Gerard Coyne has already shown himself to be visionless, insular and morally bankrupt through his conduct of his campaign for the position of Unite General Secretary.
So far he has
- obtained data on Labour members from their party, breaching the DPA and putting himself and his union at risk of unlimited fines
- made a false statement to the BBC about the use of the data, claiming it had ‘concluded’, when texts and emails continue to be sent to non-members of Unite by his campaign
- forced his own union to wash its hands of his campaign and slap him down for his unprincipled behaviour
- .refused to denounce support from racist group the EDL
- scuttled to the anti-union rag The Sun to appeal for support
- plotted hypocritically with right-wing Labour MPs – after claiming Unite should stay out of party politics
Worse, he’s not even very good at it. His campaign is sinking and the only support he’s been able to muster is from the likes of would-be union-smasher and serial election-loser John McTernan.
But Coyne plumbed new depths of incompetent opportunism today when he threw two of his own union colleagues ‘under the bus’ in a desperate bid for approval from somewhere, anywhere.
Coyne publicly identified two members of Unite who were on the panel for the hearing that suspended Ken Livingstone for a year – and attempted to smear their integrity, telling media:
I am ashamed that representatives of my union on the NCC panel were allegedly arguing against having any hearing at all… The leadership of Unite seems to think its role in the Labour Party is to defend the indefensible.
Two things scream for attention from Coyne’s statement, at least to any observer with a shred of objectivity. First is that Coyne clearly hasn’t worked out that if you want 1.4 million or so Unite members to even think about voting for you, stabbing two of them in the back for doing their job for the sake of ridiculous posturing is not the best move.
Second – and linked to the first – Coyne is clearly a fan of show-trials rather than actual trials.
The two Unite members – if it’s even true that they did argue against having a hearing – were doing what they were supposed to: looking at the evidence and making a judgment based on it.
Coyne, on the other hand, clearly wants – or at least is prepared to pretend he wants in the hope of an electoral gain – a ‘foregone conclusion’ in which Livingstone is adjudged guilty simply because he’s been accused.
Unite members – whom Coyne is asking to support his bid for the leadership of their union – will, for the most part take a very dim view of anyone who can’t be trusted to have their back. Because if he’s prepared to opportunistically betray two Unite representatives on a tricky panel for political gain, they’ll know instinctively that he’d do the same to them – as individuals or as a union – as soon as it suits him.
The two Unite members of the panel acted with integrity: knowing any decision except outright expulsion would attract heavy fire from those who will grasp any opportunity for a smear, they still looked at the evidence, heard the testimony – and made the judgment they thought it all merited.
Coyne, on the other hand, wouldn’t know integrity if it bit his behind. And although he’s a snake, he’s not even a competent one.
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