Unite and Labour after Falkirk

July 28, 2013 at 11:40 am (democracy, elections, Jim D, labour party, TUSC, unions, Unite the union, workers)

“Unite welcomes the police decision not to investigate the Falkirk selection, which appears to be based on an overdue application of common sense to the situation.  Unite reaffirms what it has always said – the union broke neither Labour Party rules nor the law in Falkirk.  Those in the media who have smeared the union without evidence or justification should now hang their heads in shame.  We would hope that Labour will now lift the suspensions of Stevie Deans and Karie Murphy, agree to an independent investigation into what happened in Falkirk, and restore full rights to the constituency party as soon as possible” – Unite spokesperson last week.
Isn’t Wasting Police Time a criminal offence?

Most readers will know that the outrageous decision by the Labour leadership to refer Unite to the police has resulted in the police now stating that there is not enough evidence to even launch an investigation.

A comrade from United Left has drawn my attention to an interesting report on BBC iPlayer:

It’s very telling that the national Labour Party refused to take part in the BBC report, but on hearing the police decision issued a statement that they would pursue disciplinary action. It will be interesting to see how far that gets, as Unite insiders assure me that, at worst, any irregularities that took place in Falkirk were utterly trivial.

My United Left comrade adds:

“Also has anyone reminded Ed Miliband of his USDAW video? Oh and also that USDAW nominated his Blairite brother David for Labour Party leader. If you get USDAW to pay for you to join the Labour Party (a rule/policy that was introduced by Tony Blair) it appears to be OK and is fully supported by Ed, but not OK if you are in Unite.”

Paradoxically, the ‘Falkirk’ business seems to me to have demonstrated just how politically important and potentially powerful the unions’ Labour link can be. But some dunderheaded sectarians just don’t get it: ‘TUSC‘ and its ideological sponsor, The Socialist Party, are now stepping up their campaign to get Unite to disaffiliate (spelled out bluntly here). This madness needs to be knocked on the head very, very firmly.

And it’s not true that “Unite is at a turning point in its relationship with the Labour Party” (as you may have read elsewhere), if what is being suggested is that disaffiliation is now on McCluskey’s agenda. What is happening is that the Unite leadership, together with a wide-ranging group of left wing thinkers (bringing together some unlikely allies) is working on a proposal to put forward at Labour’s special conference. The proposal will address any legitimate concerns raised by the Falkirk affair, but  will clearly reaffirm the right of affiliated trade unions to use the structures of the Labour Party to promote their policies and support union members seeking selection as elected representatives of the Party.

More on this shortly…

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