Robert Maisey backtracks after furious reaction to Twitter comment
Union rep and ‘occasional contributor’ to Jacobin and Tribune, Robert Maisey decided to attack Howard Beckett – and sparked a furious reaction to his snide comments about the left’s favourite in the Unite leadership contest.
Maisey tweeted a table first published in a Skwawkbox analysis of the social media comments of the four candidates in the Unite general secretary election – but thought it was a good idea to say that issues such as women’s rights, Islamophobia, the Black Lives Matter movement and NHS privatisation have nothing to do with ‘organising in the workplace’:
Maisey compounded his error by adding what many understandably saw as an attack on unemployed people:
The response was swift and withering, with what is shown below just a small selection. Some took issue politely and pointed out Maisey’s false assumption that none of the issues listed were relevant to workplace organisation:
Some pointed out that the items on the list don’t mean others aren’t important – and certainly don’t mean that Beckett is not engaged with them:
Others were slightly less polite:
But Maisey’s disrespect for unemployed people – particularly in a union that has a thriving and committed ‘Community’ section for people not in paid work – triggered perhaps the most furious reaction:
Such was the backlash that, around two and a half hours later, Maisey posted a tweet backtracking – and acknowledging that his earlier tweet could be read as many had:
Many weren’t convinced – and some pointed out how Beckett, the target of Maisey’s attack, had inspired them to join a union:
At the time of writing, Mr Maisey had not deleted any of his tweets that had caused such offence.
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