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Holmes streets ahead to win endorsement of another Unison region – this time union’s biggest – in general secretary contest

Grassroots change candidate ‘smashes it’: Unison rep

Paul Holmes, the popular grassroots-left change candidate fighting for to replace right-winger Dave Prentis as general secretary of the UK’s biggest union, has scored a huge victory today – by a distance – in the contest’s preliminary stages, by winning the nomination of Unison’s biggest region.

Holmes, who has already been backed by the south-east region, won a vote of north-west regional branch delegates – with almost five times as many votes as his nearest challengers:

Paul Holmes 79
Roger McKenzie 17
Christine McAnea 17
Hugo Pierre 2
Peter Sharma 0

Holmes, a genuine working-class union activist of decades’ experience who has promised to do the job on his current salary of £32,000 to free up funds for core union needs, clearly worries the right-dominated Unison establishment. Right-wingers on the union’s NEC this week pulled a manoeuvre to change the voting method at an NEC meeting when he looked about to win the endorsement of Unison’s ruling body. Even under the hastily-imposed ‘STV’ voting system, Holmes came within a whisker of victory and was deprived only by the decision of some supporters of softer-left candidate Roger McKenzie to support right-wing continuity candidate Christine McAnea, or abstain, in the final round.

Unison’s north-west convenor, speaking in a personal capacity, welcomed the result, while well-known union activist John Burgess, who has been helping to run Holmes’s campaign, said Holmes ‘smashed it’:

If a genuine left-winger wins the general secretary post soon to be vacated by Prentis, it will represent a huge step forward for Unison and the whole Labour movement.

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51 comments

  1. I struggle to see why so much importance is attached to these endorsement votes. Is it really worthy of the name democracy if the electorate behave like good little factional sheeple. and just obediently cast their vote as instructed.

    1. If Paul Holmes frightens the centristRight just by standing, he’s the right candidate for me.

      A fine socialist and Labour Party member, Paul has an outstanding record as branch secretary of Kirklees Unison and on both the national executive and the local government executive. Most significantly, he would inject real change to Unison‘s staid, tired, some say docile head office culture – and displease the centristRight.

    2. Too far left for you then, little steven?

      Oh, but of course – I get it now….You only voted for stammer because he was best of a bad bunch, didn’t you? Nobody endorsed him to you, and you didn’t endorse him, did you?

      At least you didn’t (fully) endorse him until his usurpation was complete….Now you just can’t stop yerself from *ahem* blowing his trumpet can you?

    1. Seems they’ve started here by calling the people who say they’re going to vote for him “sheeple” (‘good little factional people’). So predictable!

      They could also suspend him – Oh no, they did that last November – and refuse point-blank to give ANY details of the “serious and confidential” accusation they make against him.

      Should we laugh or cry?

      They’ll be calling-in the Billionaire Press/BBC big Guns soon and trying to play an AS/racism card.

      Same old same old.

      1. qwertboi – First off I haven’t accused anyone of anything and my reference to sheeple applies to all (right, left or centre) who seemingly can’t think for themselves.

        The dilemma ‘the left’ seems to have is that whilst Jeremy Corbyn endorses McKenzie his comrade John McDonnell endorses Holmes.

        Unfortunately for democracy the reality is that the turnout will be so abysmal that the eventual winner will only have to enthuse between 5 and 10% of the union’s membership to vote for them to ‘win’ his or her ‘mandate’.
        There would be far less need for these tribal votes if they dumped FPTP for the same system that Labour uses for its leadership elections.

      2. Yes the Holmes/McDonnell, McKenzie/Corbyn choice is an issue. For me it’s an easy one to resolve: a decade already at the heart of head office beaurocracy, McK has never gone out on a limb to represent rank and file, but simply tutted and gone along with the organisational machine – but Holmes would challenge it and re-define the gen sec role from ceo to agitator-in-chief.

        Constructive Destruction – it’s not just for self-serving capitalists and obsessive capital accumulators. It can help the working class and Justice too.

      3. SteveH – unions tend to do what members want from them whoever leads. Their contact with the union is through their company and local union reps and those are the people they care about.
        That’s why most don’t care enough to vote in elections of ‘higher ups’ and the turnout is low.

  2. Paul Holmes, if loses, can easily split UNISON into two separate trade unions, thus giving membership the choice of clone Tory or working class trade unions. UNISON was before 3 separate trade unions.

    1. The overwhelming majority of Unison members are too apathetic to vote so good luck with that one.

  3. Any system that produced the knights leadership of the Labour party (rigged)and funded by outside foreign money is a disgrace to democracy Steve H..Much of the establishment knights treachery will destroy the Labour party and collapse the membership.We have seen your message and its rotten to the core .Now go coollect your silver and choke on it..

