Labour right attacks Beckett – for Unite donating to Durham Miners’ Gala union event (which happens every year)

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

Howard Beckett speaking to the Durham Miners’ Gala

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].

The SKWAWKBOX needs your help. The site is provided free of charge but depends on the support of its readers to be viable. If you can afford to without hardship, please click here to arrange a one-off or modest monthly donation via PayPal or here to set up a monthly donation via GoCardless (SKWAWKBOX will contact you to confirm the GoCardless amount). Thanks for your solidarity so SKWAWKBOX can keep bringing you information the Establishment would prefer you not to know about.

If you wish to republish this post for non-commercial use, you are welcome to do so – see here for more.


      1. Why is it a scandal that Beckett’s union would donate to the Durham Miner’s Gala? Every union in the UK does that(other than the tiny joke group that calls itself the “Conservative TUC”). You know perfectly well Beckett didn’t buy himself a speaking invitation with the donation, that nobody in Unite was harmed by it, and that he didn’t deprive any worthier speakers of the chance to speak. There’s no story here.

      2. And the “tankies” thing is just a cheap shot. Beckett never defended anything Stalin or his lackies did.

    1. Steve, that is obviously a publication of the far right of the party- why do you think anything it would say would be credited here?

      The Red Roar hates Beckett for being a union leader that remembers unions are there to fight for the workers. They want them all to be neutered, toothless lapdogs like Turner.

      1. kenburch – It was SB who introduced this website above.

      2. kenburch – If you have issues, then take them up with the person who wrote the article above.

      3. SB only introduced the website to rebut it. You posted two links to SUPPORT it. They hate Beckett because, like everyone else on the right wing of the party, the “Dead Bore” hates unions, and workers, and everything the Labour Party stands for. They hate anyone who wants Labour to be anything but the second Conservative Party.

      4. SteveH, we now know, based on what SB wrote above, that the only reason Unite donated more to the Miners’ Gala in ’18 was that the Gala ASKED unions to donate more because there were more expenses. There was no scandal and everyone knows Beckett didn’t buy a speaking slot. So what they hell have you got to attack here at all?

        And why, at this point, are you still obsessed with stopping Beckett? It’s not as if you have any valid reason to be this implacably opposed to the man.

  1. So according to this rag, a union supporting another is a scandal WTF???

    Did I bang my head and give myself even more brain damage this story makes no sense, how is this a scandal? So according to them any cult of new Labour 2.0 MP’s contributing to a union or charity is a scandal too?

    Heck, how is this even a story FFS, talk about silly season story!!!

  2. ‘Red Roar’ – my a*se!

    Wee, boys and girls playing at politics. Lacking any – even, a smidgen of – self-awareness, to be embarrassed.

    Do you remember the days when we were optimistic about going to the polls? Not today!

    1. it tells you everything that you need to know about Red Roar that it has a link on its site to all the articles it has run in attacking Momentum and demanding its removal from the party.

  3. Please, stop trying to portrait Steve Turner or Sharon Graham as right wingers. Go after Gerard Coyne by all means he is a right winger.
    However, it is unfair that in your desire to booster Howard Beckett’s chances you are almost slurring two other good socialist candidates.
    In the case of Steve Turner his record speak for itself, in 2013 he was instrumental in the creation of the Labour Assembly Antiausterity..While Sharon Graham has done a lot of work in organising among young workers in zero hour contracts.
    Why no focusing on the manifesto of the three left candidates once they are published and encourage open debate, rather than veiled attacks in order to boost Howard Beckett’s chances?

    1. Turner is supported by Starmer. That, by itself, is proof that he is no longer even remotely close to being a socialist- Turner could only have been approved by Starmer now if he had agreed to recant all radicalism, and can only be compared to the antisocialist candidates Starmer has insisted on imposing in virtually every local contest in the UK, and in the Holyrood contests(he couldn’t quite do it in Wales because the Labour leader there has been able to stand up to him) and all the “law and order” candidates he has imposed in the police commissioner races, all of whom will opposed any significant proposals for police reform.

      1. Kenburch haven’t you heard of reverse psychology? So Keir is supporting Steve Turner or so he says. The question to ask is : Does Steve Turner support Starmer? Or is Steve Turner taking Starmer to account? See the link for video or interview from Steve Turner with Owen Jones and after you watch the interview, I dare anyone to tell me that Steve Turner isn’t critical of Starmer.
        Steve Turner in 2013 was instrumental in the creation of the Labour Assemby Antiausterity, he was one of the first to put forward the idea that austerity is a political choice and no a necessity.
        Corbyn won the leadership campaign in 2015 because of the work of Steve Turner, can you please provide any evidence of what Howard Beckett was doing in 2013 or 2015? Where is Beckett back story? He talks big, I like his talking but how much is demagogia? How much of what he is promising can he deliver?
        He is promising to give Community branches seats on Unite’s Executive Committee, very noble of him. However, as GS isn’t up to him to deliver it, it would need a rule change in Unite’s constitution with only industrial branches having the right to vote. Would industrial branch delegates vote in favour? that is the one million $ question that nobody can answer.
        Steve Turner was the brain behind the creation of Unite Community branches 10 years ago, he has always defended Community branches. I rather vote for the silent but constant work done over decades, that for the new boy on the block that is talking big, without much of a chance to deliver on his talk.

    2. All the lawyers that raided the miners compensation fund need to pay back what they robbed from the miners compensation fund and this at least shows remorse from Howard Beckett the millionaire Lawyer from Belfast who was one of those fined five thousand pounds by the lawyers society for the uncaring greed of the gravey train vultures.

  4. Looks like the rights strategy is working well again, divide and rule
    Who has the power to say to the 3 three left wing candidates, only one of you can go forward

  5. So the Communist party of Britain endorsing Steve Turner is a right wing surge is it?.Steve turner is ex militant and has years of left wing socialist activism behind him.Howard Beckett??…talks the talk..but ask the miners what “walk the walk means?

      1. Kenburch, reverse psychology. Starmer is counting on people like you that will make the mistake of thinking since Starmer is supporting Turner, how can I possibly support Turner?
        Kenburch how long have you been actively involved in Labour Party politics or been an active Trade Unionist? I breastfeed Trade Unionist and I am in my 60’s.
        Beckett sound like he is a good man, but he is promising things that he has not way of delivering. He is obsessed with the Labour Party but with a huge Tory majority the fight has to move from Parliament into our communities and streets.
        Both, Steve Turner and Sharon Graham have more proven experience that Graham Beckett on how to mobilise effectively.
        Beckett is a barrister, he knows how to make a good speech, is part of his trade as it was part of Blair. I remember liking Blair talking when he was in the opposition to John Major, while in government delivering on the Good Friday agreement by 2004 the desilusion have already set in.
        Starmer another barrister won the labour leadership on the first round again making good speeches and making promises only to break them.
        Do we really want to take the chance of electing another barrister, that could or could not let us down? or do we want to take the chance of electing a solid socialist with a proven track record of solid work, that will deliver?

  6. Has the Blue Squeak and associates Guido Fawkes done anything other than spread shite and lies? Really, those guys are lower then The Sun/Mail’s Cesspool sediment! Sadly many are dumb enough to buy their dregs!

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: