Analysis Breaking comment

Beckett blasts Labour as party gives up on communities and sacks community organisers in middle of pandemic

Party is advertising eight jobs, yet has not offered redeployment to mostly-BAME staff facing unemployment in national crisis – who only found out their jobs were going when the news was leaked to right-wing journalist

Senior Unite officer Howard Beckett has blasted the Labour party for its decision to sack its entire community organising team – in the middle of the employment crisis that has come with the Tories’ dire handling of the pandemic.

The community organisers, a vital part of any hope Labour has of winning back communities that have abandoned the party over the Brexit betrayal from which Keir Starmer is now scrambling to distance himself, have been told their contracts will not be renewed. Beckett tweeted his outrage and a promise of support for Unite members affected:

The Community Organising team, unlike Starmer’s almost-entirely white ‘LOTO’ staff, was the party’s most diverse unit, with a majority of BAME staff.

Beckett’s comments were echoed by the No Holding Back group of working-class Labour figures, which includes MPs Ian Lavery and Jon Trickett – Trickett has recently been vocal in opposing Starmer’s dreary leadership and abuse of members as well – so Labour-watchers will read the group’s comment today as significant:

Labour could easily redeploy at least two thirds of the twelve organiser staff, if it chose – or at least offer them the opportunity to transfer to any of the eight jobs the party is currently advertising to fill:

However, the move is being touted by a right-wing Murdoch journalist as an opportunity to get rid of more Corbyn-supporting staff – with the leak of the news to the journalist coming before any of those affected had been notified by the party:

Although Pogrund claimed that the party had already told the organisers about the decision, staff say that the first they heard of the move to put them out of work was Pogrund’s tweet. A spokesperson for the group said:

Staff would expect the common courtesy of the devastating news that their contracts are being terminated not being leaked on social media before emails were sent out to them. It’s completely unacceptable that they are being dragged through the mud this way and during way.


The decision is not only a gross abuse of hard-working staff and an insult to Labour principles – it also signals the party giving up on any prospect of winning back the working-class communities who deserted it at the last election over the betrayal of their Brexit vote. Keir Starmer has been scrambling to distance himself from his leading part in that betrayal and seems to hope he can achieve this by ‘wrapping himself in the union jack’. But working-class people will see straight through the ruse – and those in Scotland and Wales will particularly despise it.

The decision to treat staff like dirt shows Labour under Starmer has become morally bankrupt – and the decision to give up even trying to win back communities ‘on the ground’ confirms that Starmer is politically bankrupt as well.

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  1. Seems like Mr Beckett is still under the impression that lab is a socialist party. It’s not, it’s a free market neo-liberal party!

  2. Every day I think to myself can this morally bankrupt party get any worse and along comes more proof it is doing so. How can the party criticise anyone else for sacking staff during a pandemic when they are virtually doing the same. Let’s not forget did they not do the same sometime last year.
    Plus another leak from inside the party who didn’t even have the decency to inform staff because they were employed under the Corbyn leadership you’ve suddenly become surplus to requirements.
    Can you imagine if the previous leadership had done this you’d have MSM camped up outside Corbyn’s house shouting through his letterbox ordering him to explain himself.

  3. He thinks he only has to get the hang of this media thing and he can do with personal broadcasts what local activist canvassers have always done in the past – get the vote out.
    Yes, I do suspect he really is that self-deluded.
    Massive savings from MPs working from at-home offices, constituency/Branch offices replaced by Zoom links with ‘Where’s Wally’ security.
    Getting in front of the tech and getting rid of activists at the same time – win win in his tiny mind.
    I’m only half-serious but it could happen if Covid takes a turn for the nasty. Online voting could turn out to be good or bad for us – we won’t know until it goes live, but Covid makes it more likely to happen I think.

