Analysis Breaking

Huge blows for Graham as ‘biggest hitters’ voted out in Unite executive elections

‘Mixed bag’ of results sees left slate and unaligned perform well, but some of controversial general secretary’s closest allies no longer on committee despite organisers’ reported efforts and ‘dark money’ spent on ads to support them

The Unite executive election results on Wednesday saw general secretary Sharon Graham receive a number of blows as the efforts of her cohort of organisers to drum up votes for her slate of candidates – and ‘dark money’ spent on social media ads to support them – failed and a number of her closest allies were voted off the union’s executive council. By contrast the United Left ‘Members First’ slate did well and PULS, the Scottish left section, saw all of its candidates elected.

Graham has been accused of attempting to have bullying and misogyny evidence against her husband, who now works in her team and was on a final warning from the union for his conduct before she took over, destroyed. The election saw the union management accused of allowing pro-Graham candidates to stand who did not qualify under Unite’s rules – as well as a Graham ally the union admitted made racist comments, but took no action against. The union has refused to make a meaningful response to these and other allegations.

A Unite insider told Skwawkbox:

The results were quite a mixed bag. United Left’s ‘Members first’ candidates did well, as did some candidates who weren’t on any slate – but Sharon’s biggest hitters are gone. Given the amount of effort her organisers put into trying to whip up votes, it was a pretty dire result for her.

Graham had been said to be trying to tighten her grip on the union, but the new executive is expected to be more difficult for her to control, not less.

United Left took the high road and congratulated all the winners, but knowledgeable observers said that there was a barb in their last line for some of those now voted off the ‘exec’:

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  1. Don’t expect to read anything about this in the “socialist” Morning Star, who consider Sharon Graham to be a living saint!

    1. Just voted “Yes” in the ballot to keep Unite’s political fund, which we must hold every 10 years as per Tory anti-union laws which have always been opposed by the Morning Star, like Starmer is consistently opposed by the Morning Star – in particular as the EU has always been opposed by the Morning Star as it is a neoliberal capitalist centralized superstate of privatisation, wage-cuts and war, and Starmer subverted Labour’s Brexit position to topple Jeremy Corbyn.

      The antisemitism smear campaign was waged against Corbyn’s Labour Party internally & Starmer’s Brexit shift was waged against Labour eternally, hence the difference between GE17 and GE19.

      Starmer, like the Trilateralist he is, now declares the 17 & 19 manifestos to be “history “.

      I read reports that the executive of the SWP voted in support of “leave” for the 2016 referendum. I welcomed this but don’t know beyond this.

      The principal weapon we have against Starmer is that he is an ultra-remoaniac (as he is a Trilateralist) who threw his own party to the wolves consciously and deliberately at GE19 and will happily do so again as Labour has NO CHANCE of winning back the former “Red Wall ” as long as Starmer is leader. #StarmerOut #LabourLeadershipElection2023

      1. A fantastic post Brian P.

        Yes, Unite members should vote for the political fund, even though Starmerist ‘Davos’ Labour is neutered as a voice for Labour (movement). All afiliated unions should maintain the tory-inhibited Political Fund. Elected union management can always decide NOT to make a donation to Labour at a particular time, but to not support the political contribution of workers is to neuter the Labour Movement.

        If Sir Keir of the WEF/Trilateral Commission wants to see extensive GE 17 and 19 support from the voters as ‘history’ (and remember, it’s the ruling class that Starmer serves which write ‘history’), then so be it, but as long as he supports war, privatisation, aggressive pro-Nato militarism an d austerity, the voters of Britain can – and should – vote Conservative.

        Re Starmer as a Sell-Out-Remoaniac, I suspect bigger constituencies than I belong to, will resurrect and fight this sell-out as soon as the Trilateral Commission Agent known as Starmer becomes Prime Minister.

