the economy, going against the neoliberal fiscal austerity. Britain and Europe on the other hand have digressed on a path of deficit reduction and fiscal retrenchment. The by-product of this has been the strengthening of the neoliberal ideology.

    Jeremy Corbyn and John McDonnell offer a breath of fresh air. Corbyn has been consistently against austerity in his public speeches inside and outside the houses of parliament and McDonnell has been working on the alternative plan for Labour. What they do is challenge tax havens and their insidious impact on policy, growth and inequality. What they do, is challenge the neoliberal policies that have been letting us down. What they have done is look at best practice in Germany for green energy, community ownership of energy. Better regulation of banks, democratisation. France to strengthen our trade unions. Proposed a National Investment Bank for long-term investment in cutting edge digital technology and support for essential industries.

    We often hear advocators of neoliberalism in Parliament liken the economy to a household budget to justify austerity. Cutting down and cutting back to make ends meet. Let’s be really clear, a countries’ economy cannot and I repeat cannot be run like a household. Simply put, a household buys what another household produces. If we stop buying, tax contributions go down, the ability to run the country, let alone pay off debt is impossible.

    Despite his anti-austerity manifesto, Owen Smith said, “personally I think austerity is right”, on the 17 July on BBC TV with Andrew Marr. We need a leader, who has no truck with austerity, that leader is Jeremy Corbyn.

    1. Verity says:

      I agree with all that you have written here. However I have not quite reconciled the anti austerity strategy with the McDonnell’s economic programme of only allowing current expenditure to be met by taxation. I suppose what is defined as current expenditure matters, but I think of it as being everything about the here and now that is not investment for future productive growth. So it includes Sure Start Centres, Libraries, School meal subsidies, Nursery School subsidy payments, payment of student University fees, NHS health operations, etc. Of course to some extent these will (in many, many years time) be seen as an investment for productive growth, but are we going to finance all these through increased Corporation tax and squeezing the 1% and squashing another 4%? The product growth required for increased current expenditure will eventually come…. eventually. What am I missing when trying to grasp this?

  2. Karl Stewart says:

    Thanks for posting this Andy.

    Bit odd that the GMB’s sending out ballots for members to vote on what our recommendation to members should be – surely a recommendation is a function of the leadership.

    But anyway, happy to report I’ve received mine and I’ve voted for Corbyn to be recommended – fingers crossed.

    1. Andy Newman says:

      You voted with your head and your heart?

      Technically, the vote is to see who the union should nominate.

      1. Karl Stewart says:

        Yep, my heart is with Corbyn and my head is with Corbyn too.

        Mainly because I think he’s the most electable leader Labour could have at this time.

        Corbyn’s been elected to Parliament eight times, with an increased majority every time.

        His constituency was marginal when he first stood there, and it’s now the safest Labour seat in London.

        Corbyn’s never lost an election.

        Under his leadership, Labour have won the London mayor election, which they lost under Brown’s leadership and under Miliband’s leadership. Under Corbyn, Labour won the Bristol mayor election, which they lost under Miliband’s leadership, and of course, Labour beat the Tories nationally in this year’s local authority elections.

        The Tories have been forced to backtrack over legislation, and the political centre of gravity has shifted significantly to the left.

        The new Tory PM feels it politically necessary to say workers need a pay rise, and that working-class youngsters’ life chances need to be improved, while Corbyn’s challenger from the right feels it politically necessary to call for a “cold-eyed, practical, socialist revolution…”

        Also under his leadership, Labour Party membership has reached over half a million – more than all the other parties combined.

        So, I’ve got my fingers crossed that Corbyn sees off the challenge to his leadership.

  3. Bazza says:

    As a trade unionist I am 100% backing JC!

  4. Karl Stewart says:

    Anyway Andy, when are you going to get rid of than loon Wight and get SU back?

  5. John Penney says:

    As the GMB backs Smith today, after a decidedly dodgy “membership ballot” , Andy is shown to be as “on the money” with his praise for the well known anti Corbynist Labour Right winger, Tim Roache, as he is with most of his political pronouncements.

    Face it Andy, Roache was just cynically “stroking the crowd” at the Miner’s Gala – as anyone with an ounce of background knowledge of Roache’s politics would have grasped.

  6. Karl Stewart says:

    You can hardly blame Andy for believing in good faith what Roache said at the time – but yes, Roach has turned out to be a bit of a shyster.

    It was certainly very confusing for members. Lots of people thought initially that this was the actual vote, then when they realised it wasn’t, people were wondering what the point was.

    The 6 per cent turnout is pretty poor – but still higher than the 4 per cent turnout for Roache’s GS election.

    I reckon quite a few people will leave GMB after this episode.

  7. Karl Stewart says:

    Meanwhile, the Unite union, twice the size of GMB, has formally re-affirmed its backing for Corbyn.

    But very little mention of that…I wonder why…

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