Vote Down Purgemaniac David Evans at Labour Conference

If you’re left wing and in the Labour Party you must be wondering how much longer that’ll be the case for, because under the management of Starmer’s appointee to the post of General Secretary, David Evans, the biggest purge of members, aside from those already driven away by the right wing lurch of the Party under Starmer and Evans, has been underway for months and has only accelerated recently in response to fears Evans might not get confirmed by conference in his role. Purgemania. If we’re to save the Party from these unconscionable fools, we need to make sure that comes to pass. David Evans has to be sent packing and at conference, delegates will have the power to do just that.

Acting General Secretary David Evans tenure has been marked by control freakery and diktat, combined with repeated acts of self harm and epic examples of gross incompetence against the Labour Party and its wider movement. The man is not fit for the office he holds and since assuming it, he’s acted as if he was safe and secure in that role, but actually he is still yet to be formally ratified and accepted by the Labour movement and therefore, his position is vulnerable. Normally the act of conference ratifying the Party leader’s chosen candidate for this post is a formality, but with a leader as weak and disliked as Keir Starmer and his Gen Sec selection a man who has made himself incredibly unpopular in a very short space of time, this vote has become the main focus of Labour Conference this year for a great many people.

For months Team Starmer had been trying to rig the delegates attending Conference to ensure a right wing majority was appointed to ensure Evans gets ratifed. This hasn’t worked out as well as they had hoped, so for all the purging of members that has been going on for several months, this process has recently been accelerated to remove as many awkward people for the weakest most pathetic reasoning they can possibly find. Some Conference delegates have found they’re being put through extra checks, others are finding themselves being sent NOI’s Notices of Investigation into alleged misconduct, or are being auto excluded, a process not confined to delegates, but happening to members around the country for the crime of being left wing, the crime of being socialists, the crime of standing against Starmer and Evans. The trouble is, this has exposed gross examples of incompetence. The Party sent a notice of investigation to the Chair of Young Labour Jess Barnard, who immediately got her legal team involved and this was quickly removed and told it had been an administrative error. She had been sent it at 1am in the morning, just what kind of outfit still has people sending purge notices out at that time? David Evans evidently. Just yesterday we learned that even Labour MP’s aren’t safe from this mistreatment as Jarrow MP Kate Osborne also got sent a letter. Again she got her legal team involved and this was quickly claimed to be in error. Just how incompetent can you get, but this raises a bigger concern because leading figures in the movement such as these with their legal representation can get these things hurriedly dismissed, but for the wider Labour membership? No chance. How many of them are getting rolled over on and who is reporting them? Should right wing members be rolling over on left wing comrades, that’d be the political equivalent of scabs crossing a picket line, if Labour staff are being employed to sift through social media in order to build cases against members of their own party, that’s a gross misappropriation of funds and resources, but would explain why the Party seems to have so little time to attack the Tories and little wonder why Johnson’s recent polling blip over his National Insurance rise already seems to have been recovered from. Normal due processes for this has been circumvented to suit the agenda of Starmer and Evans as they wreck our membership and any chance of electability we have. We already know of other cases such as that of former PPC Pamela Fitzpatrick and Labour List’s Sienna Rogers who reported on an investigation letter being sent to her house for somebody else, who had never lived there and was no longer a member anyway! Just gross errors that shouldn’t happen in a competently run organisation. They’ve gone completely rogue.

The Trade Unions, the backbone of our movement have taken notice too. Unite has already said it will instruct its delegates to Labour Conference to vote against David Evans. The Bakers Union will almost certainly do likewise and may even vote to disaffiliate from Labour completely afterwards. Just yesterday in light of what has happened to Kate Osborne, who, as a former postal worker has close ties to them still, the Communication Workers Union has said it will instruct its delegates to vote against David Evans ratification and Matt Wrack of the Fire Brigades Union, only recently reaffiliated under Jeremy Corbyn has today stated he fully expects that his union will vote against David Evans appointment too as well as consider disaffiliating once more due to Starmer and Evans dire behaviour. Aside from this there’s a left wing NEC on the right wing controlled Unison union ready to cause problems going forwards and the GMB are going to review their funding to Labour to ensure they are still getting value for money from its members. On top of that Momentum members who are delegates have been instructed to now vote against Evan’s appointment as have member delegates of the CLPD, the Campaign for Labour Party Democracy, which actually shouldn’t be much of a surprise all things considered! In addition to that left wing Labour MP Jon Trickett put out on Twitter that the executive of his own CLP had unanimously voted not to endorse David Evans, making Trickett the first Labour MP to position himself against the acting Gen Sec’s formal appointment. These are huge problems for a Party that inherited over £13m when Jeremy Corbyn stepped down, but has been taken to the verge of bankruptcy by Starmer and Evans, forced to court donors and deliver whatever these wealthy individuals might want in return rather than work for the interests of its members and the British people.