  2. The new NEC may well cause Sharon Graham some headaches. After all between Conferences they are the governing body of the union. They instruct the Gen Sec regarding the implementation of Conference policy and on how to deal with new issues which arise throughout the union year.( Conference to Conference)
    I just hope that the new NEC members know what they are doing.Too often people have their hearts in the right place ( a good start), get on a slate as a result and are elected but because they are inexperienced the Gen Sec is able to dictate to them. This has happened in Unison and other right wing unions in the past – a case of the tail wagging the dog.
    I hope the new NEC studies the Union rules ( particularly those relating to conflict of interest), gets to know them inside out and ensures they are rigorously applied.

  3. JC should be on this, now it’s more likely Unite will disaffiliate
    Large Union looking for a Party, likes Socialism, Peace and Prosperity and long walks with my dog Pav, Pav the Rotti

    1. Jeremy C is to me the nearest the nearest thing to come out of the political world to a saint. His integrity is derived from not playing‘ the-ends-justify-the -means-game’ that all politics seem to require.

      I wonder if he’d feel that his Integrity would stop him from playing this game? Maybe not, he might see dissuading affiliated unions from financing an aberrant Labour party as restorative and serving the true purpose of the Labour Movement?

      Always being on the right side of history is not easy, harder than it seems.

      1. qwertboi
        New party would need to take him out of the firing line, let him be the conscience and set out our principals, get back to Glastonbury where he would have the stage to himself, then there’s the Gatherings in every Town and City
        Leave it to younguns to do the dirty work

  4. Labour’s former Kensington MP Emma Dent Coad has resigned her party membership.

    1. 246
      Sky news saying Red Tories need 500 – 800 net gains to stay on track for a small majority government
      Not going to happen

  5. Starmer now says he opposes proportional representation for Westminster.

    His spokesman told the BylineTimes that the Labour Leader has a “long-standing view against PR”

    This, after Starmer backed electoral reform as recently as 2020; he supported the Electoral Reform Society’s arguments for a constitutional convention to decide and agree the PR system. He even argued the case for change in the leadership hustings.

    The unions support the switch too and conference voted for it – ignored by the leadership. How can anyone back a party led by such a shyster?

    1. Andy, Indeed, how can anyone? Well, we know of at least one person on here who does and is a constant pain in the ass…..

  6. The “long-standing view against PR” bit threw me! Can his right-wing ‘free-market’ neoliberal multi-millionaire backers (aka ‘clients’) oppose PR that much?

    I suppose they think that they won’t get a good enough Return on their Investment from just one Starmer term and so need a FPTP-enabler for a second or third term.

    It kinda makes sense and prove the much-missed Tony Benn MP right: Socialism and TRUE democracy are indivisible.

    1. qwertboi, Don’t you remember Starmer’s pledge in January 2020 when he committed himself to electoral reform and PR?

      I certainly do……The scumbag is a liar.

    1. It’d be nice to know. Graham’s husband is obv. one of them.

      Are they gone cos the ‘dirty money’ adds are not happening or because Unite members made the decision not to vote for them?
      Questions, questions.

  7. Not a lot going on, so I’ll report something from the US.
    Latest Gallup poll puts RFK Jr up at 20% and Biden down to 37% in a poll of Dem voters.

    1. goldbach
      Only one realistic and serious candidate to take on MIC, Big Pharma et al and that’s Tulsi Gabbard
      Need a quantum leap from the first generation that won’t be missed when they die, the never ending warmongers and haters

      1. I agree that Tulsi would be a really good candidate but they’ve already closed her out once.
        When she was in the frame last time the networks made sure that she didn’t get time in the debates.
        They’d do the same again.
        They would find it more difficult with RFK Jr, in part because he is already polling at 20% and in part because of the name.

      2. goldbach
        He has JC, fine in principal, not a street fighter, written all over him, his position on all vaccines alone, will allow those same Networks to crucify him
        It’s the Quantum Leap im after, to clean out the stables, we have a pandemic of corruption that will take two generations to clean out of the system

      3. I think that he is much more of a street fighter than you think.
        However, I can’t see the establishment allowing either him, or Tulsi to get the nomination.
        We’ll get the walking dead Biden again, and he’ll likely lose to whoever the GOP puts up.