    1. Joseph – 🙄, How Trumpian of you. It is the same democratic voting system that facilitated putting Corbyn in office.
      Democracy can prove to be really inconvenient when you are in the minority. You can’t have it all ways you either believe in democracy or you don’t, there’s no halfway house.

      1. Yes, so can the MSM (prove to be really inconvenient) when it comes to smearing someone so as to make absolutely certain they don’t ever get into government, with not a little assistance from Blairight-wingers, INCLUDING Starmer himself of course!

      2. Allan – Surely you’re not another one who only supports democracy when it goes his way.

      3. Says Steve, pretending that he didn’t get the point I was making! So the MSM et al just spent four years smearing JC and the left membership and subverting democracy as such, but SteveH would have readers believe democracy rules! Steve obviously thinks readers of skwawkbox are idiots who are easily duped, and doubly insults their intelligence in the process!

      4. Allan – Oh I got your point OK, (you repeat it ad-nauseam) I just chose to ignore your attempt to shift the conversation to your personal obsession.

    2. Spot on!

      Whilst staying IN the party, any time I have reason to mention either Siri Keir (who, like Apple and Google, is a hard promoter of the capitalist system) or the Leadership role, I will automatically and mechanistically add your (fine) words above, “keir’s leadership will destroy the Party and collapse the membership”.

      Spot on Joseph!

  4. Sorry to bring you all back to the day job
    Who is it on the left who has the conversation with every OTHER left candidate and says NEEDS MUST, we need you to drop out of the election to ensure our candidate wins
    And I think one thing we all agree 9n is the need to get more members voting, one clear cut choice 9n the left should help

  5. Meanwhile, a union worth it’s salt has told stammer to get his act in order (or thereabouts)

    https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-54170879

    Sir Keir Starmer has been warned against “watering down” the “radical policies” he promised during his campaign to become Labour leader.

    The Fire Brigades Union told the BBC he must not “cede any ground” to the Conservatives and fight for “root-and-branch” reform of society.

    General Secretary Matt Wrack added that he had not “heard Keir make that case” since becoming Labour leader in April.

  6. What really annoys me is that the so called “Socialist Party” put up a no-winner in order to defeat a really good leftist guy

      1. SteveH
        Your missing the point, we will support the candidate
        Those on the right are still in the party because the left cannot run a bath
        Don’t worry about Temporary Embarrassment he is way down the pecking order for who do we throw out the party first
        My vote is for the War Criminal and Thatchers greatest creation
        Sir Snear will come under other housekeeping measures

      2. Doug – Is there a reason why you have tried to distract from my question instead of answering it.?

      3. And do you include yourself Doug in respect of your claim that the left can’t run a bath? If you think so badly of the left, why do you spend so much time every single day posting on a left-wing blog?!

        If you’re so clever and superior, why don’t you go forth and get your own party together and show us how it’s done, instead of expending your ‘energies’ on here!

      4. Allan – Oh if only we were all as clever as you like to think you are.

      5. Yes, well coming from a righ-wing shill that IS amusing. So do I take it you agree with Doug that the left can’t “run a bath”? And what’s ‘cleverness’ got to do with it Steve, or is THAT all you can think of to say so as to try and negate what I said to Doug in the eyes of readers of SB!

        If posters on here think the ‘left’ are so useless, then why do they spend every single day all day long posting on here – ie on a left-wing blog. Doesn’t make sense, does it (needless to say, SteveH won’t be answering that question!). And the funny thing is that Doug’s put-down is EXACTLY the kind of thing I’ve come across in the comment sections of the Daily Mail and the Sun and the Express on countless occasions in relation to Jeremy Corbyn and/or the left during the time Jeremy was leader, and since!

        Anyway, so what took you so long this time to ‘Reply’…… thirty-one minutes! Havin’ yur tea-break were you!

      6. Allan – I would have thought it was self evident that the self appointed guardians of ‘the left’ lack something, otherwise they’d be more successful. As to whether you are capable of running a bath that will obviously depend on how many are involved in running the bath

      7. Oh, right Steve, and the unprecedented Smear Campaign against Jeremy and the left had absolutely nothing to do with it – ie not being successful. Gordon Bennett, yur so disingenuous it’s not even a joke! But for the smears and character assassination of Jeremy, he would have undoubtedly won the 2017 GE with a comfortable majority, and barring a military coup – or even assassination – he would be PM right now!

      8. Allan – “Oh, right Steve, and the unprecedented Smear Campaign against Jeremy and the left had absolutely nothing to do with it – ie not being success”

        Where did I say that, or is your argument so feeble that you have resorted to making stuff up again?

      9. As you know Steve, you said they ‘lacked something’ otherwise they would have been ‘more successful’.

        As per usual, yur just being the complete ahole shill/propagandist that you ARE!

      10. Allan – Instead of answering a question I didn’t ask you could try a novel approach and provide the evidence I asked for that supports your silly and childish assertions.
        Please feel free to provide direct quotes in your evidence.