All delegates have a responsibility to the movement to act now. Starmer and Evans have a track record of representing little aside from their own ideological desire for entrenched control of the party. Starmer promised unity and has gone back on that and considerably more. He’s demonstrated he’s about as trustworthy as Boris Johnson all things considered. David Evans is a Blairite who has imposed dictatorial instructions on Labour CLP’s, abused the Party rulebook to rule motions out of order and to do as he generally pleases. He’s acted like the job was already his and the party his personal fiefdom. It isn’t. He and Starmer need to be sent a message they cannot ignore. We need 50.01% of members to vote against David Evans appointment. We need delegates to vote to fire him as he has done to a quarter of party staff he can no longer afford to employ through his and Starmer’s mismanagement. I’m recommending each and every delegate going to Labour Conference ensure they cast their vote to vote down David Evans appointment. We need someone not only competent but credible running the Party and it’ll send a message to Keir Stalin that we’ve had enough of his abuse of position and of the party and he might want to consider his own too. We’ve a slim chance of sending Evans packing, but it’s a real chance. It’d be a great start to rebuilding a left alternative in this country so we need to make sure everyone with a say in that knows to take it.

Cornish Damo provides this site and its content free of charge, but in order to continue doing so, to continue to rant and write and tell it like it is, impartially, independently and free of outside influence, your donations are essential. If you can afford to do so without hardship, please consider supporting my work via one of the options on the support us page.

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The National Insurance Lie: A Tax on Work not Wealth.

A manifesto is a roadmap for how a political party wants to run the country during the next parliament. It is their mandate to rule. However, we’ve seen it before and we’ve seen it again now, these promises, these manifesto pledges are not binding. They should be, they are what gives a governing party legitimacy, but having broken 3 of his manifesto pledges in one day, and inflicted more hardship on low paid workers rather than taxing the rich, Boris Johnson’s government should no longer be legitimate as they seek to tax work instead of wealth.

Is he going to call a General Election now that he’s shredded his mandate to run the country? Of course not, Boris Johnson has a massive majority and can do what he likes, however the question of breaking manifesto pledges is a big deal because it means he lied to the country in order to get elected. It’s not like Keir Starmer can exactly force the matter on that point either, given that he lied to the Labour Party to get elected leader himself, his 10 pledges have long been ditched and he’s done nothing but attack his own party, but he’s also failed to offer any alternatives and again that’s the case here, crowing that the Tories can no longer call themselves the low tax party, but failing to offer a plan of his own, not even to tax the wealthy, which, ironically, even the wealthy are calling for! It’s pathetic and the public will warm to him no more over this, than they have over anything else.

The attack on National Insurance is a vile one. The Tories promised it would not be raised and they’ve done it anyway. Work is the route out of poverty they’ve said for years, a lie as it was then, but now its even more dishonest, as they tax work instead of wealth. Johnson might well be blaming the pandemic for needing to do this, but when his plans will bring in and estimated £36bn, most of which is going to the NHS in actual fact, not social care, so it doesn’t even fix the social care crisis anyway, you can’t help but think hang on, Test and Trace cost £37bn – you didn’t put up any taxes to pay for that? and you’d be right, because taxation to pay for stuff is a myth when we as a sovereign country with our own currency can print however much cash we need for whatever we need it for. That is exactly how test and trace was paid for – numbers typed into a spreadsheet – magic! You start being charged national insurance before you even start paying income tax, meaning the lowest paid and often that means the youngest workers on the most rubbish of minimum wage are getting clobbered by this. These are people scraping by, many won’t even be able to do that, relying on foodbanks and working to earn their poverty and not working their way out of it as so many Tory mouthpieces have promised before. Now even more will be affected adversely. The money they spend goes straight into the economy as they spend what they get on food, on utilities, on essentials all the things which keep our economy going unlike the wealthy who just hoard their wealth, which does absolutely nothing to help the economy. By removing some of what little cash they have, it reduces their spending power and is harmful to the economy, this is why so many have said this national insurance rise will actually damage the economy – reducing spending power shrinks the economy, we have to spend for it to grow. Further compounding this will be the withdrawal of the £20 Universal Credit Uplift, Energy bills set to rise £139 a year, furlough ending combined with COVID spiking which we know will disrupt work, we’ve seen it before now so things are looking very scary indeed for those on the lowest incomes. National Insurance is also only paid on earnings and profits as well so anyone making money from annuities, investments, or property rental evades it completely, along with anybody on whatever wage still working past retirement age. Anyone earning over £50K only pays 2% national insurance instead of 12% as well! It is a wicked tax, unfair on so many levels that amounts to an assault on the poor and the young and this 1.25% hike makes it even worse.

It could’ve been so different, but the way to pay for this is to hit those with the broadest shoulders and when UK billionaires have added more than £100bn to their wealth in the last year, why can they not foot the bill? Many are calling for it! One third of what they’ve added to their wealth in the last year would raise what Johnson is projecting, it doesn’t even have to touch what they had before, so why can they not pay it? As it stands 2.5 million households look set to lose an average of £1,290 a year in the next tax year. All families that can most ill afford it. It is a depraved move by bottom feeding, money grabbing, big bucks worshipping maggots for whom greed is their God and the wealthy shielded from paying their share.

A 10% tax on the wealth of everyone who has more than £100m would raise £69bn – is that not fairer? It legitimately would fix social care as well as inject more cash into the NHS though it remains to be seen if it’s the NHS or private contractors running former NHS services who actually benefit. Why are the poor having to pay for the rich? Why is work being taxed instead of wealth? There is no other way of viewing this and the Tories are prepared to betray their voters, betray their mandate to rule to do it.

But it’s not even the only example of pledge breaking that day. By apparently having to do this to pay for social care, Johnson’s manifesto commitment to a plan for social care during the 2019 election campaign has been proven to be a lie.

