In December, Guido pointed out Richard Burgon had fallen victim to continually double counting when opining how to solve all of society’s problems. According to Richard, a top 10% wealth tax would raise £69 billion, which he would spend on, amongst other things: creating a ‘Social Emergency Fund’, ending the cost of living crisis, end people going cold, end hunger, cost future vaccine rollouts, pay for 150 new hospitals, eradicate homelessness, give nurses a “proper pay rise”, increase Universal Credit by £20 and invest in social care. Among other things…
It now seems it’s not just Guido poo-pooing this Burgon’s one-stop fiscal magic wand. Fellow lefty loon Howard Beckett, of Unite fame, yesterday tweeted that taxing the wealth of the UK’s billionaires at 3% would raise almost £60 billion – just £9 billion less than Burgon’s 10% wealth raid.
There are 171 billionaires in the UK with a total wealth of £560bl. Taxing their wealth over £10ml at just 3% would raise almost £60bl.— Howard Beckett (@BeckettUnite) March 24, 2022
Stop the tax increases on workers. Tax the billionaires.
Aside from all this being based on the presumption that billionaires will just stay and fill in their HMRC returns, rather than sail off to Monaco aboard their yachts, that’s a huge difference. Guido won’t labour the discrepancy too much, though perhaps they should get Diane to have a look over their fag packet calculations…
As Labour conference wraps up, rumours are circulating that Howard Beckett is finally out of Unite. While multiple sources claimed he’d been given the chop, another more senior Labour source says they’ve heard it is his decision to leave. The chair of Jewish Labour astutely points out Beckett’s name was missing from Unite’s official statement on Starmer’s keynote speech today:
Notable that Howard Beckett's name is not on this. Heard rumours all week that Unite's new leadership have dispensed of his services. https://t.co/e3YxWDyvNl— Adam Langleben (@adamlangleben) September 29, 2021
A Unite spokesperson would only say that: “Unite does not comment on staffing matters.”
Guido wonders how large the pay-out will have been…
UPDATE: BBC’s Iain Watson is reporting tonight that Beckett has only been removed from his political role. Beckett Is said to be “considering his options”.
When the Daily Mail intended to follow up a Guido exclusive that Len McCluskey had shared a hotel room with Karie Murphy (Corbyn’s then-chief of staff), McCluskey’s consigliere and legal chief Howard Beckett immediately muscled in, insisting the story was “untrue, vexatious and malicious” and that “such allegations are open to legal action by the parties concerned”. In no uncertain terms, he threatened to sue any paper that printed the story:
“Assertions to the contrary are nothing other than malicious in intent against the character of Mr McCluskey (and Ms Murphy). They are defamatory and if printed in the form suggested by your questions then will result in litigation. Additionally, it is our clear assertion that these pictures have been taken covertly by an individual with malicious intent, and the desire to seek to sell these to hostile media. We intend to identify this individual and/or the premises concerned and take appropriate action.
Except the story wasn’t untrue or defamatory: McCluskey and Murphy were in a relationship, and the photos reflected it. Now that McCluskey has a book to sell, he’s admitted to the whole thing, claiming “we wanted our relationship to be kept private, away from the public gaze”, and that they were very much more than just “close friends“. This is why Guido’s publisher is based offshore: it protects us from lying litigants…
Howard Beckett – who was suspended from Labour after tweeting that Priti Patel should be “deported” – has been booked to speak at tomorrow’s Show Racism the Red Card Facebook Live event. Seemingly Beckett’s getting away with a yellow card at most…
The event, which will focus on “the fallout from the Euros, the incredible response of the players and the country, and what we can do to stamp out racism in football”, is set to feature Bell Ribeiro-Addy MP, and former footballers Curtis Fleming, Shaka Hislop, and Leroy Rosenior. Beckett’s booking appears to be quite an own goal from the group…
Howard Beckett has pulled out of the race to be Unite’s next general secretary, according to Sky News. Matt Zarb-Cousin has been one of the first out of the blocks to commend the move, congratulated Beckett “for putting the movement first”.
