Len McCluskey is providing the leadership the Labour movement badly needs, and right-thinking people across the UK know it.
Late on October 6, the BBC’s Newsnight told us the Unite union general secretary had announced a partial disaffiliation from the Labour Party because new leader Keir Starmer is “just not listening” to the Labour movement.
One of the most contentious issues recently was Starmer’s decision to pay £600,000 to so-called whistleblowers who contributed to a Panorama documentary about anti-Semitism in the Labour Party.
After Labour denied their story, they threatened to sue the party for defamation. Legal advice was that Labour would win – but Starmer decided to pay up anyway.
“There’s a lot of anger.”
The union Unite’s executive has today voted to cut funding to the Labour Party by 10%. Unite is the Labour Party’s biggest donor.
— BBC Newsnight (@BBCNewsnight) October 6, 2020
Now, United has disaffiliated 50,000 of its members, meaning its subsidy to Labour will drop by one-tenth – around £700,000.
This Writer thinks the close correlation between this sum and the amount paid to the “whistleblowers” is no coincidence. Unite – and McCluskey – are saying that if Starmer has so much cash he can afford to blow it on appeasement, he can afford to do without some.
The cash that has been freed will go to left-wing grassroots organisations – a shrewd move if it leads to wider understanding of alternatives to the neoliberal policies of Boris Johnson (and Starmer himself).
And the decision has been met with widespread support from the general public. Here’s This Site’s friend, Cornish Damo (be warned that he doesn’t hold back and you may find some of his language too strong):
No more excuses.
No more govt support.
No more quisling abstentions.
I've no patience left.
We need an opposition leader, not an appeasition leader & it's clear as day Starmer will never fit that bill. He has to go.#DamoRants #ResignStarmer #StarmerOut pic.twitter.com/IdrdiFu2Is
— Damo (@Cornish_Damo) October 6, 2020
We need an opposition, not an “appeasition”. Yes indeed!
Others have also leapt up to voice their support for Unite – and their disgust with Starmer on this and other issues:
It’s good to see someone listening to their members, @LenMcCluskey.
Sending begging letters for donations won’t do it, Keir. #r4today
— James Foster (@JamesEFoster) October 7, 2020
I resigned from the Labour Party on April 10th and today I got a begging letter from @Keir_Starmer – I earn less than the average wage – not one penny of it is going to that shithouse.
Outlook put it into the Junk folder, in a rare moment of Microsoft efficiency.
— Mark Hebden (@unionlib) October 6, 2020
Keir Starmer is against Universal Basic Income; but nor is he an advocate for a Jobs Guarantee as an alternative. Seems Starmer has little to offer in regards to fighting poverty. #ResignStarmer
— gud (@seicilop) October 7, 2020
— Raphael Dogg (@raphaeldogg) October 6, 2020
AFTERTHOUGHT: Sadly, looking at the social media, it seems the Twitter trolls are trying to take over the discussion with support for Starmer and insults for McCluskey.
Perhaps Unite and all the other trade unions who co-formed Labour in the first place should just withdraw all their funding now, as these so-called members and representatives clearly neither need nor want it.
Have YOU donated to my crowdfunding appeal, raising funds to fight false libel claims by TV celebrities who should know better? These court cases cost a lot of money so every penny will help ensure that wealth doesn’t beat justice.
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