Got nothing against Gerard Coyne, but in 20-plus years associating with the labour movement I have never seen a candidate run such a desperate and rubbish General Secretary election campaign. Kicking off his Unite leadership bid, Gerard criticised Len McCluskey for spending more time talking about and fiddling with the Labour Party than looking after the welfare of the members. And since then, all his campaign has done is moan about Labour, taking potshots at Jeremy Corbyn, and busily morphing into the very caricature his pitch attacked. Meanwhile, Len has run a sensible Unite-focused campaign talking about workplace rights, pensions, attacks by bosses, members’ interests. You know, speaking to the people who pay his salary. Continue reading
I have been listening to their hopes and fears in the factories, bus garages, building sites and hospitals. They are worried about their jobs above all, about Theresa May’s “hard Brexit”, about the public services they can see crumbling around them after seven years of Tory austerity.
They are – every last one, no matter whether they support me or not – decent people, committed to doing their best for their families, their workplace and their communities in a troubled world. They are the sort of people who make me proud to be a trade unionist, and proud to be able to help them in their daily struggles. Continue reading
Even taking account the advantages of incumbency, the momentum, dynamism and confidence of Len McCluskey’s campaign to be re-elected General Secretary of Unite stands in sharp contrast to the lacklustre efforts of the right wing challenger, Gerard Coyne, and the amateur hour theatrics of the “grassroots” candidate, Ian Allinson.
What stands out is not only that Len can point to year on year achievement, but that his campaign is getting out and about meeting members in organized workplaces around the UK, where he is meeting a strong response. Continue reading
In recent years, “Economic credibility” has laughingly been defined as an economic policy that has delivered neither sustainable economic growth nor improved living standards for the overwhelming majority of people. Indeed, the Tories’ austerity has even failed on their own very narrow definition of success of reducing the debt to GDP ratio. Continue reading
Unite’s Policy Conference sent a very clear message to rebel Labour MPs yesterday by voting by an overwhelming majority to support a rule change to the Labour Party rulebook to reintroduce mandatory reselection of MPs before each general election.
The rule change, first introduced in the 1980s and then abolished under Neil Kinnock, to be replaced by the current system of ‘trigger ballots’, ensured that every sitting MP would face a full selection procedure before each new election. Initially a rule proposed by the Labour Left and the CLPD, it was designed to ensure parliamentarians remained accountable to their local parties. Continue reading