Analysis Breaking Exclusive

Unite BA members rebel against attempt to deprive them of votes in Exec chair contest

BASSA members complain about ‘officer interference’ in exec elections and ask Returning Officer to intervene

BASSA (British Airways Stewards and Stewardesses Association) members of Unite have rebelled against what insiders see as an attempt by the union’s general secretary and her supporters to seize the position of Chair on the Unite executive council, after Sharon Graham’s supporters failed – despite ‘dark money’ spending on ads and racist and allegedly ineligible candidates being allowed to stand and the alleged hefty use of union organisers – to do well in last month’s elections to the union’s ruling body.

BASSA has put in a complaint about ‘officer interference’ in the executive elections, involving allegations of nominations via officer control without the proper branch meeting. According to one well-placed insider:

BASSA are screaming about lay member democracy and want the nominations ruled out. The elections for the CAT [civil air transport] seats have not yet taken place so the exec will be 3 members short when they meet and vote for chair.

The newly elected executive members are until awful pressure to support the Sharon slate with her henchman phoning them daily telling them what they must do.

The contest for Chair of the Unite EC is between Graham supporter Kerry Owens and United Left-backed Docks rep Andy Green. Skwawkbox understands that BASSA reps met with Returning Officer Simon Hearn last week and are seeking to have the unsafe nominations ruled out. If their request is granted, all three CAT reps would be returned to the executive unopposed – and that they are likely to back Green in the Chair election.

Graham’s attempts to complete her control of the union have floundered against a backdrop of allegations that she tried to have evidence of her husband’s bullying and misogyny destroyed and outrage and protests in Ireland that came close to leading to the disaffiliation of an entire sector over Unite’s abuse of union legend Brendan Ogle.

SKWAWKBOX needs your help. The site is provided free of charge but depends on the support of its readers to be viable. If you’d like to help it keep revealing the news as it is and not what the Establishment wants you to hear – and can afford to without hardship – please click here to arrange a one-off or modest monthly donation via PayPal or here to set up a monthly donation via GoCardless (SKWAWKBOX will contact you to confirm the GoCardless amount). Thanks for your solidarity so SKWAWKBOX can keep doing its job.

If you wish to republish this post for non-commercial use, you are welcome to do so – see here for more.


    1. …Is a concept you are are blissfully ignorant of.

      Now shut up. There’s a (no)good nonce-excuser.

      1. Toffee – Perhaps you could explain how the above fits in with your concept of democracy

      2. As someone who is not familiar with the workings of UNITE. or with the BASSA section, I would be grateful if it could be explained how this does fit in with the concept of democracy.

      3. Toffee – Perhaps you could explain how the above fits in with your concept of democracy


        When YOU tell the rest of us how you NOT getting a vote on smarmer’s second referendum shithousery (and then telling everybody that 70% of labour members actually wanted it) fits in with YOUR concept.

        PS. Corbyn “admitting” that the vast majority of labour members wanted keefs’ shithousery does NOT qualify as YOUR concept.

        3…2..1 go.

    2. I’m sorry goldbach. You are seriously expecting steveH to provide any kind of substantive evidence to back up his implied smear – which is nothing more than the usual distracting ‘dead cat on the table’* – that this membership challenge is undemocratic.?

      * Its all he’s got.

      1. Dave – I admit that I can’t explain the intricacies of Unite and the BASSA’s nomination procedures, can you? If you can then your input would be appreciated but if not then I’m struggling to see what your point is.

        The above article clearly states “If their request is granted, all three CAT reps would be returned to the executive unopposed – and that they are likely to back Green in the Chair election.”
        All I can see from the above is people working hard to undermine democracy by denying other members the opportunity to vote for candidates that the self appointed left faction don’t support, hence my initial comment of – “……and democracy?”

        What are they afraid of, losing?

      2. Having been an elected Union Rep I am familiar with the generic processes used in such elections.

        So I’ll Janet and John it for you steveH. Its not hard to understand.

        There are clear timelines for nominations in any system process involving elections. Its part of the rules governing such processes. For example; nominations have to be submitted within specific and published time periods. Any nomination received after the published date become invalid and are not permitted to stand.

        Funnily enough this applies not just to Union election processes at every level but other election processes – such as the Westminster Parliament, local authorities and so on. Generic process see. Not just for or limited to Trades Unions but applied in other similar contexts.

        Similarly, if a nomination has been found to have been made outside of other rules within the the process – such as, for example, illegally according to the election process rules – they are similarly declared invalid by those with the responsibility for ensuring the election is run according to the rules.

        In this case the Returning Officer Simon Hearse. And interestingly enough the same process would elicit the same result should similar breaches of election rules and procedures were to be found in Westminster or local authority elections.

        A recent example from the LA elections in the UK being a Lib-Dem Councillor who stood and won in two Ward Constituencies some 150 miles apart who subsequently resigned from both when he was found out. Of course, should he have attempted to take up both of these seats he would have been disqualified under the election process rules anyway.