Skwawkbox “thanks him for the hope he brought”. As if he is some sort of modern-day Nelson Mandela…
Beckett and Steve Turner have issued a joint statement, in which Beckett announces he will support Turner for Unite’s next general secretary:
“Howard Beckett has decided he will support Steve Turner as Unite’s next General Secretary. Both reconginse the vision and strengths of their respective campaigns and Steve Turner recognises the key manifesto commitments and energy generated by Howards campaign. They will both work to implement a blended manifesto, taking the best ideas from both candidates, when Steve Turner becomes General Secretary. Howard Beckett will campaign alongside Steve for the next two months to present a joint programme which includes greater support for workplace representatives, important new communications initiatives including Unite TV, upgraded education and training for members, an independent and progressive political voice, and a new structure for the union reflecting the diversity of our nations and regions.”
“Steve Turner warmly welcomes Howard Beckett’s support and appreciates his decision to stand aside. As General Secretary two of the most important people in his team will be Howard Beckett and Sharon Graham and the structures of Unite would reflect this.
On this basis we look forward to taking a united message of positive change to our members up and down Britain and Ireland over the next two months, building on Unite’s strengths while adding much more to what we can offer to working people. We are proud of our union, and look forward to shaping its future together.”
Guido sources say a deal will have been done to give Beckett a position that means McCluskey’s financial shenanigans will remain buried…
There are three left-wing candidates for general-secretary of Unite, Britain’s biggest union and Labour’s main paymaster, vying to replace Len McCluskey. They are Howard Beckett, Sharon Graham and Steve Turner. The moderate candidate is Gerard Coyne.
Despite Steve Turner winning the most branch nominations, the other two left-wing candidates are unwilling to stand their campaigns down, both arguing that they each have the best chance of beating the Coyne campaign.
Howard Beckett, who has the implicit backing of Len McCluskey and Karie Murphy, is running a noisy social media-led campaign supported by the alt-left media. Currently suspended from the Labour Party, he is a lawyer who sold his law firm for a £2.6 milion to Thompson Solicitors, Unite’s main law firm for industrial litigation, in a deal brokered by McCluskey. That dodgy deal made Beckett, the far-left’s candidate, a millionaire.
Beckett became Unite’s legal director after the transaction, overseeing the multi-million losses resulting from backing Swawkbox in their defamation case against Anna Turley. McCluskey is supporting Beckett, say rivals, because he has done McCluskey’s dirty work over the years and will ensure his mentor’s financial shenanigans don’t get exposed by his successor.
Sharon Graham would become Unite’s first woman general secretary, and has the support of the vocal minority of dedicated Socialist Worker Party activists who managed to secure her more nominations than Howard Beckett. The trots are running a slick campaign on her behalf, as you’d would expect from the experienced Unite organiser. Opponents say a Unite led by Graham would be a wildcard. She might expose the goings on of the McCluskey era, or she might focus on bringing down the Tory government.
Steve Turner is supported by the Communist Party and is the “official” left candidate. He is said to feel betrayed by Len McCluskey’s support for Beckett: after all, he ran Len’s campaign for general secretary – twice. Starmer is said to expect him to win, and sees him as someone who will be pragmatic in his relationship with the Labour Party, since he has previously said he has “no interest in a public spat with the leader of the Labour Party.” Beckett, on the other hand, wants to cut funding for the party.
Turner is the establishment left’s candidate, backed by the likes of the Owen Jones and many of the union’s top officials. McCluskey might be worried that murky financial dealings could be exposed if Turner won. He won by far the most branch nominations. If a deal is brokered by McCluskey for Turner to be the left’s single candidate, it would probably require a promise that Beckett would be given a finance job and a guarantee that nothing would come out about past financial misdemeanours. That’s still the most likely outcome.
Gerard Coyne is the “right-winger” of the race, at least in union terms. Starmer’s man for the job. The moderate narrowly lost to McCluskey for the role back in 2017, 41.5% to McCluskey’s 45.4%. He surprised the other candidates by winning enough nominations to go to the vote, because McCluskey and allies had deregistered a lot of the branches that supported him last time. Splitting the left vote between the other three candidates will work to Coyne’s advantage under FPTP and be the first bit of luck Starmer’s had…
Ballot papers will be sent out to more than one million Unite members at the beginning of July and the result will be declared at the end of August.