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Exclusive: Wrack explains why FBU disaffiliated from New Labour – and warns Starmer union disaffiliations are serious risk now

It won’t “always wash” if union leaders keep telling their members to keep backing Labour when party not backing them

Bakers’ union president Ian Hodson and Fire Brigades Union (FBU) general secretary Matt Wrack spoke to SKWAWKBOX last night on Socialist Telly in a compelling discussion of the UK’s political landscape including, among other topics, the conduct of the current Labour leadership toward party and union members.

As the SKWAWKBOX has already reported, Hodson told the SKWAWKBOX that in the Bakers’ consultation with members about whether they want to remain affiliated with the Labour party, only 9% thought Labour was serving their interests now.

And Wrack – who had earlier hammered Labour’s conduct toward its own members – followed Hodson’s comments by explaining why his own union disaffiliated from the Labour party under Tony Blair and issuing a warning to Keir Starmer that union leaders can’t go on recommending to members to remain with the party if Starmer continues as he has started:

© Socialist Telly

The Bakers’ consultation ends next month. If its members vote to split from the Labour party, it could well start a wave.

Watch the full, compelling programme here.

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20 comments

  1. Good.

    The problem with what starmer and evans have been doing to members so far, in terms of broader awareness, is that the media can happily ignore it because the victims are largely ordinary people who lack the means to fight back.

    They can’t ignore unions leaving, no matter how much they want to. And this will draw more attention to WHY they are leaving, and the state of internal relations between membership and the leadership.

    It will also force the money issue further. I suspect that ultimately, it will be the starvation of funding that will end the starmer/evans regime.

    1. Unfortunately, there are individuals, organisations & governments who would happily pay to fund a toothless, presumed Labour opposition to a Tory government.

      In fact, Evans would probably have a whipround at the offfice with all the staffers who’d prefer to throw the fight.

  2. No No No
    Members and Unions need to do it together, after everything has failed and another party is the only solution, in meantime all our efforts should be on seizing our party back and clearing out Red Tories
    Last thing we need is a completely futile gesture from Baldrick or Woolfie

    1. “Penney wouldn’t get satire.”

      He/she doesn’t seem to get healthy covid cynicism either:

      1. the ‘virus’ has a blurry definition and has a survival rate of over 99% – no more deadly than some recent flu strains
      2. the PCR tests DON’T work and are a fraud.
      3. The reported ‘deaths’ are often people dying of other things and having ‘covid’ added to their CoD based on the test that doesn’t work or on financial incentive.
      4. The vaccine is NOT a vaccine. It’s experimental mRNA gene manipulation, which will need decades of testing over generations before it can really be pronounced safe – MOREOVER, the testing of the AZ jab doesn’t end until November 2023 (so we cannot yet know it is ’safe’).

      Somebody’s ‘useful idiot’.

      1. Depends which vaccine. For example, the UK has also ordered the Novovax one, which is not an mRNA vaccine but works in a more traditional way and doesn’t fuck with your genes. And in the unlikely event we get the Sputnik vaccine, that one isn’t mRNA-based either.

        So hold your nerve and wait for one of those two beauts to come along…

  3. Bad Penny
    92 % members 14 million supporters and all major unions beg to disagree
    Something has to give, the internal report makes that a knocking bet
    PLP can be replaced
    Now on a practical level put up RaV or shut up

  4. Much as it pains me to think this, I cannot see how I can, in the current Labour climate, bring myself to vote Labour. I’m thinking maybe Green? I am rather at a loss.

    Aren’t elections a means by which we demonstrate, or not, our faith in a given political party? As it is, in my sixties, much of my adult life has been given to always voting for the least worst party. Starmer currently falls well short of least worst, showing nothing in the way of aspirations to anything better. Are we now to default to least dangerous or least spiteful? Perhaps we simply now go for the party with more, or less, union jacks on show?

    1. Or
      Hand over to next generation of young socialists and pray they dont fuck up like wot we did

    2. Martin Read, i would urge all to refuse to vote for any of the traitors. Only help and vote for those you assess to be GENUINE “Left”.

      Let the others be crushed. They will go through the revolving door as they have always done. Then we rebuild from there.

      Withdraw your support from those who have failed to utter a word about the wrongs in and out of the party. Eg which “Left” “Socialist” MPs or Union big wigs, have you heard giving a sustained demolishing of the SERCOS, G4Ss, Carillons, etc ❓❓❓ Not a word from Starmer which is expected but when have you heard even over the last twelve years the “Socialist” speaking to the general public and shining lights on the likes of SERCO❓❓❓ When outfits like that are allowed to pursue their banditry, they then accumulate more billions to fund the status quo.

      That is one eg of an obvious basic which the “Left” MPs and Union big wigs should be speaking out about.
      NO MSM will refuse McCluskey or the others a platform. I’v heard them sadly rarely. When they do turn up on LBC or Talkradio, they have been almost always excellent +++.

      I always think why oh why fo they not spread their communication skill and also speak up regularly on MSM Radio and Skwawkbox.org???