        Consequently, your squalid little attempt to question the democratic nature and credentials of this case is as invalid as the nominations being complained about.

        You’re welcome.

      3. Dave – Thanks for your input but you are obviously wrong about the illegality of candidates standing in multiple council seats. It appears to be quite a common practise
        Check it out for yourself
        Local elections 2023: the candidates standing in multiple areas often hundreds of miles apart
        I wonder what else you’ll turn out to be wrong about.

      4. The Local government Act says not steveH:

        “Supplementary information

        The qualifications

        When completing your consent to nomination form you will be asked to indicate which qualifications you meet. You should indicate on the form all those qualifications that apply to you.

        a. Being a registered local government elector [LGA 1972 (LGA 1972) s.79(1)(a)]

        To be able to use this qualification,your name must appear on the register of local government electors for the local authority area you wish to stand in at the time of your nomination and throughout your term of office should you be elected.Unlike the other qualifications that must only be satisfied on the day of your nomination and on polling day, this is an ongoing qualification.We therefore recommend that if you meet any of the other qualifications as well, you also indicate this on your consent to nomination, which is one of the required nomination papers.”

        In simple terms this qualification under the Local Government Act requires that any nominee be a registered elector in the Local Authority area the nominee wishes to stand in not only at the time of the nomination but also subsequently.

        As it is not possible for very obvious reasons under electoral law for someone to be registered as a voter in more than one local authority – because that is having more than one vote as an elector and therefore illegal – it is therefore not possible under electoral law for someone to meet the qualification requirements necessary to stand in more than one seat in different local authorities.

        Moreover, you will also find in the electoral laws that it is not permitted to stand in two seats in the same local authority.

        I wonder what else you will turn out to be wrong about steveH?

      5. Dave – “The Local government Act says not steveH”
        ……and yet the ballot papers and the news report that I linked to tell a different story Check it out for yourself by comparing the news report with the lists of candidates

        “When completing your consent to nomination form you will be asked to indicate which qualifications you meet. You should indicate on the form all those qualifications that apply to you.”
        There are several different ways that one can qualify, being on the electoral roll is only one of them.

        “As it is not possible for very obvious reasons under electoral law for someone to be registered as a voter in more than one local authority”
        Students can, also people who have two homes in different constituencies which they regularly occupy can. They get to have more than one vote in local elections but it is a criminal offence to vote more than once in national elections

        You were saying?

      6. It says Daz on the side of buses but they don’t sell soap powder.

        If you want to hang your hat on a report from a corporate media which regularly get things arse about face that’s your problem steveH.

        The rest of us will go with what the actual legislation lays down and the subsequent guidelines for candidates issued by the the Electoral Commission which is based on that legislation rather than reports of people trying to game the system by kicking the arse out of it.

        You were saying.

      7. Dave – Or alternatively you could just for once try getting over yourself and admit that you are wrong.
        If only we were all as clever as you think you are.

    3. In TWO of the last three threads (with a comments section) SH has posted the first comment – as he has on literally hundreds and hundreds of occasions before – and it’s practically ALWAYS something contrived to be provocative and wind people – ie other posters – UP and bait them. And who but an arsehole – a paid full-time shill – would do that, day after day after day, week after week after week for years on end. And whether it’s the first comment, or a reply to someone, it’s generally the same MO.

      What *I* can’t understand is why Steve Walker continues to let him post on here and didn’t ban him years ago, as it’s been blatantly obvious for a long time that he’s a shill, constantly pa-trolling the site and checking every single comment that’s posted and continually aggravating other posters.

      And even when he was posing as a left-winger and a Jeremy Corbyn supporter in the years prior to Jeremy standing down as leader, he was in fact clandestinely working to undermine Jeremy, along with RH and one or two other – at the time – regular posters.

      Everyone knows he’s a paid full-time shill working for the establishment, and he knows that everyone knows, but he just carries on regardless, because his primary objective is to disrupt the comments section on the one hand, and discredit JC and the left on the other.

      1. Allan – Oh dear, there you go again with your silly conspiracy theories.
        Perhaps you should stick to telling us about the latest article that you just happen to have come across and counting my posts.

        Am I wrong to point out that I think that the following statement is problematic.
        “If their request is granted, all three CAT reps would be returned to the executive unopposed – and that they are likely to back Green in the Chair election.”
        What are they afraid of, losing?

      2. The way the article reads, to me at least, is that some nominations were made without branch meetings being held and that this is not within the rules. My reading is also that, should these nominations be held to be not within the rules, 3 other nominees would be returned unopposed.
        If this is the case, then the outcome rests on what the rules say about whether or not a branch meeting is required for nominations to be made.
        Surely it is simply a matter of correct procedures and establishing whether or not they have been followed, and it’s right that any concerns in that regard are raised with the returning officer.
        If officers did exceed their authority the move should be overturned whether they did so because they were unaware of correct procedures or because they were “afraid of losing”.

  1. If the Returning Officer can’t sort this (and I would not be overly hopeful that they can) then this matter can be referred to the Trade Union Certification Officer where I think the members would have a very good chance of having their complaint upheld.

