Announcement Breaking News

Nominations racking up for Beckett in Unite contest

At least three more major branch nominations confirmed in last 24 hours

Branch nominations for Howard Beckett in the Unite general secretary election continue to roll in, with at least three further branches declaring in less than the last twenty-four hours.

Unite members in Sodexo’s offshore ‘COTA’ branch, the Forth, Port Authorities Grangemouth Dockers’ branch and the Bilfinger Offshore Branch have all now declared for Beckett – with at least Bilfinger branch unanimous in its vote:

The new nominations come just a day after the Slater and Gordon Solicitors’ branch also backed Beckett.

At the time of writing, none of the other candidates’ social media feeds have named a single branch nomination.

Skwawkbox and Socialist Telly, run by Unite members, are backing Howard Beckett. Beckett took part in a live hustings event on Socialist Telly last night to answer questions from a panel and from viewers. The other candidates were invited but did not participate. Watch in full here.

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15 comments

  1. It’s difficult to judge how successful Beckett’s campaign is if we can’t compare it with his competition. Do we have any news yet on how well the other candidates are doing at collecting nominations.

  2. Well…we should all take comfort from the solicitor branch nominating Howard Beckett shouldn’t we.I will stick with the communist party nomination and most of the left wing for our shop floor experienced Steve Turner.But well done its nice to have these daily reports of “Howards, Way” .Solidarity comrades..!

  3. I was going to say a nomination form the bottom feeders profession Lawyers is like having Stevie H being supportive…and low and behold up pops stevie ?

  4. BRAVO! Comrade, A Voice for THE PEOPLE and he KNOWS THE LAW! Just what we need, sooner the better!
    Actually @Skwawkbox @SteveH has a point has anyone actually heard anything to do with Turner, is it still in the race? Perhaps it’s all going through the Führer me’lawd sir Darkness’s Office for anti Capitalist Neolabour Tory Speech redacting first!? Perhaps Lansman’s bitch Jones or one of the posh kid “Communist “radical” Journos” are not available for writing any Neolabour Party Tory Propaganda.

  5. Can I ask why some left wingers are backing Howard while others are backing Turner. I’m not very familiar with politics of Unite.

    1. Each organisation asks its members who they want to support. Within Unite itself there is ‘United Left’ and they decided to back Steve Turner, but a number of people felt that they had been blocked from voting, resulting in a split-off organisation called Unite Unity Left – which back Beckett. Red Labour and Labour Left Alliance had votes from their members and chose to back Beckett. LLA had a hustings before the nomination vote – and just as here, only Beckett turned up. If the others want to be backed by left-wing groups, turning up to hustings run by them would be helpful.

    2. Moosy, three of the current candidates (I’m not sure of the current , status – required nominations wise of the rabid Right Winger , Coyne) , could be described as ‘of the Left’. All are of course insider full timer officials, not actual rank and file workers, , so anyone who takes their protestations of Leftwingness too seriously , until real action proves the rhetoric is genuine, would be jumping the gun. The attraction to full timer bureaucrats posturing ‘Left’ during the contest is that the turnout for UNITE elections is depressingly miniscule – so the organised Left vote has a surprisingly big impact on who wins.

      Turner is the agreed choice of the Organised UNITE Left, and The Morning Star/CPB – and , though now a senior UNITE bureaucrat, Turner was once demonstrably a militant busworker, is Chair of the Peoples Assembly Against Austerity, and is undoubtedly ‘of the Left’. Beckett is the ex owner of a very successful law firm, sold years ago for big bucks – a close crony of that masterful Left rhetoric spouter, Len McKluskey, whose actual DELIVERY of radical anti Austerity action by his huge union, has always trailed far behind his rhetoric. Beckett has no personal background in shopfloor militancy, or past jobs, to back up his current Leftie rhetoric. A rhetoric, that after Starmer’s ‘solemn Ten Pledges ‘ bollocks, one would think Lefties would treat with more caution. But too many Lefties just LOVE a fluent bullshitter – look at George Galloway’s past popularity !

      Moosy, its the old story of a Left split by personal interest-based agendas and inter organisational rivalries, with the potential for a three-way split Left vote – letting in a rabid Right Winger.

      A few years ago Beckett helped out Steve of Skwawkbox via organising UNITE funding of huge libel case costs incurred by Skwawkbox – and in return Skwawkbox has been an uncritical megaphone for the Beckett candidacy – passing on sundry smears against Turner, and constantly bigging up the story of Beckett’s support. It’s pathetic ‘Left’ journalism – just another example of that old ‘favours given for favours done’ tradition of politics, I’m afraid.

      I suspect it doesn’t actually matter which of the three ‘Left ‘ candidates win – UNITE will perform much as it has under McKluskey – generally supportive of the Left, but always backing off meaningful confrontation with the Tories. But then with the exception of a tiny number of past and present genuinely militant union leaders, Arthur Scargill being an example of what we need today, most trades union bureaucrats will always back down from serous opposition to the status quo, no matter how dire that status quo is for their members. Their higher management level salaries and golden pensions insulate them from that harsh reality – so ‘compromise’ not ‘confrontation’ is usually the watchword.

