#Prentis should be the one receiving a last warning – from #Unison members


Yesterday, the New Statesman carried an article by Unison General Secretary Dave Prentis titled,


Of course, we all know that when someone says they want to ‘tell you something as a friend’, it’s usually not going to be something very friendly and it’s no different in this case. But the change – and the wrong – is on Prentis’ side, not on that of his target.

In 2012, Dave Prentis echoed the words of the GMB General Secretary in attacking right-wing cuckoo-in-the-nest group, Progress, and in particular former blairite minister and still-blairite peer Peter Mandelson:

..must be desperate. Mandelson’s defence of Progress was ironic. It is a secretive organisation operating inside the Labour party

[Progress is] a party within a party, funded by external interests. An influence we will not support. It is intolerable that they should act in that way within our Labour party.

Just last weekend, Mandelson – just after a blatantly provocative intervention by Tony Blair that was clearly designed to cause problems for Labour in staunchly ‘leave’ Stoke and Copeland – made an astonishingly frank and deeply contemptible admission: that he tries ‘every single day’ to undermine the leader of the Labour Party.

In the space of a couple of days, we had the deity of red Toryism and its High Priest both attempting to undermine Labour’s electoral prospects – with impunity, as both are still members of the party yet escape all disciplinary action because of the blairite-controlled -HQ and undue influence on the party’s NEC – just the latest in an 18-month procession of right-wing sabotage of the party in the media and Parliament.

Surely a union leader would consider it ‘intolerable that they should act in that way within our Labour party‘.

Yet, in complete contrast to his 2012 position, Prentis is absolutely silent on it. Neither Mandelson nor Blair get so much as a mention in his New Statesman hit-piece, let alone the string of acolyte MPs (such as the one who vacated the Copeland seat in the first place to try to damage Corbyn) and jobsworths who have attempted to derail the Real Labour project and the wishes of the vast majority of Labour members.

Instead, we’re told it’s Corbyn’s fault that the party is not ‘headed for victory’.

Clearly something has happened to – or someone is exerting undue influence on – Dave Prentis. His re-election as General Secretary in late 2015 was plagued by accusations of vote-rigging and illegitimate use of Unison resources, while by autumn of 2016 Prentis was acquiescing as candidates backed by the Progress cult he had previously called on Labour to ban were worming their way into numerous positions of influence in the union.

It’s a dramatic turn-around – and one that goes back to well before any lost by-elections.

The blame for Labour’s travails so unarguably lies with the right-wing saboteur faction – and with the Tory-suborned media that promote and propagate its narrative – that anyone with a brain and in a position of access and influence like that of a union General Secretary cannot fail to recognise it.

So you have to ask why he’s pointing the finger at Corbyn while ignoring a malignancy that he himself was exposing and condemning just a few years ago.

And you’re also entitled to consider that it’s not Jeremy Corbyn who should be getting a final warning from the Unison General Secretary – but Dave Prentis who should be getting a final warning from an outraged Unison membership for being yet another stooge attempting to undermine their hopes of genuine change for the better.

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  1. I wonder what the state hv on him. He has nvr been thay good a leftymore sits or shits on the fence.

    Sent from my Samsung Galaxy smartphone.

  2. Thank you Dave. I will be sharing this around Facebook, Twitter, and will contact Unison, of which I am a member, asking for an explanation and demanding that Prentis be sacked.
    I would also like financially, to subscribe to your wonderful publication. Is there any way I can do so without using PayPal?

  3. I note that Prentice has been extremely vocal in denigrating Jeremy Corbyn’s achievements, and has been as quiet as a mouse in highlighting the Tories privatisation agenda.

    It really is time for Unison members to get rid of this worse than useless individual that has held their union back.

  4. The Observer won’t print it so may I share this with you?Your editorial (Labour is not a functioning opposition, leaving Mrs May free to act as she pleases) come so close to defining the problem. All that you write about the austerity programme May continues to impose on the country is undeniably true. She is not just taking us nowhere, as Riddell’s cartoon suggests, she is taking us to the American Nirvana of corporate control of what once were public services. The part of the problem you miss is that while you castigate Corbyn for not looking in his mirror you are not looking in your mirror either, The media is not as you claim, the opposition. By relentlessly diverting the attack onto Corbyn you are complicit in May’s game, Surely there is, at the very least, an argument that the official opposition is not actually ‘bereft of ideas” but that its ideas are simply anathema to those, including you apparently, who are convinced that socialism means unelectable. There is on YouTube an amusing clip of Giles Brandreth revealing to unsuspecting citizens of Guildford that they are “secret socialists” in favour of a list of Corbyn’s policies. If you want to claim that you are May’s opposition, instead of endlessly giving voice to those who, for various reasons, can’t stand Corbyn, might you consider reporting on what Corbyn’s ideas actually are and why a, possibly diminishing, number of your readers support those ideas?

  5. Thank you, John. I really can’t improve on your comment. It sets out precisely, all that I believe. Jeremy Corbyn has been relentlessly pursued and pilloried by most of the media, who seem to want nothing better than to oust him and never report what he has to say on any matter. Instead, they just keep repeating the mantra that; “he’s not electable” and “not a leader.”, in spite of the fact than he successfully and massively, staved off two leadership challenges, and has increased the membership massively, making the Labour Party the largest political party in Europe.
    It’s nothing short of scandalous. I’d like an intelligent, non-partisan, unbiased media now, pretty please.

  6. I worked for UNISON North West as a Local Organiser in Cumbria, Dave Prentis came to visit us on his reelection platform..
    He talks ‘Left’, but is hypocritical, criticising public sector organisations for their treatment of their staff.
    Prentis has created a Union that is low in morale, starved of resources and staff, staff underpaid compared to the senior officers.
    It’s time he retired, allowed new blood to rid it of its toxic organising model which is destroying morale and creating division between members and officers.

    Officers are there to serve the membership, not evading and dodging their duty of care to those who pay their salaries.
    So many members left to join other Unions due to officers failing to get the representation.

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