      4. @Doug. Don’t get covid-fixated on this: think like a Progressive with Democratic Socialist leanings instead. Only around 1 in 5 Americans realise that covid and its mandates were a series of massive, anti-democratic Scams. The others (4in5 people) would happily resume their self-harming ‘jabs’, maintain social distancing, shutdown the schools and economy all over again and do whatever the people of power tell them.

        I agree with goldbach on RFKJr. That he isn’t saying the right thing on the orchestrated globalist Coup that accompanied the non-epidemic Pandemic is regrettable, but nothing more.

      5. America.

        Given what happened to other Kennedy’s…None of them will deliver. AOC promised all, I saw her shoes and even congratulated her on twitter for her determination. Gabbard has attended Davos, bragged about an uninteresting military career (logistics IIRC), and switched positions more than once.

        It’s gonna go pop before 2024. De-dollarisation, staggeringly enormous debt, utterly polarised and ran into the floor to name just three huge chickens shaking their feathered booty’s before bed.

        We’re tied at the hip. I suppose the only positive is we will see who owns who. The city or WS. They’re already telling us to get used to being poorer…

      6. qwerboi
        As far as I know he is against ALL vaccines not just Covid 19
        That’s problematic

  8. I have been shown something that I missed a year ago. Rather amusing.
    According to the Independent “Ukraine has called on countries to ban the usage of the letter “Z” to show support to the war-torn country against Russia’s invasion.”
    I shall have to bear this in mind when I next refer to Imbabwe or Ambia.
    President Elenskyy says we must do it.
    Maybe write to the ECB so they can tell Ac Crawley?

    1. It’d be ionism that I’d worry for. Without the prohibited letter, it might be seen as the nai, racialist Imperialism that it fundamentally has become.

  9. Starmer, in an interview for the Observer:

    “I think we can go beyond what the Blair government did on public services … because I think there is unfinished business there.” He added: “We will be a reforming government ready to go from day one, further than Blair on public services, further than the Tories in the private sector.”

    Literally WTF?!

    Why does anyone on the left /unions want this pro-privatisation stooge anywhere near No.10?

      1. Thanks for the link – but this one is much better: It’s to the same article, but the ARCHIVED version that doesn’t give theGuardnog clicks and advertising revenue.

        Starmer’s own words are informing the people who were taken in by his 10 Pledges marketing lies (on his leadership leaflet) that nothing Starmer says is to be trusted. In fact, it is to be disblieved. The man lies like a trooper and swears like a liar. Sir Kier Liar Starmer.

        “I think we can go beyond what the Blair government did on public services … because I think there is unfinished business there.” He added: “We will be a reforming government ready to go from day one, further than Blair on public services, further than the Tories in the private sector.”

        Streeting, Reeves & Starmer. I wouldn’t buy a used car from them, trust their analysis on anything, or give them a vote.

      2. qwertboi – “Thanks for the link – but this one is much better: It’s to the same article, but the ARCHIVED version that doesn’t give the Guardnog clicks and advertising”
        Wow! As spoken by a ‘true hero of the left’. 🥱

        I would of course recommend that people should read both articles in full Plus the following article which puts some more flesh on the bones Here’s an extract:
        “But why is this something the left should get on board with?
        ▪ First, calls for a paradigm shift in public services can be thought of as mirroring Corbyn’s successful and accurate calls for an economic paradigm shift. That was the Corbynistas’ great contribution to Labour thinking: that our current economic model is broken and we need a new one; a view now mainstream across the party and embraced by the Shadow Chancellor.
        Inspired by this rethinking of the economy, Labour needs to begin a rethinking of public services, moving beyond narrowly focusing on spending levels.
        ▪ Second, a new era of public service reform is anything but a return to Blair. In fact, it’s a call for an explicit break. ‘New Public Management’, which guided public service reform under New Labour, brought free market principles of choice and competition into public services, recasting the users of public services as customers. In contrast, relational public services sees users of services as citizens, with an active role to play in the co-production of services.”

