Unite union leader dismissive of Watson, corrects BBC on Labour policy
Len McCluskey dismissed Labour deputy leader Tom Watson’s views and motives in the bluntest terms during an interview this morning on Radio 5 Live’s Pienaar’s Politics – and had to correct professional commentators on Labour’s Brexit policy.
McCluskey described Watson as an unsuccessful ‘poor imitation’ of infamous Italian plotter Machiavelli. He also linked Watson’s comments in this morning’s Observer, calling for Labour to commit to a new public vote on Brexit, to the machinations of the likes of Tony Blair and Peter Mandelson and their hopes of preventing a Corbyn-led Labour government.
More importantly, he put the expected results of the European Parliament elections into proper context and reminded listeners that Labour is the only party attempting to do the best for both leave and remain supporters.
- said that he had ‘not at all’ changed his opposition to a new public vote and said that he and most other union leaders favour a ‘soft Brexit’ that Labour would have delivered by now had it won the 2017 general election
- reminded Pienaar that the current situation is entirely the fault of Theresa May and the Tories
- dismissed the European elections as ‘somewhat irrelevant’
- predicted a big win for the Brexit party and a smaller boost for the LibDems, driven by protest votes at the failure of the ‘political elite’ to honour the 2016 referendum result
- warned Watson and other would-be plotters that they are in for a shock if they think they can drive a wedge between Corbyn and Labour’s membership: “[Watson]’s going to lose disastrously“
- predicted that other plotters will try to misuse the EU election results to attack the Labour leader
- underlined how skilfully Corbyn has guided Labour to a strong position through a difficult situation and highlighted that a majority of Labour MPs represent areas that voted leave in 2016
- was forced to correct Pienaar’s unfounded claim that Labour members want the party to ‘unequivocally pivot’ to support a new referendum – and on Labour’s conference policy on Brexit
- told Labour MPs and members to ‘hold your nerve‘ as a general election looks likely
- described as ‘nonsense’ the idea of a general election ‘wipe-out’ for Labour if it fails to back a new referendum
- described Labour as ‘as united as it’s ever been’ in spite of the difficult Brexit circumstances
Listen to McCluskey’s full comments below:
As the SKWAWKBOX has already noted, Corbyn’s opponents are lining up to attempt to use the European Parliament election and the idea of a new public vote to undermine him in what amounts to a new coup.
Len McCluskey, who spends his time representing and talking to working-class people, knows it’s nonsense – and predicts they will fail yet again – and knows that Labour members, even most who would prefer to remain, prioritise a Labour government more highly than remaining in the EU.
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