      1. Really helpful good summary and ideas, jpenney. FWIW I actually belive Beckett kvetces and would be confrntationally critical of a leader as decidedly right wing as Sir Keir Rodney. He’d get my vote for that reason alone.

      2. Oooooops, I seem to have spelled Len’s McCluskey’s name incorrectly twice there , I do know perfectly well it’s ‘McCluskey’ – I was in UNITE Community for long enough as Shropshire Branch Chair to know ! . Typo fever/senility .

      3. Thank you.

        There are people I know very well who’s politics I would never question and they’re backing Turner I do find that the contest has become somewhat divisive.

        Hopefully a left-winger will get elected and Coyne will get another kicking.

    3. The main difference between Turner and Beckett is that Turner wants to run Unite for the benefit of the membership whilst Beckett wants to run Labour as well, for who’s benefit is anyone’s guess.

      1. What a privilege it must be to be granted access to the inner thoughts of Mr. Turner.

    4. Some Fundamentalist Communists believe Beckett is not Working Class enough and that his Working Class Background is fake and not Traceable, they require DNA Samples, School Reports, References from all his Employers who he worked for, to pay for his Uni Tuition. They read “journalism” written by Rebelling Posh “Communist” Kids, who have never even been inside a Working Class Household!
      They hate the fact that he is a Lawyer and that he did well for himself, acquired Property To Let, because the Fundamentalist Communists are still stuck in 1848. They can not accept any Working Class in Further Education/Doing Well for themselves/gawd knows what they do when someone wins the lottery or invents a thing and becomes extremely wealthy, they will probably be chucked out of The Fundamentalist Communist Circles and any offers of Financial support to the Communities will be immediately rejected or what on earth will they do if ever they need a Lawyer!? A bit Flat Earth Like IMO.

      Democratic Socialists and Socialists struggle with Steve who has aligned himself to work with Starmer and The Starmerists (A bit like Starmer appeasing Jonson and abstaining aka: “Grown Up Politics”). Starmer called Coyne off so as not to detract votes from Steve, only a Birmingham MP cocked that up, but the question is if you have 3 Left Wing candidates why would you try to pull your ONLY Right Wing MP. The 3 “Left Wing Candidates” surely all detract from Coyne’s Votes. He is not campaigning probably orders from The Führer!

      This from The Socialist Party
      “When he stood in the 2017 general secretary election, Gerard Coyne was backed by the Blairites in Labour. They, and the employers, saw his candidacy as not only an opportunity to move the union into partnership with big business, but also to win Labour’s biggest union affiliate, as a huge step in weakening and overthrowing Jeremy Corbyn, the then left Labour leader.

      However, while that attempt was beaten back, this is the first Unite leadership election since Starmer’s decisive defeat of Corbynism within the structures of the Labour Party.

      On the surface, a Coyne victory could be seen by the Starmerites as the best outcome to further consolidate their position. But Steve Turner, while not a supporter of Tony Blair’s New Labour, has made it clear that he would be prepared to work with the Labour right. This would mean a retreat to the position held by former TGWU leader Bill Morris who reconciled with Blair and New Labour.

      In the hustings organised by the United Left group within the union last summer, Turner deliberately counter-posed himself to Howard Beckett’s opposition to Starmer, arguing that a general secretary isn’t an attack dog but has to be in the background doing deals. Such an approach raises the possibility of Unite moving to the right both politically and industrially if Turner wins.

      It is entirely possible that the Starmerites may prefer Turner to Coyne, who is seen as an open representative of the bosses. Turner, nominally on the left, could more easily carry a policy of conciliation with Starmer amongst Unite members wary of a revived Blairism. In fact, the BBC reports that an unnamed Labour shadow minister was urging Coyne to “rethink” standing, presumably not to take votes away from Turner.

      This doesn’t mean that in a straight fight between Turner and Coyne that Unite members should regard them both as the same. But it is vital that there is at least one candidate with a fighting programme who makes it onto the ballot paper from the nomination stage of the general secretary election, prepared to build on McCluskey’s record rather than move away from it. ”

      https://www.socialistparty.org.uk/articles/32446/28-04-2021/unite-general-secretary-election-nomination-stage

      We NEED a UNITE GS who will stand up and fight for THE PEOPLE, no matter who the offender is! Turner will appease and work with Starmer and The Neolabour Tory Party and Beckett will will not stand for any of Starmer’s Racism, Fearmongering or Abstaining on extremely important issues that will affect UNITE Member and The People!

      At the end of the day we all choose who we feel is best suited for the Position For me that is Howard, he is a fighter and he will stand his ground for The UNITE Members and THE PEOPLE! Especially with Starmer and his Legal Experience it will come in vital to counter fire. I really can not understand that people think Starmer is on their side He is a Wicked Evil Man just Internet Search “Don’t you Dare to get Cold Feet!!!”

      Good Luck in making your Choice,
      Plenty of info on the net.

  6. “…… just Internet Search “Don’t you Dare to get Cold Feet!!!”
    I just did, it sent cold chill down my spine…..

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