Popular support for UK’s biggest union as it cuts funding to Labour because Starmer is ‘not listening’

Len McCluskey: as long ago as March 2018, he said if Labour won’t support left-wing policies, it won’t have left-wing funds.

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.

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):

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:

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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5 thoughts on “Popular support for UK’s biggest union as it cuts funding to Labour because Starmer is ‘not listening’

  1. che

    I too have stopped my labour membership fees. I joined when Jeremy Corbyn was elected, not to pay the panarama team and support a party that supports torys

  2. Growing Flame

    I really like the idea of withdrawing a percentage of support from Labour and subsidising progressive campaigns with it. Done right, it could really link millions of people with the unions again.
    It could also show union members that their money, and their union leaders are not just available to whatever apologetic Labour leadership is in power.
    Best to choose the right campaign and the right cause, of course.
    Also, it shows that politics and social change is about more than the Party political spats in Parliament and that we don’t need to compromise on policies if we want to get real progress.
    Let the Labour leadership drop the most radical policies if they want, but the rest of us are capable of putting our weight behind campaigns that go further.
    Oddly enough, it might render the tactic of leaving the Labour Party all together as a bit unnecessary.
    As we can stay in the Labour Party safe in the knowledge that the radical policies we support will still be given a boost by union funding. While poor, sell-out policies espoused by the neo-liberals currently at the top of Labour, will lose them funding. Giving us a chance to argue within the Party for a bolder approach.

  3. Paul Atkin

    No-one seems to notice that there is a genuine Socialist alternative to the Labour party in this country – the Green Party! How about it?

  4. Growing Flame

    I agree that the Green Party is a genuine alternative to Labour in terms of policies. In fact, prior to my return to the Labour Party to support Corbyn, I had really,really considered joining the Greens.
    BUT, I realise that, with our first-past-the-post system, there are really just two Parties in contention. One of them is Labour.
    As every election forces us to compromise and just vote for the least worst option, most voters to the Left of Centre just troop to the polls to vote Labour.
    Fair enough!! There is more to politics than Parliamentary elections.
    As proof of that, just look at the success of the Greens, and other environmental campaigns ,in getting green policies accepted within the two main Parties, the Tories as a gesture, but definitely with genuine commitment by many in Labour.

    But, when it comes to General Elections, the Green Party gets squeezed!

    That doesn’t have to be such a terrible thing if the awareness and the policies of the Greens has penetrated other Parties, notably Labour.

    As I said, politics is about more than dreary Parliamentary debates and , definitely, about more than occasional elections, then going away for the next five years.
    So you can campaign for green policies AND campaign to get the more progressive of the two main Parties into power. You don’t have to form another electoral Party as the only route to power for our environmental policies.

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