Tag Archives: UNITE

Vince Cable orders review of industrial law to investigate union and employer behaviour

One of the things that made me wince recently was the experience of a Grangemouth manager whose family were traumatised by the appearance of a union mob on their doorstep. There is no way that sort of action can be described as anything other than intimidatory and it is right and proper that it should be investigated. People’s homes are off limits. I was livid last year when UK Uncut demonstrated outside Nick Clegg’s house, although to be fair, it was a good natured demo and Nick himself was quite relaxed about it.

You can always rely on the …

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Unite members don’t (unite, that is)

A poll of Unite members reveals today that only 12% would like to join the Labour Party.

Following the public debate about whether union members should be offered the option of opting-in to the political levy, rather than opting-out as at present, only 30% of Unite’s members would choose to opt in.

The Lord Ashcroft poll surveyed over 700 members of Unite, the UK’s largest union, which draws its members from across a wide range of industry sectors. It seems that one third of them didn’t know whether they paid into the political fund and over half would prefer an opt-in …

Posted in News | 8 Comments

Would-be Labour candidate attacks Unite’s “autocratic monopoly” and role in Lewisham and Haringey selections

Last night a would-be Labour Parliamentary candidate, who contested the Hornsey & Wood Green selection, hit out on Twitter at the “autocratic monopoly” produced by Unite’s influence on selections. Mandy Richards singled out selections in Hornsey & Wood Green and Lewisham, arguing that they have not been getting the media attention they deserve and that Unite’s influence is blocking a “progressive Labour agenda”.

Twitter - Mandy4PPC_2015- complaint about Unite

Twitter - Mandy4PPC_2015- Unite autrocratic monopoly

In Hornsey & Wood Green the selection was won by …

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Miliband vs McCluskey: 2 points that strike me about the Labour/Unite row over alleged candidate selection rigging

Looking in from the outside, albeit as a former Labour member myself, two points strike me about the Labour/Unite row over the alleged attempt by the union to rig the selection of the party’s general election candidate in Falkirk.

The first is this:

How lucky is Ed Miliband in his opponent, Len McCluskey?

Yes, you read that right. Ed is lucky in Len. The reason why is simple: Len McCluskey has gone about his attempted putsch of Labour in an extraordinarily cack-handed manner.

If you wanted to set up a comedy caricature trade union boss, you’d make sure he had a salary of £122,000, had called for a general strike, have him make threats against prominent Labour ‘Blairites’, and then protest against the lefty New Statesman when it reports accurately what you’ve said.

If you wanted to be a smart trade union leader, however, you’d operate below-the-radar. You’d do things just the same: ensure your chosen candidate was elected Labour leader (however dubiously), line up your mate to head up the party’s election campaigns, and guarantee loyal union members are installed in as many key seats as possible.

But you’d do so sotto voce.

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Opinion: Dear Progress, come in and have a nose around

In the run up to the 1997 election, Tony Blair led Paddy Ashdown up the garden path with a promise of a progressive alliance between a modern reforming Labour Party and the Liberal Democrats.

Well, ‘fool us once’ and all that.

15 years later the Liberal Democrats remain a broad church. Orange Bookers, social democrats, Coalition supporters, Coalition sceptics, whatever Evan Harris is – there’s room for all of us.

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Revealed: The document that explains how Unite intends to take over the Labour party

That’s the headline on a post over on Labour Uncut, and they have the full internal Unite strategy document to corroborate those claims:

The strategy is a powerful statement of intent. It’s clear that Unite intend to fundamentally change Labour…

In one passage, plans are set out to recruit 5000 new members from Unite into the Labour party. But this is no altruistic membership drive; the purpose of this influx of activists is to control local constituency parties…

The document goes on to outline how these new activists will be marshalled by Unite’s political structures to act as a bloc within CLPs. There

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Information Commissioner writing to Unite over its data protection approach

A footnote to my post from the general election campaign, Hasn’t Charlie Whelan admitted Unite is breaking the law?. Finally, after nearly three months the Information Commissioner has ruled on the complaint and is writing to Unite to “recommend” they change their data protection registration.

As to why the Information Commission didn’t take any action whilst all the phoning was going on and instead waited until the phoning was all over, the data gathered, the data used, the votes all cast and the results decided? The Information Commissioner’s office says “Please accept my apologies”. Not quite regulation at its best.

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Hasn’t Charlie Whelan admitted Unite is breaking the law?

Charlie Whelan’s recent interview with Left Foot Forward confirmed what’s been widely reported elsewhere, namely that Unite are running a phone canvassing operation where they are asking their members how they are intending to vote:

We’ve talked to tens of thousands, almost hundreds of thousands of people in the last couple of years and there are a proportion of Unite members who are Tories. But the current telephone canvassing we’ve been doing of Unite members shows that it’s only 8.5%. I expected it to be higher than that.

However, if you are asking people their voting intentions and then recording that …

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Daily View 2×2: Jenga special

It’s Sunday. It’s 9am. It’s time for jenga, but first the news.

2 Must-Read Blog Posts

What are other Liberal Democrat bloggers saying? Here are two posts that have caught the eye from the Liberal Democrat Blogs aggregator:

  • A failure of scrutiny on digital bill: Peter Black blogs about the letter signed by, amongst others, Liberal Democrat Parliamentary candidates Bridget Fox and Julian Huppert. Danger of Parliament rushing through legislation without proper debate? Who would have thought it.
  • Elementary errors: Giles Wilkes on the important difference between a stock and a flow. More interesting and useful than I’ve made it sound.

Spotted any other great posts in the last day from blogs that aren’t on the aggregator? Do post up a comment sharing them with us all.

2 Big Stories

BA fights to limit the impact of cabin crew strike

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Opinion: Time for Lib Dem members to unite against UNITE’s Labour propaganda

The Guardian reported last Friday that the uber-union UNITE is to get its members canvassing one another on behalf of the Labour Party.

In spite of justified criticism of the Government throughout the parliamentary cycle, UNITE always comes out for Labour when an election’s nigh – it never learns! Its members’ publication (paid for out of the political levy, or not?) is full of pro-Labour propaganda.

I believe it behoves a trade union to campaign for policies that would help its members, not nail its colours to the mast of just one political party, regardless of whether …

Posted in Op-eds | Also tagged | 6 Comments

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