If pensioners who wouldn’t be hit by the National Insurance clobbering thought they were protected, they’d be wrong as Johnson has decided to scrap the pensions triple lock for a year. Anyone really think it’ll ever be put back into place? Only right before the next election as a sweetener, you can bet on it, that or a promise to reinstate it, but why honestly would you trust a Tory manifesto ever again after this?

How about after you have to sell your house to pay for social care? Yes, even with all these cuts, all these shattered promises, you’ll still have to stump up up to £86K to pay towards your social care. The Tories promised nobody would have to sell their homes to pay for social care, but who has that kind of cash not locked up in their homes? £86K is a cap on costs and kicks in after the first £100K of a homes value, but when the remainder of the property value is divided up as an inheritance, a wealthy homeowner sat in a half million pound property is going to leave a damn sight more to their family than the owner of a house somewhere in the red wall who’ll leave scarcely anything behind at all. Again, it’s war on the poor, it’s a class war. Protect the wealthy, guard their wealth, hammer the poor, they either don’t vote for us or don’t vote at all anyway. The poorest people across the board are paying so the richest don’t have to. This is what happens when you elect an elitist fool without the faintest idea of what life is like for ordinary families, not that he’d give a damn if he did, he only thinks of himself after all. Johnson doesn’t give a damn that he’s broken so many promises and wrecked his mandate, he is a serial liar that couldn’t lie straight in bed and anyone believing a word he says is a fool. The question now is, are we going to just take it, or are we going to do something about it?

Cornish Damo provides this site and its content free of charge, but in order to continue doing so, to continue to rant and write and tell it like it is, impartially, independently and free of outside influence, your donations are essential. If you can afford to do so without hardship, please consider supporting my work via one of the options on the support us page.

Thank you for your solidarity and for supporting alternative media holding power and the mainstream media to account.

National Insurance rise to pay for social care persecutes the youngest and poorest.

So Boris Johnson is proposing a National Insurance rise to pay for social care. Now as a Socialist I’m certainly not against higher taxation to cover necessary costs, things any of us may rely on in the future, but who is actually paying here and more importantly, who isn’t?

The Tories plan to raise National Insurance to pay for the increasing cost of social care according to numerous reports and to do so they’d be breaking not one but two manifesto commitments they made going into the 2019 General Election. Not only were National Insurance increases ruled out, but they clearly stated they had a plan for social care at the time, a plan Boris Johnson had refused to set out then, has refused to set out for 2 years now – the utter waste of oxygen stood on the steps of Downing Street after election and repeated the lie that he’d fix social care and probably pissed himself laughing after the door closed – and with this latest announcement it would seem that this social care plan really was a pack of lies from a career liar.

So they’ve broken a pledge or two, big deal you might think, I’m busy, I haven’t time to be worried about you and your leftish whinging because social care needs paying for after all and you’d be right, it does need paying however the fact the Tories will say stuff to get elected and then not mean it should be a concern to us all, that manifesto pledges are not binding is a big problem in the UK, because it betrays trust, wrecks faith in our electoral system, is acting in bad faith on the part of those doing it, and ends up promoting apathy amongst voters which is bad for democracy. But y’know, you’re busy! They’re busy too, rigging the system against you and there’s more coming down the road! But I’m not going to get into those particular issues here and now, the issue I’m going to focus on here is social care needs to be paid for and this is how the Tories are thinking of finally doing it, unless of course they don’t and just use the money for something else, that trust issue, it doesn’t just go away. Now many of you will be familiar with the fact that National Insurance Contributions show up on your payslip along with income tax and these are both deductions you pay anyway. Many of you might not begrudge paying a bit more and yes, I would agree with that, however the choice to charge more national insurance and not more income tax is a relevant one because of who it actually affects.

National Insurance is paid by businesses, the self-employed and employees who earn over £9,568 a year and it goes to pay for certain social security benefits like state pensions, statutory sick pay, maternity leave and gives you an entitlement to additional unemployment benefits should you need them, its supposedly an insurance policy against ill health and falling on hard times, hence the name, but it is basically just another tax. Now £9,568 a year is not a lot, you start paying National Insurance when you could be earning as little as £797 a month, a really low wage and that matters if you’re going to be asked to pay more of it to pay for Social Care, all while your energy bills are rising, your rent is rising, food prices are rising if you can actually find what you want these days and now they want to hit you with this too! They really do hate the poor. If you’re self employed it’s even worse, you start paying National Insurance on profits of just £6,515 a year – £540 a month! Now Income Tax on the other hand doesn’t start to be charged until you’re earning £12,570 a year, so you can see this National Insurance hike would be targeting the very poorest paid people in the country, hardly the sort of people you imagine that should be paying extra for social care in a fair society, they’re scraping just to get by and finding it harder by the day. Now because it goes to pay for your state pension, when you reach state pension age you stop paying it, however, that doesn’t necessarily mean you’ve retired – you may keep working, but you still stop paying National Insurance at age 66. So whereas the poorest paid and this typically is the youngest workers on the crappiest levels of minimum wage anyway, would face increasing national insurance costs to pay for social care, the oldest workers, those aged over 66, wouldn’t pay it at all and would not contribute whatsoever to the increased cost of social care and that’s true regardless of how much they earn. The other ridiculous thing about National Insurance is if you earn more than £827 a week, over £43,000 a year, the level of National Insurance drops from 12% of earnings to just 2%, so if you’re on a very nice wage above this level, are pretty well off all things considered, the less of a percentage of your earnings are taken through National Insurance. So far its looking like a bit of a scumbag move isn’t it! Well I’m not finished yet!

