Red Len Loses Unite’s Parliamentary Branch Nomination

There was a packed room for the Unite Parliamentary Branch nomination meeting just now. Despite the presence of members of the Labour leader’s office including Corbyn’s trade union liason official – Nancy Platt – and the thumbscrews being applied by Karie Murphy and Jon Lansman with a crowd from Momentum’s HQ who don’t even work in parliament, the result was 35 to 25 in favour of the moderate candidate, Gerard CoyneA symbolic defeat for Len McCluskey….

Karie Murphy’s “Jobs for Votes” Offer

Karie Murphy, the courtesan in the court of Corbyn who runs his office, is usually coyly described “as a close friend of Len McCluskey”. Loyally she is campaigning for him to keep control of Unite in the leadership election. Labour staffers are often card carrying members of the union. Some of whom have been put under pressure over the Parliamentary Branch’s nomination in the election. A co-conspirator emails:

“Karie told me that voting for Len will help my chances of getting a job in Unite or the Leader’s office. It’s put me off voting at all to be honest.”

Another Unite member and staffer said:

We all thought staff would be left to make their own decision on who they want to run Unite, but I’ve been put under massive pressure to vote for Len and I’m really worried about what will happen if I don’t.

Unfortunately this exactly what we expected given the culture in Unite, and we’re expecting more of the same at the nomination meeting on Thursday.

The Unite Parliamentary Branch’s nomination meeting is later today. Karie will be watching…

McCluskey’s Contempt of Parliament: Commons Investigation Launched

Moderate Labour MP Wes Streeting has asked the Leader of the House to investigate a covert recording of a meeting of Labour MPs with “trade union leaders”. David Lidington says he is going to probe this breach of parliamentary rules. In theory if the spy is identified they could be found in contempt of parliament and imprisoned in the cellroom by the Serjeant at Arms…

This is all related to Len McCluskey‘s fight for the leadership of Unite with Gerard Coyne. Their enmity dates back to a move reminiscent of a Stalinist show trial to implement ‘people’s justice’, with McCluskey disciplining his leadership rival, Gerard Coyne, as a punishment for addressing a group of Labour MPs in parliament “without permission”.

McCluskey gave Coyne a “final written warning” for speaking at an event held in parliament by Labour for the Common Good. The continuity New Labour group founded by Chuka Umunna and Tristram Hunt is an organisation that McCluskey says does not fit with “Unite’s political vision”. Following the disciplinary hearing McCluskey found that Coyne was guilty of a breach of trust and gave him a final written warning. The evidence at that disciplinary hearing was based on a recording…

Red Len’s Hotel Hospitality Hypocrisy

Unite went on the attack yesterday over employment practices in hotels and restaurants, slamming chef Michel Roux for including service charges added to bills in his revenue. On the subject of workers’ rights in the hospitality industry, worth remembering Unite boss Len McCluskey was caught enjoying himself at the £1,200 a night Hotel de Paris in Monte Carlo last year. What the papers missed was that the hotel was the scene of the longest strike over staff pay and conditions in Monaco’s history, when waiters and cleaners protested against a 50% cut in take-home pay. With ammo like this, it’s a surprise Coyne hasn’t started getting personal yet…

Momentum Spent Thousands to Gain 0.4% Votes

Momentum have spent thousands on Facebook advertising to recruit supporters to Unite to vote for Len McCluskey in the union’s forthcoming election. People in the know estimate well over £10,000 was spent…

The Guardian reports that just an

“extra 659 people joined as community members in December compared with the previous month, part or all of which may be the result of the campaign group asking its supporters to join Unite to vote to keep McCluskey, a key ally of Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn.

In total the union has 1.4 million members, though only about 15% voted in the last election of its general secretary in 2013. Were all the new members to vote, the turnout could be expected to increase by around 4%.”

