Smith orders review of party donations
Newly-elected GMB general secretary Gary Smith has ordered a review of the union’s funding – and its entire affiliation – to the Labour party, on the grounds that the party does not provide ‘value for money’. Hardly considered a left-winger, Smith’s decision signals just how widespread is the dissatisfaction of the labour movement with Starmer’s leadership – and arguably with the entire non-oppositional stance of the Labour right.
Smith told the Daily Record:
We’ve got to face in to the fact that a lot of our members don’t vote Labour across the UK. We also need to face in to the fact that we organise in Ireland, where Labour doesn’t stand candidates. The union’s politics is going to have to reflect that reality.
We’ve also got far less members who are now signed up to be Labour supporters…again, we’re just going to have an honest conversation with the Labour party about what that will entail in terms of funding and support.
Asked whether the union gets its money’s worth from the party he replied, “Definitely not”.
The union faces an issue because its membership in Scotland is likely to be deeply anti-Labour, since the collapse of the Labour vote under right-wing leadership – and Labour does not stand candidates in Northern Ireland, where it also organises.
The Bakers’ union BFAWU has also been debating disaffiliation, with only 9% of its members saying they believed the party serves their interests, although a formal motion to sever the link will not be put to its conference before next year.
Keir Starmer’s – and the Labour right’s – determination to sink Labour into irrelevancy is coming home to roost in all kinds of ways and not just at the ballot box.
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