National Insurance is also only charged on earnings. If you rent property out, you don’t get charged it on the money you make, if you own a business and get an annuity from that, you don’t get charged for the money you make, if you’re rich and have lots of lovely investments bringing in more cash for you, you don’t get charged for the money you make. All in all, National Insurance itself, is actually a very unfair tax because of who it targets and how they are targeted.

Therefore, to raise this particular tax to pay for social care is a political move by utter bottom feeders, its seriously regressive as it compounds that inbuilt, inherent unfairness. It discriminates against the poorest paid, it discriminates against the youngest workers, it is an attack on the young because it is not a proportionate tax across all ages in society.

Raising the needed revenue with an increase on income tax would be far fairer across all demographics, all revenue streams, would be based on actual income and not discriminate against you based on age and earnings. It would be charged against older, better paid workers more rather than attacking the poorest paid and the youngest in work, but the point needs to be hammered home again and again that the most unfair aspect of our society when it comes to income and wealth is that the very wealthiest in society – the UK billionaires added £100bn to their wealth last year, more wealth than they could possibly spend in their lifetimes and that huge sum, let’s say it again, is in addition to what they already had. No matter what they spend therefore, they never even dent their capital. They can therefore afford to pay more than anyone else without any impact to their daily lives whatsoever and yet a wealth tax to address the rampant inequality in this country never gets addressed by this government. The playing field needs to be levelled, but with a government more intent on taxing the youngest and poorest workers into poverty and an opposition party leadership, incredulously still calling itself Labour, spending the entire weekend hand-wringing over whether to oppose this blatant attack on them – newsflash Starmer, you mug, its bloody obvious! What the hell took you so long? What chance is there of that?

Cornish Damo provides this site and its content free of charge, but in order to continue doing so, to continue to rant and write and tell it like it is, impartially, independently and free of outside influence, your donations are essential. If you can afford to do so without hardship, please consider supporting my work via one of the options on the support us page.

Thank you for your solidarity and for supporting alternative media holding power and the mainstream media to account.

Sharon Graham wins!

It’s not very often these days that I get to report some good news for a change, but at last the Unite the Union General Secretary election appears to be over and seemingly from out of nowhere Sharon Graham has won it.

She’s exploded what a lot of people felt. That she had no chance, that she should’ve stepped down when Howard Beckett did, that only one left candidate should run else we risk letting the right winger, laughably referred to by the lamestream media as a centrist – centrist to them, he won’t rock the boat – win.

I’m guilty of surmising the same, I’ll admit it. I was from the start an advocate of Howard Beckett, was devastated when he stood down, but understood why, that under the appallingly bad First Past The Post system the Unite election was taking place under, the risk of Gerard Coyne winning with the left vote apparently split, was a clear and present danger. I’m a Community member, I’d be slung out under a Coyne leadership along with thousands of others. This was after all why Howard stepped down, I understood why he got behind Steve Turner, who had the most nominations and that left many wondering why Sharon wouldn’t step aside.

Of course anyone wanting to stand should be able to, that’s good for democracy, but under such an unsuitable, archaic system, the right is favoured in such circumstances and this really needs to be addressed.

However as things have turned out that has not been the case. the two left candidates have come first and second so despite a split, the right winger still came last! Rupert Murdoch’s candidate, Keir Starmer’s candidate came last, the Labour To Win candidate came last and the right is kept out of any controlling role in our Union.

Sharon Graham ran a clever campaign, she got her data together and she’s reaped the reward.

As for Steve Turner’s campaign, behaving like the heirs apparent to the crown of McCluskey has blown up in their faces. Even with the support lent by some of Beckett’s supporters it wasn’t enough. Many would not be persuaded to back another candidate after their favourite bowed out, but without them, Steve Turner, the guy who got the most nominations, would certainly have come last, only just pushing Gerard Coyne into third place. The whole, ‘Steve got the most nominations, so the left must rally around him’ myth has been busted. The nominations process has always been a poor indicator and those defending this argument were just plain dishonest, just playing to their favourites and for many big name mouthpieces as my Socialist Telly colleague Steve Walker of Skwawkbox has laid out in recent articles, some supposedly lefty commentators have been left with reputations well shredded over this. The left is strong, a surprise has been sprung, I wish Sharon Graham well and look forward to seeing what she’s got in store for us.

Cornish Damo provides this site and its content free of charge, but in order to continue doing so, to continue to rant and write and tell it like it is, impartially, independently and free of outside influence, your donations are essential. If you can afford to do so without hardship, please consider supporting my work via one of the options on the support us page.

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Starmer ‘paint a picture in primary colours’ relaunch. WTF?

Keir Starmer, Labours absolute shambles of a leader is – you’ve guessed it – relaunching himself again!

He’s gone from embracing Blair’s legacy to finally admitting those 10 pledges were a sham and now wants to paint a picture in primary colours – what the hell does that even mean?

Keir Starmer has announced a departure from his 10 pledges, a pledge lest we forget being a solemn promise, made to us, the Labour membership. This is hardly news to those of us who have been or still are members of the Labour Party. He departed from them on day one, its just taken him 18 months to admit he never really meant a word he said in order to become elected. His war on the left of his own party just confirming that. His promise to build on the success of Corbyn’s leadership translated as rip it all up and suspend him from the party for far longer than the rules allow and suspend any CLP’s that dare try show solidarity with him. Any semblance of socialism he appointed to his front bench was ousted on the flimsiest of terms as fast as he could manage and its been diktat ever since.