Not fake news just poor mathematics, the increased vote would be a mere 0.4%.  A rounding error…

McCluskey Plans to Shaft Corbyn

Back in October last year Guido reported that:

“After Unite’s internal elections in 2018 the expectation is that McCluskey, having secured his own re-election, will decide to flex Unite’s financial and organisational muscle to put someone more competent and electable in as Labour’s leader.”

It was pretty much an open secret in Labour Party circles, today confirmed by Len to the Mirror:

“Let’s suppose we are not having a snap election. It buys into this question of what happens if we get to 2019 and opinion polls are still awful. The truth is everybody would examine that situation, including Jeremy Corbyn and John McDonnell. These two are not egomaniacs, they are not desperate to cling on to power for power’s sake.”

Given the public have made their mind up about Jezza, who might succeed him? Guido is not as sure that about John McDonnell’s lack of ego as Len. Clive Lewis is the preferred option of the likes of Paul Mason – that we know due to the audio exposure of his two-faced support. Guido detects Lewis also has leftie luvvie media support from the likes of Owen Jones. Lewis himself has been publicly shifting his position on two litmus test positions; Trident replacement and immigration. Conventional Labour Party wisdom outside the Corbynistas is that they are unelectable if they don’t shift on these two issues. Remember Lewis was humiliated by Seumas Milne, a humiliation that may prove costly.

Guido wonders if Jezza might not be relieved to surrender the leadership to Lewis. McDonnell on the other hand…

This will all play into May’s general election timing calculations. She will thrash a Corbyn led Labour Party. Will she thrash a younger more vigorous Labour Party leader repackaged as Britain’s version of Obama? Would that prospect have her make an election dash…

Red Len’s “Great Value” to the Morning Star

Pro-Assad agitprop rag the Morning Star has endorsed Len McCluskey for the Unite leadership. Their floppy-haired, Oxford-educated editor Ben Chacko explains:

“Mr McCluskey’s support and advice has been of great value to us throughout his leadership.”

Chacko’s paper is in line to receive a good deal more than “advice” should Red Len be re-appointed General Secretary of Britain’s wealthiest union. During McCluskey’s current tenure “support” meant thousands of full-colour Morning Star subscription mail shots sent out to Unite branches across Britain at members’ expense. In one leaflet McCluskey decrees:

“There is no substitute for reading the paper but you could also take out a shareholding in the Morning Star and send a regular monthly sum to the paper’s Fighting Fund.” 

Len’s “support” has indeed been of “great value” to the Morning Star, least they can do is repay the favour…

Red Len Spinner Demanding End to Free Movement Lives in Spain

Len McCluskey is launching his Unite re-election campaign this morning, making an end to free movement one of his main campaign pledges. This puts him noticeably at odds with the pro-open borders Jeremy Corbyn and Diane Abbott. Labour are promising a “populist rebrand” in the new year – is Red Len backing immigration controls a sign of change to come?

Guido noticed that the Unite spinner who briefed out Len’s anti-free movement pledge is Jennie Walsh, who lives in Órgiva, Spain. Jennie writes a blog called “Left from Granada” where she shares her thoughts on “life and politics in las Alpujarras”. As she puts it:

“I moved… with my husband and daughter from leafy north London to Órgiva, in the foothills of the Sierra Nevada mountains. Some have asked why swap Hampstead Heath for Las Alpujarras. I have of course asked the same question. But as I write this blog and the stunning Sierra Lujar range feels close enough to touch, I have no doubt that the decision is the right one.”