      I have even heard the head of the Communist Party two or three times in 2019 i think. He was excellent, Then VANISH 💨💨💨 i suppose to speak passionately to those with whom they already agree.

      The “Left” need to go to the general public, not the other way around. The opportunities are there. It is a myth that they are not.

      Ps Social Media is overrated. The last almost five years demonstrated that here and across the pond with Bernie Sanders. Money and numbers of members are also overrated. Again proven both sides of the pond. How much money and MSM support did Ken Livingstone have to defeat King and a man’ whose name slips me. Ken defeated those who had nonstop attacks from the MSM yet he always turned up.

      We need to dump the victim culture and disabuse the likes of Mandelson who allegedly told Peter Hain “don’t fuss about the working class” ie those with just enough money and none…”… they have nowhere to go”

      I imagine Mandelson showed its fangs and winked its compound eye when it delivered that with a smirk.
      The oh so Smartmandelson was wrong.

      The “Left” must act, not give empty threats. We must show that we will not help the Starmer. We will not help his replacement. (Starmer is already chopped). We must also not support any one who is repeating the failed culture of not speaking up. It is pathetic, disgraceful, and gives more than a hint that they will continue hiding amongst those with whom they already agree.
      🌟🌟🌟

      1. And what platform would they ‘speak up’ on signpost? Oh, I know, the Sun and the Daily Mail and the Express et al who all conspired in the smear campaigns against Jeremy and the left-wing membership. Yes I’m sure they would be more than happy to accommodate the left!

        So anyway, perhaps you could remind me what happened when Jeremy did exactly as you keep asserting he should do and ‘spoke up’ and defended his record on combatting A/S in the party the day the EHRC published its fraudulent report…….. Or what happened when Jeremy/ the LP condemned the Panorama hatchet job. Signpost knows damn well of course what happened, but he just keeps on repeating his faslehoods over and over and over again, as he has literally hundreds of times on this blog during the past fifteen months or so shortly after he first started posting on here.

      2. Signpost says the following in his disingenuous rant:

        ‘NO MSM will refuse McCluskey or the others a platform. I’v heard them sadly rarely. When they do turn up on LBC or Talkradio, they have been almost always excellent’

        Funny, isn’t it signpost, LP socialist MPs rarely get invited on BBC QT, or left-wing commentators invited on newspaper review programs. Oh, right, and signpost listens to LBC and Talkradio simultaneously twelve hours a day or more every single day, and THAT of course is how he knows that Len McCluskey – or any of the ‘others’ – rarely turn up on either of them.

        Please see this lying fascist shill for what he is!

    1. Wirral InIt Together – “hollow threats”. The “Left” are experts at that but not as expert as limp threats and no threats at all.

      There us a total lack of self belief and a staggering tendency to be taken in by virtuous noises re every new campaign started by others for good reason. Love marches but ZERO follow through. Eg millions marched against Iraq invasion. Bliar still did as it pleased. Yet when we had the chance to start some censure / prosecution against the War Criminal, what did the “Left” do❓❓❓ George Galloway is almost a lone voice despite threats of prosecutions and prosecutions against him. He does not whine about being attacked. George acts like an adult should, in public life. Speak up and defend the virtues you claim to champion. How does jeeping silent help❓

      Ps yours was one of the blogs i read daily. I only read Skwawkbox.org now do glad to see your contributions here.
      🌹🌹🌹

      1. …so glad to read your contributions here. Please excuse other typos.

  5. I think action by the Trade Union movement is the only way to stop Starmer in his tracks . Unite needs to follow where the Bakers and Fire Brigade have led, Unison too but realistically there is no chance of that, they are too wedded to the Right wing with the likes of Emilie “pube head smelly cow” Oldknow on their staff.
    If they don’t do this then individuals should opt out of the Political Fund of their Union as their subscriptions go directly to Labour.
    Hitting Starmer where it hurts – in Labour’s pocket – is the only way to make him take notice

  6. One or two minor unions leaving will not make much difference (Not strictly true the left will lose 2 NEC places).

    For a separate party to work all four of the following are required
    1) A mass membership,
    2) A presence in Parliament (& usefully, but not as necessary, local government),
    3) A national organisation &
    4) Finance to pay for 3.

    If a left break-away party (supporting the policies of 2017 manifesto) was established then 1,000s would leave the LP to join and 1,000s of currently non-active people would join, this will only happen if condition 2 is met.

    For a break away party to be considered viable then some of the campaign group of MPs would need to join & argue for it (it would need 10 at least, if JC & JM joined then even more would leave LP). However this won’t happen unless condition 3 is met.

    The only national organisation(s) in place that would be able to service a national membership of thousands running nationwide campaigns are the Unions. At least one large Union would need to join two or three small unions. They would then need to second staff for a year or two (until the break away was able to sustain itself organisationally. This is very problematic so condition 3 not yet met.

    Condition 4 relies, in the short term, on 3, so condition 4 not met either.

    Until at least one of the large Unions agrees to break its links with the LP and help establish a Trade Union political party then any talk of a left wing party to rival Labour is just hot air.

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