He’s lost support, lost volunteers, lost members and has now thrown out even more by proscribing various groups on the left of the party and as a result is no longer competitive in by elections, losing one after another, only hanging onto Batley & Spen as a result of emotional blackmail and a bit of luck in the Green Party stepping aside.

Pledge one was the easiest to keep as it was on economic justice. Lowest corporation tax level in Europe, a tax only on profits as this is, raising it should’ve been a no brainer. He said now is not the time to this at the same time he was campaigning to be Labour leader – he literally broke it before even getting elected!

Pledge 2 was social justice – well where’s the social justice in saying nurses deserve a 2.1% pay rise, after the Tories promised 1%. They needed 12%, they were owed 15%, the Tories went 3% and Starmer broke his pledge and faith with nurses needing a fair deal.

Climate justice was pledge 3, for heavens sake all he had to do was stick with Becky Long-Bailey’s excellent Green New Deal and Corbyn’s 2030 climate crisis target. Nope, ditched it within months of becoming leader, has offered a limp ambition since. Always ambitions and never actual policy announcements.

Promote peace and human rights was pledge 4, just look at his treatment of Labour Party members, his abuse of the Labour party rulebook, the payoffs to shush up legal cases we had, and you’ve got an authoritarian who has been far too profligate with Party cash. No wonder Labour is worried it can’t even cover payroll now, but besides internal abuses he’s been a serial abstainer on the issue of human rights and he’s a former human rights lawyer! From the overseas operations bill, to the spycops bill he whipped his MP’s to abstain and was going to on the Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Bill until Clapham Common happened, forcing him to grudgingly oppose. Pathetic.

Pledge 5, common ownership – he ripped that up when he rowed back on the prospect of nationalising BT saying Labour under him is pro-business. In other words, he’s a red Tory.

Defend migrants rights was pledge number 6. When we have a sociopathic migrant hater in Priti Patel, it should be easy to just oppose frankly anything that comes out of her mouth. Starmer has failed to ever do so, so hasn’t kept this pledge.

Pledge 7 was strengthen workers rights and trade unions – what a sick joke this one is. When Becky Long Bailey sided with the teaching unions over concerns regarding covid in schools, she got the sack, allegedly over calling actress Maxine Peake a diamond, but we all know the truth. Useless Kate Green replaced her and Starmer just went, schools must open no ifs, no buts, no equivocation. He backed Unite over Fire and Rehire on twitter, then panicked over it and deleted it and now he’s using fire and rehire tactics to sack 90 staff, whilst recruiting more on temporary part time contracts, causing the trade unions to consider industrial action against Starmer and Labour! He broke this in the most egregious possible way.

Pledge 8, radical devolution of power, wealth and opportunity, was torn up when he defended Boris Johnson’s trip to Scotland to promote the Union during the pandemic and has been utterly silent on Tory cronies ending up in the House of Lords – so much for equal opportunity, the gravy train rumbles on.

Pledge 9 was promotion of equality, but then he called Black Lives Matter a moment and has expelled members, most notable Jeremy Corbyn and most recently Ken Loach over factually questioning the prevalence of antisemitism or standing in solidarity with suspended members, plus he’s still burying the Forde Report, which, lest we forget is a report into internal racism in the party and BAME members in particular are furious this has still not been released.

And pledge number 10, to provide effective opposition to the Tories. I’ll never forget the people on Gogglebox saying ‘if him saying I agree with the Tories were a drinking game you’d be pissed!’

So lets bury this notion that he might scrap his 10 pledges, he’s already broken every single one, some several times over and they are no longer worth the paper they were printed on.

Now, on top of his agile ceremonies and multi-disciplinary collaboration in iteration, he’s talking about painting in primary colours. Why the hell does this brylcreemed advert for suited and booted nothingness insist on talking in such a meaningless fashion? His speech is now a direct reflection of his persona, it’s like he’s from an alien planet, there’s no sense in anything he says! Painting in primary colours, what are you three? Well you’ve torn up any semblance of socialism, so you won’t be using red, you stand for a metric ton of sod all, so Liberal yellow might suit, but with all your constant agreement with the government your tenure as leader is most definitely blue. Some might argue that mixing them makes green, but we’ve already exploded pledge number 3, so lets not go there.

The top priority is a Labour government he says, great, tell us something we don’t know, how are you going to achieve that when you lie, break your promises and have no policy? Are you going to announce some? No you’re apparently going to paint.

What is the one thing that connects Attlee, Wilson and Blair? They all had vision, had policies, they all increased Labour’s seat count, you missed Corbyn out in 2017 who did the same though, but that little nugget doesn’t suit you does it?

By officially announcing the 10 pledges might be on the way out, broken as they are anyway, merely confirms you lied to get elected. You lied to members who might have supported you and that makes you fundamentally untrustworthy. You’re dishonest Keir. You have no policies, still, to this day for anyone to base an opinion on your ability to lead, and the longer that goes on for, the worse people’s opinions of you are going to be. A recent YouGov poll of people’s attitudes towards you was excoriating. Of 12,000 respondents – huge by YouGov’s measure – 76% think you’re incompetent, 80% dislike you, 80% don’t believe you’ll ever be Prime Minister and as for people voting who they thought did a better job of leading the Party, you scored 35% compared to Jeremy Corbyn leading with 44%.

