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Exclusive: Kirklees council delays end of Unison president Holmes case AGAIN

After hearings dragged out for weeks, yet another date for announcement of findings in ‘stitch-up’ case involving Unison president scrapped with two weeks’ further delay

Unison president Paul Holmes

The interminable saga of the ‘stitch-up’ of Unison’s left president Paul Holmes has been dragged out yet again by yet another postponement of Kirklees Council’s announcement of the conclusion of a supposed disciplinary case against him (in which the council has still never said what the allegations are).

Holmes, elected as Unison’s president by members after coming close to winning the general secretary election – a contest he would have won had weaker candidates not split the left vote – was suspended by both the council and his own union, with neither giving any reason. His supporters say the move was part of attempts by union right-wingers and Labour party right to prevent the left – which now holds elected majorities on Unison’s national executive and Labour Link committee – exercising its democratic authority.

But that alleged coalition against Holmes started to collapse when the Unison management dropped his suspension in November, though without telling him for another month, allowing him to take up the functions of his post, while a senior union official apologised unconditionally for defaming him.

The Kirklees hearings, which had been dragged out at a day a week over months instead of being completed in a week or two as they could have been, finally concluded and the verdict was due to be delivered last Wednesday, but the council cancelled the meeting – again without explanation. A new date was set for Thursday this week – but that has now been postponed again, without explanation, to 2 February.

Holmes’s supporters believe the council is running scared after the Unison right caved in, but this case needs to be resolved immediately and without further delay or excuses (or non-excuses!). If Kirklees Council leader Shabir Pandor prolongs the limbo inflicted on the president of the UK’s biggest union any further, Holmes’s camp will be more than justified in demanding action by a union that has so far shamefully hung him out to dry – and Unison’s members will be up in arms if it is not forthcoming.

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  1. I think it’s time he took legal action against Kirklees Council. It’s the only way to resolve this and if people need to be disciplined or have charges laid against them so be it!

    1. There are many More Cases so ready for court, Forde Report, Dianne Abbott, many other Minority Groups, Travellers, , agh it’s almost endless!
      “if people need to be disciplined or have charges laid against them so be it!”
      Their intentions were not of good moral intent, I am sure ‘they wont get anything worse than what they deserve’, Fuck Knowns Democratic Socialists got more than enough of that since 2015!

    2. Any competent lawyers instructed by Holmes would have a field day plus massive damages against this council. The fact that he’s not instructed worries me.

  2. Plain citizen….He shouldn’t have to instruct lawyers the union should pay for it…Like you say very worrying and defys lodjic.IF the President of the union can’t be helped then its god help the membership.

    1. Exactly Joseph, and surely Unison has a legal dept/function of some sort or at least well-established relationships with lawyers who are expert in the field?

    2. Even if they don’t get your own these if the union is still playing stupid buggers! Scum relied on you being scared what they have on you. If you know you have done nothing wrong get the dam Lawyers involved and start talking big compensation for all this time and stress. Like you I am getting bothered by his reluctance to do this…

  3. For once, a valid point.

    Holmes seems to have taken the Tokugawa philosophy: “if the bird won’t sing, wait for it to sing”

    When he really ought to have adopted the Toyotomi principle of:(If the bird won’t sing, MAKE it sing)

    Whereas labour members wanting rid of smarmerism ought to run with the Oda suggestion:(If the bird won’t song – kill it)

  4. Kirklees Council, taking a leaf out of Southbank Labour’s play-book.

    Elections coming up – gerrymander like hell, and sod the consequences.

    I hope Unison Members know what to do, when it’s their turn to cast a vote, and the good burghers of Kirklees can follow suit, in May.

    Unfortunately, for me, Salford had a full election, last May, so, I’ve missed my chance, for the time being.

    The stench of rotten politics is strong, at the local level. We’ve seen it all over the country. The North West, the South West – Kirklees. Placemen – and women – who’ve been ruling their own little fiefdoms for years, and feeding that up to the national level.

    The trouble is, the opposition all have their own little talking shops. They’re not talking to each other. They’re not getting organised. I’m not sure if that’s for self-protection, or, simply, ego.

    For example, Simon Maginn, on Twitter, has had tremendous success with his #ItWasaScam campaign. The only people left debating with him are, only, of nuisance value. Nothing more.

    Not as a direct result of #ItWasaScam, even, the BBC have issued a – ‘Jeremy Corbyn is not antisemitic’ – statement.

    Meantime JVL, LabourGrassroots, Skwawkbox etc, etc are ploughing their own – parallel – furrows, on much the same subjects.

    What would happen if they all got together and talked as one? Shared the load! Reached a wider audience.

    Presented a united front to Kirklees Council, the Wirral Council, Liverpool City Council, Bristol City Council…

    1. Excellent point. Simon was successful on Twitter because so many people joined in with him and backed him up. Solidarity will always win the day. Work together, stick together, watch each other’s backs.

    2. Good point George Peel. I believe one third of Kirklees District Council’s councillors face an election in 2022. Should Unison and Paul Holmes not be using this fact to yank the misbehaving Council’s chain?

  5. ……….but this is how local authorities work, anything they don’t wish to address is perpetually delayed & no solicitor’s instruction can hurry them up as a constant supply of ‘reasonable’ excuses can be found to compound delay after delay. A classic example of this is happening here in North Merseyside as a local Parish Council seek to have old public rights of way reinforced & identified on a ‘Definitive Map’ of the area. This process started thirty years ago,but again brought to their attention but a wealthy property developer has now placed an objection with Sefton MBC to prevent implementation. Delay after delay after delay. .

    1. sounds right, steve101704.

      Let’s hope that at least one proper, independent democratic socialist (former labourist?) is standing in the up-coming Kirklees elections and that they publicise the Metropolitan District Council’s bad behaviour on Paul Holmes as part of their own campaigning for election to the council.

      Two birds, one stone.

      1. On the subject of which, if anyone knows, is there an “independent” dem socialist standing for election? If there is, I’m near enough to work on their electioneering with them. Anyone know?

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