  4. Further evidence for me that stammerist labour is at best a prejudicial, at worst racist, endeavour.

    But don’t worry – keith will ask boris if they can have a few pence to see them through any adversity or hardship during lockdown; provided they send their kids to school, that is…

    1. It would make far more sense for UNITE to build its own network of Community Organisers and rebuild the working class movement from the bottom up. In the meantime the fewer people working on Starmer’s proto-fascist project the better.
      My guess is that the redundant organisers themselves were not dressed smartly enough. No doubt tie wearing men with well shined shoes and carefully parted hair will be recruited in their places.

      1. I wonder if the 94% of Unite members who didn’t vote for Len’s leadership would agree with him defunding the Labour party.

    2. Perhaps if keith hadn’t rewarded his mates for their shithousery with £600k of members’ cash, you mean?

      1. Reply to Steve H
        As you know turnout in Union Gen Sec elections and indeed other union elections is always poor. The vast majority of union members are only interested i also want someone to represent them if they are in trouble in work, have a grievance or are being bullied. Additionally some Unions offer free legal advice about both work and non work related issues and other benefits such as insurance cover in the event of a fatality at work. All have welfare funds for those who fall on hard times
        There is nothing wrong in anyone joining a union for any of the above reasons but in these circumstances apathy about elections follows. Unite is a great union- the best in my opinion- and Len was elected fairly and squarely on the basis that the majority of members who voted, voted for him. If members are unhappy about Unite’s decision ( not Len’s decision) to withdraw financial support for the Labour party they can opt out of the political fund and pay into the party directly.

      2. Something went wrong with my reply to Steve H. The second sentence of my post should read
        The vast majority of union members are only interested in the benefits the union can get for them e.g. pay rises holidays etc. They also want someone to represent them if they are in trouble…….

    3. Steve H,that is the most pathetic statement to date and youve told some whoppers.This time you have sunk to a new low along with the fake mesia of the right wing Arise Sir knight your time is nigh..!

      1. Yeah, Steve Hs comment could have come straight out of the Mail/Express/Sun in the 80s!

    4. SteveH, you can’t seriously blame UNITE for this. And McCluskey had to suspend the contributions- UNITE can’t give Starmer unquestioning support no matter what the man does, no matter how far to the Tory right he drags it.

      If you weren’t being paid, Steve, would you defend Starmer in his pointless obsession with destroying internal party democracy?

    5. Perhaps if Starmorrhoid acknowledged his part in the antisemitism scam?

      Perhaps if he admitted the treacherous denial of support for a Labour leader to engineer a Tory win?

      Perhaps if he apologised for four years’ constant undermining of an honest, honestly elected and immensely popular leader?

      Perhaps if he begged Jeremy’s forgiveness, stood down, nominated him for leader, agreed never again to stand for election and promised to support Labour unreservedly from here on in – including against the BoD?

      THEN Labour would have NO money worries, dickhead.
      Ripping off the membership and then complaining that they don’t show him the proper respect – that they refuse to just shut up and pay up at his command – is the attitude of a Hitlerian megalomaniac two-year-old.
      Not ALL your fault though – there were plenty of other morons voted for the obvious Tory mole.

  5. What Labour can or cannot afford is not Unite’s problem. It is selfinflicted. If they had not behaved like prized knobheads thenen would not have had to withdraw funding.

    1. No no, Sabine….keith was right to spunk £600k on rewarding his mates.

      But don’t worry; stammer thinks the wealthy are as gullible as the plebeians he expects to vote for him, so he’ll get the cash offa them.

      1. I think the ships sinking with captain pugwash about to abandon ship…!ITs certainly looking like somethings … very dodgy at Fawlty towers HQ Not everyone is convilnced of the knight and his Labour party,and it is showing at HQ.How long before the repo man visits.Does anyone know what the Labour party hold in assets and liabilities.(excludes the knight).I would love to be a fly on the wall,when strummer goes to see the bank ?

  6. Labour WILL NOT WIN by relying on flag waving and top down media messaging. We need a well resourced community organising unit to get out to the constituencies and help make it happen. Oh well we’ll have to do it without them then, who’d have thought it.

  7. Financial bankruptcy appears to be following moral bankruptcy judging by new new labour’s loss of funding

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