‘Win the Future’ is the new strapline you’re sticking to, how handy for a guy with no policies and no direction that the future isn’t written yet, but it won’t be primary colours with you still leading, you walking absence, it’ll be beige, beige, beige. The fact this abbreviates to WTF and what that usually stands for hilariously sums up how the majority of not just members but voters feel about you and what passes for your leadership, but how cringingly awful you are at promoting yourself or the party.

Nobody trusts you after you broke all your promises, nobody knows what you stand for when you relaunch yourself more often than you change your underwear and so I’m afraid I have to break it to you that you will never lead the country, you will never win, because unlike the Tories, we won’t support somebody with so little substance, nor back a liar. Next month at Labour Conference I really hope some home truths are going to hit you hard, you useless little man.

Cornish Damo provides this site and its content free of charge, but in order to continue doing so, to continue to rant and write and tell it like it is, impartially, independently and free of outside influence, your donations are essential. If you can afford to do so without hardship, please consider supporting my work via one of the options on the support us page.

Thank you for your solidarity and for supporting alternative media holding power and the mainstream media to account.

Embrace Blair’s Legacy? Screw that Keith.

As sure as night follows day, Keir Starmer’s lack of self-awareness rumbles on as we’re now looking at yet another relaunch of his leadership. Corbyn just getting his feet under the table was enough to give the out of touch majority of the Labour PLP a collective brain aneurysm, but Starmer can fail and fail and fail again to make any progress, any inroads with the public, can stand around awkwardly with ice cream and continue to be a pale, male and stale mire of nothingness and still not a peep from them.

This time he’s gone full Blairite, he wants to embrace Blair’s legacy going forwards. How utterly, mind-screamingly stupid a move this is. Blair’s legacy is toxic, but having surrounded himself with the same right-wingers Blair surrounded himself with, we’ve seen them in recent appointments, Peter Mandelson to start with of course, Mr I work every day to undermine Jeremy Corbyn brought in to try and make Labour electable when the majority of members were inspired to join the very party then led by Corbyn, that Mandy despised so much, members who would never join a party led by a Blair clone, so little wonder the party is losing on average 250 members a day, having lost 120,000 of them overall since Starmer took over as leader. There have sadly been others from Blairs team join since.

Starmer is a man so bereft of ideas, that he has surrounded himself by the worst right wingers perverting the Labour Party, that he’s now gone full Tory. Tony Blair was regarded of course by Margaret Thatcher as her greatest achievement – a tame opposition party that would never rock the establishment boat, a safe pair of hands for vested interests should her own party ever fall out of control. Mandelson of course famously said the Labour voter would have nowhere else to go, that this was the perfect scam, the wealthy would never have anything to fear and a servile public would just have to lump it. Labour’s landslide in 1997 was massive, but it came off the back of an incredibly corrupt, far too long tenure of Tory rule – they’d been in power for 18 years. Just as Starmer lied about being a socialist to get elected Labour leader – if only trading standards could be applied to him, he’d have gone months ago – Blair did likewise, it soon became apparent what a weasel he was, because he was essentially a bastard Tory and did bastard Tory things. No council house building, despite knowing it was a crisis then and continued with right to buy, losing even more of our housing stock, tuition fees were introduced, bank deregulation began, did nothing to reverse anti-trade union legislation that Thatcher had brought in, in fact boasted about how tough it was, benefit cuts to single mothers and refugees seeking asylum, disability assessments were introduced, kids as young as 10 with ASBO’s being named and shamed, racially profiling Muslims for stop and search and told them if they didn’t like it to take off their veils, saddling the NHS with PFI’s condemning them to massive debts and paving the way for private firms to come into the NHS, built on since savagely by the Tories, there were outsourcing disasters under Blair as well, he introduced it in the late 90’s and the Tories copied his example after, so many of the problems we see today were happening then too and actually started there. Oh and there was of course the matter of an illegal war that killed a million people. Labour’s polling in subsequent elections suffered as a result – they kept power, such was the dire state of the Tories at that time, Blair of course had Murdoch shielding the public from much of his mess at the time too, but their polling suffered and the party finances did as well. Blair left Labour £25m in debt and utterly reliant on donors for survival. It’s an uncomfortable truth for Blair’s defenders that actually the closest we’ve come to power since ‘97 and the only election where Labour actually gained seats instead of losing them was in 2017 under Jeremy Corbyn. In fact Corbyn got more votes in 2017 than Blair did in 2001 or 2005, it is our crap electoral system that means that that achievement did not translate into more seats than it did. Blair oversaw a haemorrhage in support, a decline in voter turnout as well – turnout used to be over 70% in a general election, it hasn’t managed that since 1997, again, the closest it got was 2017 when a candidate for change, a candidate that inspired people stood for election and offered genuine choice, not two shades of Tory. So much for Mandelson saying we had nowhere else to go, we just stopped voting.

