This will be a stunning humiliation for Keir Starmer – if it happens. The decision on timing is a masterstroke.
One of the unions that helped set up the Labour Party at the beginning of the 20th century has threatened to sever its connection with Keir Starmer’s right-wing perversion of that organisation.
The Bakers, Food and Allied Workers Union is recalling its national conference to take the vote after learning that Labour is considering expelling its national president, Ian Hodson, over connections with one of the organisations that Starmer’s Labour recently proscribed for no very good reason.
The union also condemned Starmer’s apparent decision to repair its relationship with bosses while widening divisions with representatives of labour – the trade unions.
In a statement, the union’s representatives said: “The recent decision to proscribe organisations is seen as a divisive and a purely factional attack which will do nothing to unite the party or provide any real opportunity for the party to be able to unite to fight and defeat our real enemy The Tory Party.
“Our National President has only ever conducted himself in line with the policies and the decisions taken by this trade union.
“The executive expressed dismay and anger at the idea the Labour Party should consider expelling the office of our nominated political lead in our organisation, and agreed that a firm response was required should the party take such actions.
“The BFAWU executive unanimously agreed a timeline that would coincide with the leaders address to national Labour conference in September should such a situation arise.
“An attack on one of ours is an attack on all of us.
“We will not accept bullying from any bosses or a party that seems to be choosing to prefer to be on the bosses side.”
The threat puts Starmer in an impossible position. If he refuses to give in, he’ll suffer a huge public relations defeat and personal humiliation. If he doesn’t, then others will demand to know why Hodson is getting special treatment – and his proscription of left-wing groups will become meaningless.
In making this decision to stand with its president, the Bakers’ union has shown the way for everybody – including individual party members.
What’s to stop individual Labour branches and constituency parties from choosing to disaffiliate, if one of their members is threatened with expulsion unfairly? Nothing.
It seems likely that such solidarity is the only response that Starmer will understand.
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