News today of Len McCluskey’s intention to resign this week as General Secretary of Unite has come as a bolt from the blue. Or has it?
It’s been obvious for some time now that an attack on his leadership was going to be the culmination of the moves by Progress to pull Corbyn’s union support base out from under him – just as it’s obvious that the right-wing faction would happily lose the next election if it allows them to regain their control of the Labour party.
USDAW is already compromised. GMB is uncertain. Unison is heavily infiltrated and its leader’s loyalties in doubt. But for the Blairite faction to succeed in their ultimate aim it needs Unite under its control.
McCluskey was secure until the next Unite leadership election – in 2018, just as Corbyn’s Labour would be ramping up its preparations and campaigning for a 2020 election, giving the Progress plotters 2 years to conspire and organise to topple the steadfastly pro-Corbyn leader of the UK’s biggest union.
So his resignation now is a bold, brilliant but extremely risky strategy to make Unite a firm, pro-Corbyn base until well after the next election in 2020 or earlier.
Bold because it was unexpected, stakes everything on the outcome and will have caught by surprise both Labour’s right wing and any stooges they were hoping to stand against him.
Brilliant because in forcing them to battle he has deprived them at a stroke of two years’ preparation, making them fight an agile, ad hoc campaign to which they’re ill suited.
High-risk because if he fails and falls to a Progress candidate, it is likely to fatally wound Corbyn’s structural support-base.
So he must not fail.
If you’re a Unite member, make sure you vote – and if you can, make sure you campaign in your workplace, branch and region.
If you’re not – join. If you’re not a union member at all, it’s high time you became one anyway. If you’re a member of Unison or USDAW, you’re far better – at least right now – in Unite.
Here‘s where to join. Do it now and jump in – and share this so others do the same.
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