Graham supporters resort to Starmerite smear tactics after losing exec votes

Innuendo of racism, homophobia, misogyny and ableism flung by Graham supporters as they lash out after exec chair and key finance committee appointed that will scrutinise all union’s dealings and ‘hold GS team to account’

Supports of Unite general secretary Sharon Graham have resorted to Starmeroid smear tactics after losing key votes on the union’s newly-elected executive council (EC).

As Skwawkbox reported last week, the left-wing ‘Members First’ slate on the EC swept the senior positions of chair and two vice-chairs after Graham’s supporters – in a minority on the EC despite ‘dark money’ spending on ads and several allegedly ineligible supporters being allowed to stand, as well as the allegedly constant efforts of paid organisers and officials before and after the election to marshal support for them – walked out of the EC’s annual general meeting (AGM) and abstained en masse, not bothering to cast votes in a ballot they could see they’d lose.

The new chair then held a vote for the key finance committee, which saw victory for the Members First slate that has promised to hold Ms Graham and her team accountable for their conduct and decisions.

Now a statement issued by the twenty-seven has tried to denigrate the democratic results by making innuendos that the decision to hold the vote was racist and ableist, as well as ‘anti-democratic and divisive’ – classic Starmerite smear tactics when a vote goes against them.

First, the statement decries a democratic outcome as unfair because, well, fewer people voted the way the pro-SG slate wanted:

The group of members who call themselves ‘Members First’ and ‘United Left’, who currently hold a tiny majority on the executive, took the shameful decision to press ahead with the election of a Chair and membership of the Finance & General Purposes Committee (F&GPC) against the wishes of an almost equal number of executive councillors.

Then, the smears and innuendo, amounting to ‘this vote was bigoted because we lost’:

the Civil Air Transport (CAT) sector currently has no representation on the Council, and that one Passenger sector seat is empty pending the outcome of further elections…

The 55,000 strong CAT electorate is not only of significant size, but has one of the highest concentrations of women and LGBT+ members of any sector within the union. Passenger Transport has one of the highest concentrations of BAEM members found anywhere in the union…

The Chair also took an executive decision to disregard representations from two disabled members on the difficulties caused to them by the sudden change in order of business. This was never even put to the vote.

For a union that is campaigning to secure statutory recognition for equalities reps, and whose activists consistently challenge undemocratic and discriminatory practice, that is a shameful and regressive step.

There are, of course, plenty of Black, Asian and ethnic minority members, women, disabled people and LGBT+ people in every other section and indeed on the Members First group, so they were well represented during the vote, but – again as with the Blairites and Starmeroids – why let the facts get in the way of a good smear? The reason two disabled members of the Graham slate couldn’t cope with a ‘sudden change in the order of business’ was not explained in the statement, but disabled people in the Members First slate were able to cope without issue, so presumably no good reasons for the objection were heard by the chair.

And the innuendo was profoundly ironic when the Graham slate included people who had – by the union’s own admission – made racist social media posts – and even more ironic when in fact the general secretary’s team have been accused by angry section members of causing the delays that led to their section elections not being held. One insider said at the time:

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 under awful pressure to support the Sharon slate with her henchman phoning them daily telling them what they must do.

Again, why let such inconvenient facts affect a perfectly good smear narrative? The smear ends by ‘urging’ the exec to overturn the result that the Graham gang don’t like, presumably so it can be done over until they get a result they like.

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, who is now taking legal action over the union’s bullying and abuse. It is shameful to see her supporters now resort to the worn and discredited tactics of the Labour right to attempt to undermine democracy.

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  1. ‘Hold GS team to account’. Good on yer, EC members

    You’ve got your work cut out – but smear narratives and partners in crime in the ‘free press’ and BBC are all they’ve got. Members First!

      1. qwertboi – If only we were all as clever as you think you are, 🙄

  2. If Uncle Festa and the loony Right Wing ERG have lost control of the Tory party, what next for them and Farage
    When Red Tories lose the next GE, what next for Socialism if we cannot win back the Labour party and purge it of the loony Right Wing globalists
    Both Labour and Conservative parties need to be destroyed and a Democracy where every vote has equal value established
    Then it’s a case of never again will we allow money to talk, to dictate and to corrupt
    Iron Fist inside a Velvet Glove
    Jeremy Corbyn plus a Hatchet Man should do it
    My choice for the Hatchet Man role, Karie Murphy

    1. I’m guessing there was a reason why Karie Murphy didn’t pass the sniff test for being granted a peerage.

  3. Here’s the Blueprint
    Find a sleazy Red Tory like Christian Wakeford in Bury South then find someone famous from that area to stand against them as an Independent
    No party just a simple belief in Democracy and Socialism, they would be financially secure and therefore less corrupt, not controlled by any whips and media savvy

    1. Find a sleazy Red Tory like Christian Wakeford in Bury South then find someone famous from that area to stand against them as an Independent

      *Rules out gary nevile*

  4. SteveH08/06/2023 AT 11:05 AM
    It’s looking like I might be proved right

    “Jeremy Corbyn ‘could run for London Mayor’ – standing AGAINST Labour!
    Grab the popcorn for this one: Jeremy Corbyn is said to be a mulling a bid to become Mayor of London in 2024, as an independent candidate.

    Sure about that, gobshite? Don’t crack yer kitchens (or whatever the phrase is)

  5. About the lost/found, divers boot that everyone is not posting about. They weigh a bloody ton. Did the saboteur take it off to scratch an itch? Was it a Chelsea boot slip-on style? Doesn’t look like it, straps and magnets more like. Say for argument’s sake you are fathoms deep, doing some serious explosive placing maneuvers do you slip? Damn, my fucking divers boot has come off. What would you do? Continue packing the pipe or try desperately to put it back on? Let’s be serious. The other lads in the bathysphere will give Bucky or Taffy a real bollocking. ” Where’s your boot? “. “Do you realize that you have only got one boot? ” Go back and get your boot! “. No, ain’t buying it. Someone will have to pay for the boot. You can get them on eBay but not singly. Someone should get to the bottom of this. Pity that the great Paul Foot is no longer with us.

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