Instead of embracing these facts, instead of accepting Blair and his ilk are yesterday’s men and learning the lessons of recent history, Starmer is now promoting himself as the natural successor to Blair. Blair could at the very least think for himself Keith, you have to focus group everything. Yours so far is a legacy of pint holding and pointing, of standing awkwardly on the beach in a suit as people look away from you, of standing on a platform of socialism and then tearing up every pledge you made. Of losing by-election after by-election, only winning the last one in all likelihood, because the Green Party didn’t stand. Of sacking every socialist from your front bench as soon as you could find an excuse to do so whilst letting off right-wingers bringing shame on the party, of cheering on sporting events whilst failing to show solidarity for your own MP’s who have been vilified or attacked, for shamelessly capitalising on brave stances such as that of Dawn Butler by begging for cash whilst again offering her no solidarity, paying off ex-staff despite legal advice saying the party had a case against them, constantly attacking the left so that members are driven away in disgust. Between lost membership revenue and paying off people you had no right to, the party is now apparently on the brink of bankruptcy, you’re sacking staff as a result, yet hiring more on poorer terms and conditions turning the party of the working class into a bad fire and rehire employer. You’ve overseen left unions withdraw funding and consider disaffiliation, you’ve consistently blocked the release of the Forde Report which no doubt would expose the wrongdoing of many of those you’d paid off, you called Black Lives Matter a moment and with recent proscriptions and the lack of action taken after attacks on left wing Jewish members, not to mention those showing solidarity with Palestine, you’ve overseen a party that has consistently attacked its own left wing more than the government and led the party to become more racist. You’ve utterly failed to act as a leader of the opposition by consistently agreeing with the government on everything, from demanding schools reopen, no ifs, no buts, no equivocation, to demanding they lift restrictions even faster, based on no scientific evidence, but for crass, blatant political gain. You failed to demand male politicians resign, but are quick to demand female ones do – the difference in your responses to Matt Hancock and Nicola Sturgeon. The failure to hold the worst Tory government in modern history to account at the most crucial of times, during this pandemic has failed a nation and cost lives and throughout all of that, you’ve offered no alternatives and no policies.

Frankly we’re at the point where even if you brought in policies and you’ve talked about a Green New Deal in recent days, who would trust you? Who would believe you? You haven’t the conviction to stand by your own pledges, you keep trying to remake yourself every other week with another relaunch, yet the problem remains you are a singularly dislikeable, wooden, political vacuum, an empty suit, an advert for brylcreem but nothing else. You have no original ideas, you cannot think for yourself, you’ve been dishonest in your pronouncements, you’ve all but sent our party broke and now you’re wining and dining donors to fill the void but they aren’t biting much are they Keith! Even Blair couldn’t pull the party out of debt, it was Corbyn that did that, by increasing membership, increasing revenue by embracing the people. Many small donations made a big difference. It wasn’t Corbyn leaving us £25m in the hole, he left us £13m in the black and you and David Evans your unelected, unratified General Secretary have left him suspended from the party for far too long, despite an NEC panel clearing him, have given no indicator when this will be lifted and this has pissed off members possibly more than any other single action you’ve taken and for all that cash he injected into party coffers you seem to have blown it all and have fuck all to show for it.

Tony Blair is reviled in this day and age, people went off him fast, particularly members quickly enough at the time he was still leader. You really think that in this era of social media, of wokeness, of people being better informed than ever before as newspapers fall into decline and independent media offers alternative views and news that won’t be covered elsewhere that you can pull off a con like this when it seems you need someone to tell you what colour underwear to put on each day, let alone come up with a policy? Then you really are as daft as you look. You want us to embrace Blair’s legacy? Forget it. Much of the rot the Tories have wrought in recent years has built off what he started. To embrace Blairs legacy is to inspire the Tories, not oppose them. Your predecessor showed you the way, you pretended to be like him, yet now you say you’re like Tony fucking Blair. No politician as blatantly dishonest and lacking in principles as Starmer will ever succeed. It’s way past time the Party got rid. Clearly it isn’t true that anyone but Corbyn would be 20 points ahead. Its time we demanded he go, no ifs, no buts, no equivocation.

Cornish Damo provides this site and its content free of charge, but in order to continue doing so, to continue to rant and write and tell it like it is, impartially, independently and free of outside influence, your donations are essential. If you can afford to do so without hardship, please consider supporting my work via one of the options on the support us page.

Thank you for your solidarity and for supporting alternative media holding power and the mainstream media to account.

Labour’s Losing Streak: Starmer is bringing the Party to its knees.

It’s no secret that as a left wing Labour member, I’m not Keir Starmer’s biggest fan. In fact I’d go as far these days as to say I despise him utterly.

That we held Batley and Spen after losing Hartlepool and Chesham & Amersham with much reduced vote share, even losing our deposit and breaking the record for worst ever by-election defeat for Labour in the latter. We held on by the skin of our teeth. The Party had resorted to accusing the Muslim population of racism, it had cynically selected the sister of murdered former Batley MP Jo Cox to stand for the party, emotional blackmail since her membership was barely a month old at the time. The Green Party had also stood down, almost certainly the only reason Labour held on, with it’s wafer thin majority down to just 323 from more than ten times that just 2 years ago at the 2019 General Election.

18 months into the job, we find out that our party finances have been haemorrhaged, £13.5m reserves blown on paying off court cases we could’ve fought and won and losing members by the tens of thousands. The blame for that is being put on Corbyn of course, like everything wrong in today’s Party, it cannot possibly be the current leader at fault, it must be the previous leader. Strange how that case was never made when Corbyn was the current leader. It was his fault then and its still his fault now according to those ‘mainstream’ voices. Those acceptable voices. When our lives are blighted by 11 years of Tory rule, whoever is deemed acceptable these days, is patently the opposite.

The point is though, Batley & Spen was the exception, it is not the rule and elections still rumble on, though predominantly underreported because they aren’t big by-elections, they’re local council stuff, but they still expose the rot that has set in, the problems they pose for the party’s future and that whilst there remains absolutely no change in tack from Starmer, even if he’s capable, things won’t change.