    1. Maybe they’re not taking the piss. Maybe they really do believe that “‘My enemy’s enemies are my friends”

      Julie Cattell hates Jeremy Corby. Starmer hates Corbyn, therefore Julie Cattell should be endorsed as a Labour candidate – it is unimportant that she has threatened to bankrupt Labour through legal action.

      FWIW the Afghanistan Army has more chinook helicopters than the British Army and RAF because the US believes “my enemy’s enemies are my friends”.

      Starmer is a WEF globalist. The UK as a nation state will be weaker and its citizens less free if he ever becomes Prime Minister.

  10. qwertboi – I guess we’ll find out whether they are taking the piss or not once more details have emerged over the next few days.

    1. SteveH, I’m getting confused. “More details”? You mean whether one of the LAAS NINE who threatened to bankrupt the party in 2018 for being disclosed in the leaked report, Julie Catchell, gets elected as a Starmer-endorsed candidate for the Brighton ward she’s standing?

      All that will tell us is a) if the ward voters vote for her or not. I can’t access any local information that tells me whether the locals know her true identity and her history.

      Only if the voters of poet’s corner knew her true identity and history would the result reflect on LAAS’ internecine war. If they don’t, it doesn’t.

      I suspect they don’t.

      Read the novara article. It’s truly awful what this woman has done.

      1. qwertboi – You will have noted “…….once more details have emerged over the next few days.”
        Allow me to translate.
        It means “I can’t see how to spin this. You’ll have to give me a few days to think of a way.”

  11. qwertboi – Someone posted, inter alia, “Wow! As spoken by a ‘true hero of the left’.”
    You don’t imagine that he is under the misapprehension that The Grauniad is on the Left, do you?

    1. Yes, is was SteveH, patsy to the oligarchs. He obviously doesn’t look at the evidence and so is incapable of responding to it. He seems to work on the “there is a massive food shortage” therefore “We Need GMO Food” level.

      A lack of critical thinking is his problem. Starmer is the Member for the trilateral commission and his supporters mostly share steveh’s inability to think critically, or else are paid-for. One or the other.

    2. Do I think the guardian is left wing? No. It hasn’t been since The CIA threats to then-editor, Alan Rusbridger. Remember? Corbyn, Covid and Climate Change prove it is serving the Establishment, just like the Daily Mail, but to a different demographic.

    3. The rag that is called to account by scribblers and readers who represent less than •5% of the population. If that.

    1. goldbach
      Folk are being asked to take sides again, what we know from history is it always backfires when the King orders his General to order his troops to fire on their own

  12. Bankruptcy is part of the endgame for Red Tories, you have no idea how much JC scared the shite out of them, destruction of the Labour party is essential to them
    Socialists need to put there Capatalist Cloth Caps on, finding structures that give Independence and Financial control over entity’s like the BBC, Nationalised Industries and Local Authorities is the challenge
    Good news is it has already been done elsewhere or its not that hard once you destroy the Class system and Nepotism that wrecks our Society

    1. Very true Doug. But, remember, it was the threat of removing rail, mail and power utility companies from neoliberal control (Labour saying it would acquire enough shares to restore majority public control) that caused the Establishment to destroy Corbyn in the first place, wasn’t it?

      1. Jeremy showed us that you can’t use a ballot box to remove oligarch control and oppression. How else can it be done? Not easy for democratic socialists to answer. A new party is not going to be allowed to.

      2. qwerboi
        Capatalism is bankrupt, won’t take much to push it over the edge, then all of those industries will fall into our hands for nothing
        Same for our democracy, when people realise they are killing us for profit
        As for the ‘Let them eat Quiche’ brigade
        Off with their heads

      3. @qwertboi

        I’d say no, that was not why they attacked Corbyn. First is the incredible similarity between the fates of Trump and Corbyn. Who couldn’t be more different if they tried you’ll note. Yet both have been villified and ostracised.

