One of the trade unions that founded the Labour Party has disaffiliated from it – in disgust at Keir Starmer’s insistence on waging a “factional internal war” instead of opposing Boris Johnson’s far-right government.
The Bakers, Food and Allied Workers Union (BFAWU) had said it would hold a vote on disaffiliation after Labour threatened to expel its national president, Ian Hodson, over connections with one of the organisations that Starmer’s Labour recently proscribed for no very good reason.
Hodson had dealings with Labour Against the Witchhunt – a support organisation for party members falsely accused of anti-Semitism by Keir Starmer’s auto-guilting disciplinary machine – until 2017.
It was proscribed by Starmer’s perversion of the party earlier this year, making any action against Hodson retrospective – and therefore unreasonable.
The union had planned a disaffiliation vote to coincide with Starmer’s speech at the Labour conference in Brighton this week – but the announcement was made the day before, heaping humiliation on the party’s non-leader.
He is the only Labour leader ever to drive away one of the organisations that helped found the party.
In a statement, the union made its reasoning clear [boldings mine]:
“We need footballers to campaign to ensure our schoolchildren get a hot meal. Workers in our sector, who keep the nation fed, are relying on charity and good will from family and friends to put food on their tables. They rely on help to feed their families, with 7.5% relying on food banks, according to our recent survey.
“But instead of concentrating on these issues we have a factional internal war led by the leadership. We have a real crisis in the country and instead of leadership, the party’s leader chooses to divide the trade unions and the membership by proposing changes to the way elections for his successor will take place.
“We don’t see that as a political party with any expectations of winning an election. It’s just the leader trying to secure the right wing faction’s chosen successor.
“The decision taken by our delegates doesn’t mean we are leaving the political scene; it means we will become more political and we will ensure our members’ political voice is heard as we did when we started the campaign for £10 per hour in 2014.
“Today we want to see £15 per hour for all workers, the abolition of zero hours contracts and ending discrimination of young people by dispensing with youth rates.
“The BFAWU will not be bullied by bosses or politicians. When you pick on one of us you take on all of us. That’s what solidarity means.”
In the light of this announcement, Keir Starmer should be dreading the moment when he takes the stage for his speech.
He was probably hoping for applause – but now he’ll be lucky to avoid catcalls. Personally, This Writer would pelt him with rotten vegetables.
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