      11. Anyway, just out of curiousity, how much do they pay you to monitor the site and post yur crap comments all day long every single day Steve? And do you get a bonus whenever you get a comment in first at the top of the comments section?

  7. Steve H ..I think it’s your overwhelming personality traits.But it might be that he cannot be bothered with paid little helpers of the knight..??

    1. Joseph – You’re another one who seeks to distract rather that answer a straightforward question.

      1. Here’s yet another example of the modus operandi of little steven,

        NEVER answers anyone else’s questions, but DEMANDS others answer his…And is invariably certain to make sure that his question he’s demanding be answered, is loaded to the max.

        Still waiting to hear from you why you thought you and your precious 70% was enough to win the last election.

        …I just randomly chosen that one from every other question you’ve been asked by anyone, and have repeatedly refused or failed to answer.

        Not holding me breath now, neither. Small wonder you’re derided from all quarters.

      2. Toffee – Its time you grew up and abandoned your ‘comfort blanket’ that the 2nd referendum policy lost Labour the election.

      3. Now you’re employing the toerags’ ‘Now isn’t the time for an inquiry’ shithouse trick. Wonder why?

        YOU lost the election. OWN IT.

        YOU lumbered the nation with the supine, servile, sycophantic stammer as alleged ‘opposition leader’ ,and you’re overtly and indubitably proud of his record of doing nothing except wiping the toerag’s arses for them, and you’re emphatically proud of him having the temerity to openly BRAG of his unyielding support for toerag policies. Your words previously have said as much.

        OWN IT.

        If you had a shit on my doorstep, then knocked on the door and told me to admire your handiwork, I’d kick your miserable head in, from here to the South Pole and back – Twice.

        What you’ve done is only slightly less offensive. Talk to people like you do to me in the real world and you’ll indeed suffer that fate sooner rather than later.

      4. Toffee – Am I supposed to be impressed by the inane ramblings of a self confessed ‘Tory Boy’?

      5. Stumped again little steven, that’s why you’ve resorted to the ‘tory boy’ pretend insult that’s so old and the original quote I made so deliberately miscontrued by you, in order to attempt to get a rise out of me, that it fails every time.

        Tell you what – lets see if you put your money where your mouth is. Let’s see who the REAL ‘tory boy’ is, shall we?

        Let’s ask skwawky to have a poll to see if people think (know) stammer’s as tory as the toerags themselves.

        If the poll say he IS – You leave the site, NEVER to return…If they think he’s a real genuine opposition leader, instead of a pro-establishment, careerist fraud – I’ll go.

        You up for it?

      6. Toffee – Oh dearie, dearie me, you poor little mite. Are you getting desperate for a safe space so you can snuggle up with your comfort blanket?

      7. That’s a no then.

        And you wonder why you’re laughed at both on here and everywhere else you infest.

        The tory who supports the tory that openly BRAGS of his support for the tories, is calling me tory boy, but is far too scared to find out who the REAL tory is.

        Spineless, gutless rodent. Just like your master.

      8. Toffee – “Spineless, gutless rodent. Just like your master.”

        Unlike you I’m not desperately trying to create a safe space for myself.

      9. Dafuq are you babbling on about with your ‘safe space’ nonsense?

        You talk bullshit, you get pulled on it. You continue, and then get challenged and you recoil from the challenge because you realise that shit’s getting real, and you might just have to face up to your woeful inadequacies.

        You’re as risk averse as your invertebrate party leader; this thread has proved it, irrefutably. Like your master, you do not even have the courage of your convictions. He must be made up you have his back…or not.

        Rodent.

  8. Off topic, sorry, but Hancock has today been saying that people without symptoms have been going for testing – the clear implication being that certain sections of the great British public are to blame for testing’s failings – for breaking his beautiful system – in other words, “Not my fault, Guv.”

    One little question – how does he know there are symptomless people wasting the system’s resources?
    Are they so stupid they’re admitting they have no symptoms? Are they not being asked?
    At testing stations they’re not even seen by a doctor, and doctors struggle to identify malingerers accurately anyway – so what makes that complete fucktard dare to presume he can diagnose anyone as a malingerer?
    Analyse THAT Starmer, you forensic fucker.

    OK, it’s LIKELY that people are abusing the system, but Hancock doesn’t KNOW fuck all.

  9. Off topic again, sorry. Trunt pretends Oracle and Walmart owning a minority piece of TikTok will make it secure enough for Americans to use safely.
    What a fucking joke.
    If ByteDance is a tool of the evil Chinese commies now it’s not going to be any less so because some idiots in the Great Satan get to see the accounts once in a while.
    Oracle’s not going to get to see the software, at least not all of it. Nothing that counts.
    Trunt just wanted a bung.

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