        More likely reasons are they aren’t *their* man (whoever their is). No control. Look at Epstein. The tales of rampant nonce behaviour in and around Westminster. There is a clip on YouTube via the beeb (70s) where an ex Tory whip admits to covering up paedophilic behaviour to ensure vote control.

        Failing that, it’s because they would interfere with the ongoing plan (climate shite to force change that won’t be beneficial for us for example.)

        I’d be inclined to say both.

      4. @NVLA

        Not “one of us” explains Corbyn and Trump’, I’d say.s treatment. I can work with that. But why? It has to be something bigger than rich/powerful paedophiles. What?

        We’re spoilt for possibilities. If you have time (hour plus), make a point of watching Prof Denis Rancourt discuss the (all-cause motality) data showed there was no new viral outbreak in 2020. He explores the war measures that the supposed-pandemic either necessitated or enabled.

        The reason (the what) is almost certainly a Geo-political factor: Economic war against China, US Economic collapse, Reserve Currency retraction? I don’t know. Whatever it is, it is being disguised (perhaps Ukraine is intentionally part of that distraction?).

        <a href=" apers can be accessed from there. Go to 48th minute if you're not interested in his All-Cause Death research.

        FWIW – that JC was a member of the UK Privy Council through most of 2019 IS the reason the pre-planned 'Covid19' was postponed and effectively became 'Covid20'. Trump? Other than pointing out that certain low-cost drug totally eradicated SARS-CoV-2 in the elderly and those with co-morbidities (the only people to whom it is dangerous), I suspect his threat to the US Establishment was extensive.

      5. nvla – I’m on a ‘phone and input/keybd playing up. Hope the sense of my jumbled words made sense.

  13. @ Doug 11.38am
    Capatalism is bankrupt, won’t take much to push it over the edge, then all of those industries will fall into our hands for nothing
    Same for our democracy, when people realise they are killing us for profit…..”

    The possibility that a certain type of capitalism (the stuff we describe politically as ‘neoliberal’) is weakening and doing what Marx forecast capitalistic systems would do, “all that is solid disolves into air”), would be a frightening time,Doug, not a time sit-back and wait for things to improve.

    You think the parasitic elite would happily accept the destruction of their power base?

    Social orders, hierarchies, and social organizations, nation states even and all institutions would be challenged. Some say the ‘banking crisis’ and the covid scam were nothing more than experiments by the parasitic elites to see what they could achieve if the inevitable bankruptcy/dissolution of the economic order occurs.

    When it happens, I hope it is a process, not a single event, preferably occurring over decades so that my people and their ideas can adapt and flourish.

    1. A lot of people are going to be flummoxed when this bit of the war ends. All the talking heads, geniuses, commentators, opinion formers wrong.

  14. Quiz night:
    Who said, in a recent speech
    “Our foreign policy establishment keeps trying to pull the world into conflict with a nuclear-armed Russia based on the lie that Russia represents our greatest threat. But the greatest threat to Western Civilization today is not Russia. It’s probably, more than anything else, ourselves and some of the horrible, U.S.A. hating people that represent us.” ?

    1. No idea g’bach. Even trying to work it out is disorientating. It’s not his style of speech, but Donald Trump? Just as likely to be RFKJr. I’ve no idea. Who?

      1. Well done. It was Trump.
        That’ll make the neocons even more terrified of him.

      2. Wow, could Trump feature in the reason why Murdoch fired Trucker Carlsen? Re Trump, it seems even hard-nosed exploitative capitalists can be angered/worried by the US deep state…

      3. The last thing that the neocons would want is an election contested by Trump and RFK Jr.
        They have a much better chance of stopping Kennedy getting the nomination than Trump.
        My guess is that it was the RFK interview that did for Carlsen.

    2. Does Trump mean me. Pussy grabbing pervert, I wonder if he ever met the bloke who wrote that book with his mate? You know, convid concentration camp bloke. Looks like Robinson Crusoe. They both like private jets and islands.

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