Jennie is certainly one who has enjoyed the perks of free movement…

Red Len’s “Stunning” Luxury Apartment Paid For By Unite

len1

Today’s Guardian reveals Unite bunged Len McCluskey £400,000 to help him buy a central London flat in February. So where has Red Len been living it up with his members’ money? This is the luxury apartment block where Unite generously decided to help Len buy, described as “stunning“, “stylish” and “superb” by estate agents.

len2

The plush flats in the contemporary block are all kitted out like the one in these show apartment photos. Wood flooring, an open plan fitted kitchen and floor-to-ceiling windows. Len has a “sought after” two bedder. The views aren’t bad either:

len3

Nothing’s too good for the workers…

Unite Motion Calls for “Loyal” Anti-Semites to Be Reinstated

UNITE FOR ANTI-SEMITES

Unite had up until now managed to stay out of the Labour anti-Semitism crisis. That’s not good enough for the London ITC branch of the Union, who will next Thursday be debating readmitting suspended members. Sources say the following is specifically about anti-Semitism. The branch’s motion claims:

There has been a wave of expulsions within the Labour Party, targeting socialist activists and supporters of Party leader Jeremy Corbyn.

These comrades are being expelled on the grounds that they do not support the aims and values of the Labour Party.

This branch believes the expelled comrades are loyal Labour Party members, who are being targeted on spurious grounds as part of a right-wing campaign to undermine Jeremy Corbyn’s leadership.

The lack of due process involved in these expulsions is outrageous, as is the failure to apply the principles of natural justice.

The shadowy and unaccountable Compliance Unit is acting in the manner of a vigilante as a law unto itself.

This branch demands that a stop be brought to these expulsions and that all those who do support the aims and values of the Labour Party be welcomed into the Party with open arms.

That the Compliance Unit be abolished. That, rather than expelling socialist activists, Labour focus its attention on uniting together around a socialist programme in order to defend Corbyn, kick out the Tories, and end austerity.

Loyal Labour party members who believe Zionists colluded with the Nazis, Israelis should be “relocated“, and who call on their comrades to address the Jewish question. All comrades targeted on spurious grounds, apparently…

Labour’s Brave Line on Tax Dodging Donors

tax hypocrisy mcdonnell

This is a pretty brave attack line from John McDonnell over Tory party donors who may have avoided tax:

“Is the Prime Minister happy to receive money from big donors who are accused of tax avoidance?”

Especially when you consider that Labour’s biggest donor Unite paid no corporation tax in 2011 and 2012, despite earning £5.78 million from their £51.6 million investment portfolio. The GMB union paid zero corporation tax on its investment income of £1.6 million, neither did the Community union on their income of £4.1 million for the period. McDonnell himself received £3,000 from Unite in 2014. As of last year who were Labour’s biggest non-union donors? Accountancy firm PricewaterhouseCoopers, who have been slammed by the Public Accounts Committee for “promoting tax avoidance”To paraphrase, is the Shadow Chancellor happy to receive money from big donors who are accused of tax avoidance?

Red Len’s Steel Shaft

len-shaft

Why are the two unions (Community and Unite) not working together for their members in the face of one of the biggest industrial crises in years? Community is the biggest union in the steel industry and Unite should be supporting them not trying to grandstand and compete for media attention. Relations have totally broken down due to Red Len’s bully boy attitude towards more moderate unions like Community – they took their Labour NEC place off them. So the steel workers are not directly represented on the Labour Party’s ruling body.

In what was described as conference victory for Jeremy Corbyn, the moderate trade union Community was replaced by the left-wing Bakers, Food & Allied Workers Union. Community relied on the votes of Unite to keep them in place, votes that were not forthcoming.

The struggle takes many forms – in Wales Unite prioritises jostling for left-wing influence over the proper representation of steel workers. Up the workers!

Proof Unite Vetted NEC Vote

Last month Guido revealed that Unite were planning to stitch up the vote for a seat on Labour’s NEC at the party’s youth conference. Well, the vote was this weekend. And whaddaya know…

Below are WhatsApp exchanges between a Labour delegate and Unite fixer Charlotte Upton, in which Upton breaches secret ballot rules by insisting she checks each vote to make sure delegates choose the Unite candidate:

And here’s the proof it happened:

A source in the room claims Unite delegates blocked access to the polling area as they vetted their comrades’ voting intentions. One young delegates was “too scared to return to his hotel room” following the incident, and is believed to have sought accommodation away from his union delegation. Labour are now under pressure to launch an inquiry

Fix! Unite Accused of Stitching Up Labour NEC Election

Len McCluskey

Serial seat fixers Unite are being accused of stitching up the election for a place on Labour’s NEC. The seat Unite are allegedly targeting is that of the Young Labour representative, currently held by Bex Bailey. How are they doing it? 

