Can you say ‘own goal’? Unions supporting union event is a scandal now, apparently – at least if you’re desperate to stop a surging campaign – even though it happens every year
A near-defunct smear site has been dragged back into noxious action by the Labour right to launch a series of attacks on Unite and in particular on left candidate Howard Beckett – but true to its usual form the so-called ‘Red Roar’, better known as the ‘blue squeak’ in left circles, has only managed to score an embarrassing own goal.
Desperation will do that, perhaps.
The rag ‘revealed’ – its own term for common and obvious knowledge – that Unite donated £69,000 to the Durham Miners’ Gala, the biggest Labour movement event of the year. Apparently this was a scandal, because it happened in a year (2018) that Beckett spoke to the Gala.
Unite donates similarly to the Gala every year – and in 2018 the Gala requested extra funds from unions, including Unite, because they were setting up camping at the event. Unite and other unions stepped up to help.
Apparently, in Squeak-land, unions donating to help a union event is a scandal.
Or, far more likely, the smear was born out of right-wing desperation – after Beckett’s already-surging campaign was boosted still further by a landmark Socialist Telly interview in which he took head-on all the nonsense being said about him and killed it.
Including lies about miners’ funds that other campaigns and the right-wing press had been spreading:
So in the feeble minds of the Labour right, desperate for either disgraced right-winger Gerard Coyne or a more ‘acceptable alternative’ to win the contest to be Unite’s next general secretary instead of the right’s ‘nightmare’ Beckett, the non-news about a union donating to a union event was the ‘best’ they could come up with to misrepresent and try to resurrect the lie.
Beckett responded to the latest smear by speaking of his pride in addressing the Gala and of his union’s support for the event:
Speaking at the Durham Miners’ Gala was the proudest moment of my life. I am eternally grateful for the invitation. Unite the Union will never apologise for standing shoulder to shoulder with the miners. We are proud to be Marras [trusted friends and supporters].
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