Unite statement on Falkirk

Falkirk CrisisIn July this year Unite was subjected to a major campaign of criticism regarding allegations of misconduct in the affairs of Falkirk Constituency Labour Party – in essence that the union had tried to manipulate the selection procedure for a Labour candidate for the constituency outside the Party’s rules. The union was enjoined by a range of political and media voices to take these allegations seriously and investigate them.

The core of the allegations, which have now resurfaced in a distorted form in the media, were contained in an internal Labour Party report into Falkirk. Unite has not received a copy of this “Falkirk report” to this day, although a senior Unite official was allowed to read a copy at Labour Party headquarters in July. Continue reading

No change at Falkirk. Just one good trade unionist out of a job

Stevie Deans and GrangemouthFor the Labour Party, nothing about Falkirk has changed. There never was any ballot rigging scandal there, as the BBC found three months ago. In spite of many column inches of the Sunday Times (£) devoted to “union dirty tricks“, there is no new smoking gun amongst the 1000 emails that Ineos have passed to the local Police (who must be pretty fed up with having their time wasted by any bigwig that happens to have a grudge against Stevie Deans), or presumably the Sunday Times would have told us. Continue reading

Grangemouth, class aggression and the ‘national interest’

Grangemouth posterizedIt is in ‘the national interest’ that Grangemouth remain open say the Scottish Government, refusing to countenance closure. They are however seemingly content with the idea that this be accomplished by the Ineos workforce sacrificing wages, pensions, redundancy terms and shift allowances. The national interest is being defined as the continuation of production at the plant and the refinery across the road, and only this. It’s an illustration of who counts as ‘the nation’ and gives us an idea of whose interests count as national priorities. Continue reading

Unite has been vindicated over Falkirk. It’s time for others to move on

Falkirk CrisisUnite Scotland statement on the Falkirk Constituency Labour Party (CLP) selection by Pat Rafferty, Unite Scottish Regional Secretary.

That Unite did nothing wrong in the Falkirk CLP is now a matter of fact.

This was made clear by the Labour Party last week (Friday 6 September 2013) and more importantly by Police Scotland earlier last month.

Despite this, two Unite members, Stephen Deans and Karie Murphy, continue to be misrepresented by the media. Continue reading

The battle for Labour’s soul

Sainsbury & McCluskeyIn the run-up to next year’s local government elections and as a springboard to the general election, Labour will hold a “special conference” next year.

Will it be to launch a popular campaign for jobs, growth and an end to the privatisation of our public services?

Might it be to roll out its anti-austerity manifesto?

Could it be to expose a developing Tory-Ukip pre-election pact?

Or could it be to take on the Tories and the SNP which between them want Scotland to take the lonely road to independence? Continue reading