Red Len is helpfully paying for activists to attend the Labour youth wing’s conference in Oxford next month. All the kids have to do in return is choose Unite’s preferred candidate when the NEC vote takes place. Activist Rhys Morgan was one of those offered the freebie:

“At some point in the meeting it was also suggested that we endorse a particular candidate for Labour’s National Executive Committee Youth Representative. We only heard the one name, and a brief summary of why we should support them. There was no mention made of other candidates standing.”

So Unite are stuffing the conference with activists who will vote for the union’s candidate. Morgan explains:

“The more I think about it, the clearer it becomes that Unite are trying to abuse this inaccessibility by providing travel and accommodation for those who have been affiliated in some way with, or have openly endorsed their candidate, ensuring they’ll be there to vote for Unite’s preferred candidate… It seems very much like Unite are trying to indirectly buy more influence in the Labour party by paying for “the right kind” of delegates to attend the conference so they can vote for Unite’s preferred candidate to be elected onto Labour’s National Executive Committee”

Unite lost key influence on the Labour NEC when Steve Rotheram was kicked off. Now it looks like they are trying to nab another seat to make up for it. At a time when the NEC’s delicate balance of power is more significant than ever…

Mirror Spikes Unite’s Zero Hours Contracts Story

mirror image oopsThe Mirror has long railed against zero hours contracts. No surprise then, that when Britain’s biggest union was being sued by a former employee after they kicked off over their own alleged zero hours contract, The Mirror was on the scene:

Google picked it up:

Unite_being_sued_for_£200,000_after_hiring_activist_on_zero_hours_contract_-_Google_Search_-_2016-01-27_12.12.07

Shortly after the story went to pixel, it mysteriously vanished.[…] Read the rest

+ READ MORE +

Unite Labour Councillor in Sick Auschwitz Austerity Slur

Having served 25 years as a national secretary for Unite, career comrade Bernadette Fisher finally got the call up to be a Labour councillor in Whitstable in May.

Six weeks into the job and she is already retweeting tasteless photoshops of Auschwitz:

When she isn’t agitating, Bernadette spends her spare time working as a yoga teacher.[…] Read the rest

+ READ MORE +

Unite MPs Backing Burnham

andyburnham

“I am attracting support from all parts of the party” said Andy Burnham on Sunday, insisting that Len McCluskey was “wrong” about Labour’s future direction. Well, here is the list of supporters being pushed by Burnham’s friends today:

Of the eleven, seven are either members of Unite or have received donations from Unite.[…] Read the rest

+ READ MORE +

Looks Like a Zero Hours Contract, Sounds Like a Zero Hours Contract…

zero-ed

Much squirming over semantics as Ed’s pledge to end the “epidemic” of zero-hours contracts becomes embarrassing following revelations that over a quarter of Labour MPs as well as their biggest funder, the Unite union, employ workers on essentially “zero hours” contracts.[…] Read the rest

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Unite Labour Candidate Dragged Into ‘Smear’ Scandal

Decent Labour members are kicking off in York after Unite’s NHS agitator Rachael Maskell won a bitter selection battle to inherit Hugh Bayley’s seat. Local party members say Maskell was parachuted in ahead of several local candidates, accusing her of being a Unite puppet who lived in London until only a few weeks ago.[…] Read the rest

+ READ MORE +

Awkward Len Moments

An afternoon full of awkward Ed Miliband moments during Len McCluskey’s Press Gallery lunch today, not least his verdict on the Labour leadership:

“I believe the British electorate are of a mind unless there is a real alternative to say you know what, we best stick with the devil we know.

[…] Read the rest

+ READ MORE +



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