This morning’s papers could not have been comfortable reading for the majority of the Labour Party who did not vote for Ed Miliband. Despite attempts to say “so what” to the fact that Unite and the other unions have the leader of their party by the balls, Red Ed is being defined by his opponents (and supporters) before the voting public have any idea who he really is. Not without good reason, imagine the outcry from Labour if the Tories biggest donor had been given the deciding say in who the party leader is, against the wishes of the membership and MPs. Try as Ed may to claim he is his own man, the results speak for themselves and how they were achieved is very telling.
Not only was there the £135,000 given to Ed’s campaign directly, but money was spent elsewhere pushing his face and name. Take this ballot paper envelope from the GMB for example:
Unite the Union broke not only the spirit but the letter of the leadership election laws by sending a mailshot endorsing Ed when they sent the ballot papers to their 950,000 members. Unite even set up a website backing Red Ed which linked to the Electoral Reform Society’s online voting page. If David Miliband had a little less dignity he would have pretty solid grounds for an investigation.
The unions gave help-in-kind worth millions. There is no way the unions will not want a return for their investment and in the campaign Ed promised to support strikes and even show his face at the TUC’s coordinated action day. Guido is fairly confident this won’t happen and Ed will have to attempt to distance himself from his puppet-masters. Expect tame words calling for political solutions and the like…