  2. Looks like de piffles in the shite again the lying fat meff.

    Someone in richy sadsack’s clique’s bubbled him…

    1. Boris Johnson referred to police over allegedly hosting friends at Chequers in lockdown
      Records of visits were allegedly found in official diary by lawyers as they were preparing for Covid public inquiry
      Boris Johnson has been referred to police by the Cabinet Office over claims he broke lockdown rules by hosting family and friends at Chequers during Covid.
      The visits to the former prime minister’s grace-and-favour residence were found in his official diary by his government-funded lawyers as they prepared his defence for the public inquiry into the pandemic.
      They raised the issue with senior officials in the Cabinet Office, who then referred the matter to police as they were obliged to do under the civil service code, and also the privileges committee, which is investigating whether Johnson lied to the Commons over Partygate.

  3. Does anyone know who was the “donor” who paid for Rachel Reeves’ £4000 flight to NYC?
    It seems that she says she was going there to “restore our economic dignity”.

  4. Looks like the trust issues surrounding her are becoming as debilitating to Graham as 10 paper-pledges caused them to be for Starmer.

  5. Off topic

    Well I’ve just seen it all now

    Questioned by the snp leader about “greedflation” (supermarkets ripping is off) sunak started waffling on about the fall on overall inflation.

    Camera went to *labour* front bench… Some dozy looking mare sat next to Rayner was nodding away like one of those wobbly-head Churchill dog type models that people put on their car dashboards, hanging on each and every word sunak uttered.

    Nobody was whispering in her ear and she was staring intently at sunak while he battered on…


    Just FUCK off. 🤬🤬🤬

    1. I’m not sure its reasonable to describe a post whose key theme is the absence of democratic choice as ‘off topic’ to this thread Toffee.

      However, whilst we are on the subject of the absence of democracy two seemingly disparate but yet related items are pertinent.

      The observation of Labour’s front Bench ‘in action’ in Toffee’s post represents a mere snapshot of how dire matters really are. Leaving aside the scenes from Newham in a recent Skwawkbox article – which are bad enough in their own right – the impact on troop morale at local levels of the centralising of control seen in places like Liverpool, Birmingham and Sheffield will be instructive.

      On the recent Skwawkbox article about Birmingham I provided some insights into the same process which took place in Sheffield earlier this month. The Labour Group in the City were effectively taken over by the managerialists at Central Office.

      Resulting in not only the Group leader and Deputy Leader being made an offer they could not refuse – ie resign of else – but in a bizarre group meeting overseen by live Zoom images of those central office overseers on two walls of the room the entire Labour group of elected by local citizens of the City were supervised into voting for a limited and centrally determined slate for all the key positions.

      An event in which, to paraphrase one observation, a metophorical gun was on the table to make sure everyone complied.

      Bad as that clearly is it was merely the culmination of a process which began much earlier. Where the actual campaign was controlled from the center by the same overseers. At least some Ward Party Units were instructed not to campaign in their own Ward at all but to direct their efforts to target seats in other other parts of the City. In some cases directing people to canvass in areas which they had already canvassed by door knocking only two weeks or so before.

      An instruction which resulted in what in other circumstance might be described as ‘passive resistance.’ With local activist members simply staying at home.

      There is even a certain degree of discontent being expressed from those associated with the political right locally.

      Point being that when you are even alienating your own base to that extent you are in deep shit. And not just within your own ranks.

      The penny is starting to drop with the wider electorate. As people, being people, familiar with these kind of shenanigans drop them into the conversation over the garden wall/fence as it were. where you literally see the cogs working in real time from the facial expressions and other body language which tells you just how ‘impressed’ people are about having their vote for local candidates undermined in such a manner.

      On which note….

      ….here’s Scottish independence blogger Stuart Campbell making the point about some recent polls:

      “Alert readers will recall the last time the SNP lost a lot of Westminster seats – the snap election of 2017, when the party shed a third of its votes and almost 40% of its MPs, almost the exact same number last night’s Times poll is predicting.

      But those losses didn’t come because indy supporters voted for Unionists. The majority of the SNP’s 500,000 lost votes in 2017 didn’t go anywhere else – they just stayed at home. Labour made gains not because their own vote increased but because so many SNP voters failed to turn out that their vote fell below Labour’s static one.”

      A situation not limited to Scotland nor just the SNP. With a theoretical* 17-18 months to go before another General Election the present rate of attrition from alienation being undertaken by the incompetents running the entity formally known as the Labour Party could, as previously stated, see the largest block of votes in every GE since 2001 – ie non of the above – exceed 20 million.

      * Theoretical not only in terms of the timescale but also as to whether one takes place or not in the present context of geo-political events.

  6. Who lies the most Red or Blue Tories or the Police
    In my home town North Shields, this was exactly what kicked off the Meadowell riots
    Should have come clean and took the hit, instead of bullshitting it and setting off the destruction of that estate
    Upside money will pour in as Government has to be seen to be doing something

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: