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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