There are many, many reasons to vote for Len McCluskey as General Secretary if you’re a Unite member. McCluskey ‘gets it’ – the importance of strong unions to the lives of not just their members but of the ‘99%’, those of us who are not beneficiaries of the Tories’ tax cuts for the rich and who suffer from the huge cuts in vital services that they make to fund them. He has fire, spine – and loyalty.
His main challenger Gerard Coyne, on the other hand, is insipid, beholden to right-wing interests and has fought a campaign based on smears, innuendo and hypocrisy. What passes for his ‘vision’ for the union involves a Trump-like retreat behind walls, sticking fingers in ears and saying ‘lala’ while society is dismantled around it, ignoring that Unite members have family and friends who might not be members but still need the country’s biggest union doing its job in every sense.
There was already anything but a shortage of compelling logic as to which candidate to vote for, but this morning we have one more reason, courtesy of one John McTernan.
John, this morning, responded to last night’s SKWAWKBOX article on Coyne’s backing by Tom Watson and Rupert Murdoch with this ‘snappy 11-hr comeback’:
McTernan is former Director of Political Operations to Tony Blair (that went well), former Special Adviser to the Secretary of State for Scotland (THAT went well!), former Communications Director to Australian PM Julia Gillard (that went REALLY well, there was a scandal over his appointment, then she resigned and retired in 2013).
Then he was Chief of Staff to then-Scottish Labour leader Jim Murphy in the run up to the 2015 General Election – and that was just a disaster, with Labour losing all but one MP in Scotland.
Even more pertinently to Unite members, though, McTernan has some ‘interesting’ views on the place of ordinary Labour supporters, the role of unions and how governments should treat them.
In 2015, in the run-up to the 2015 Labour leadership result, McTernan was asked by the Tory Spectator about the views of ‘grassroots’ members and responded with the infamous,
Who cares about the grassroots?
Worse still, last summer as unions fought to save jobs and protect rail passengers, McTernan told another Tory publication:
Coyne’s campaign for the Unite leadership has been an unscrupulous disaster from start to finish – but I doubt that even he would thank McTernan for what may well be the final nail in the coffin of his campaign and, with luck, his career.
The architect of electoral disaster upon electoral disaster, would-be union-crusher John McTernan, endorses Gerard Coyne’s candidacy and ‘vision’ for Unite.
What more does any Unite member need to know?
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