Over the last 24 hours there have been 5 council by-elections and in all but one, Labour have lost ground. Gaywood South was won solidly by the Lib Dems from the Tories, an area with a Tory MP. Labour lost a bit of ground, but look how much of that lost Tory vote went the Lib Dems way, really a massive result and one where Labour really didn’t shake the tree at all.

Knaresborough Scriven Park was another Lib Dem gain off the Tories, again a Tory MP for this area, but here it’s a much bigger collapse for Labour, losing two-thirds of their previous vote and the Lib Dems are capitalising. The nastier, the more incompetent the Tories get, the Lib Dems are appearing to benefit. For me they are the original stand for nothing party, but Labour having gone that way to a large degree under Starmer, especially when the only time he does make a statement is to agree with the Tories or push them to go harder, it’s little wonder something is giving way and the Lib Dems are the ones gaining.

Of course it’s not been all bad news for the Tories, but the night continued to be bad for Labour.

Labour lost 16% of their previous vote in Pitsea North West, We’re talking Essex here, A Tory MP once again, but unlike the Lib Dems who are gaining ground where they’re the second placed party, Labour are losing ground to the Tories. After 11 years in power, Labour should not be losing ground to a party that has inflicted such misery, but if you thought this was bad, the result for East Retford South in Bassetlaw is incredulous – Labour, losing almost half the available vote from the previous election in May 2019, a parliamentary seat Labour had held until 2019, held by right-winger John Mann, who subsequently took a Tory peerage and headed to the Lords. Oh and before people start blaming Corbyn for this, Mann had seen a steady decline in his majority, even seeing his majority halved in his seat during the Corbyn surge of 2017, where most other Labour MP’s saw their majorities grow.

The right of the Party, as both John Mann and Keir Starmer have shown, have nothing to offer, nothing to convince people to vote for them and we on the left are not going to bow in subservience to this bland nothingness or outright hatred towards us anymore. We had policies, we stood for something, we inspired people. Now the party is dying on its arse and its all on them.

It wasn’t all bad news for Labour though. In their stronghold of South Tyneside, they gained a seat from an Independent. The fact that the Independent in question had driven a lorry into a council building doing £160,000 worth of damage and been sentenced to 40 weeks in prison again, makes this an exceptional rather than typical result.

Relaunch after relaunch we’ve seen from Starmer. He knows he’s shit, he keeps trying to reinvent himself but you cannot spice up such blandness without adding something new and sadly it isn’t happening. Once again he’s proving how much of a Tory he actually is today by demanding the government bring forward the date at which fully vaccinated people will no longer have to isolate. It is stupid full stop. He’s in agreement with them again. It is right up there with his demand that schools reopen no ifs, no buts, no equivocation because it again defies science and again is simply tinkering at the edges to try and out-do the Tories. We don’t want to out-do the Tories, we want to replace them with something better and Starmer just doesn’t get it, just doesn’t have it in him. Every time you want opposition, he instead makes Labour complicit. The Lib Dems seem to have learned, they’re keeping their distance. After being destroyed in 2015 for going Tory, they seem to be turning their fortunes around. Instead Starmer seems to have been inspired to go further Tory. Its wrecking our electability at all levels. Its been demonstrable throughout Starmer’s tenure and it won’t end until his tenure ends. He believes things will come good for Labour if he carries on because Johnson will sink. All the Tories need do is replace Johnson when he’s finally outlived his usefulness and Starmer is stuffed because anybody coming in will still stand for more than he ever will.

The only thing more sickening than watching the sad decline of this party since Corbyn’s departure as leader is seeing nobody in the party’s PLP doing a damn thing to stop it.

Cornish Damo provides this site and its content free of charge, but in order to continue doing so, to continue to rant and write and tell it like it is, impartially, independently and free of outside influence, your donations are essential. If you can afford to do so without hardship, please consider supporting my work via one of the options on the support us page.

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Labour First conference motion is a violent, incendiary, Islamophobic declaration of war on Palestine.

If you want to see how right wing, so-called Labour moderates hope they’ve engineered this years Labour Conference, you only have to look at the ridiculous motion the right wing Labour First group, sadly not proscribed, but then they’re right wing, have put forward, that they hope to see pass, courtesy of their secretary, Luke ‘The Nuke’ Akehurst. Never met a war he didn’t seem to like. Supports Saudi Arabia attacking Yemen, the biggest humanitarian disaster in the world, because he ‘doesn’t want Iran to win it’ and of course is to this day a staunch defender of Labour’s disastrous intervention in Iraq under Tony Blair. Offering support for military interventions and selling bombs because he’s picked a side and wants them to win despite being totally unaffected by it himself. You have to be utterly twisted to cheerlead over such things, it takes a special sort of fucked up to agitate for war where we have no business waging it and make no mistake, when we’re selling the weapons, we’re part of it, the blood is on our hands too, it’s just that most of us don’t choose to bathe in it. Take a look at this motion.

Two-state solution, not everyone agrees with that but it’s a debate to be had sure, first paragraph talks of peace, no arguments there, but I want to draw your eyes down to where it gets properly batshit and that’s the fourth paragraph, I’ll read it out:

Conference condemns all acts of terrorism unequivocally. Conference calls for free and democratic elections in the Palestinian Authority and the restoration of Palestinian Authority control over Gaza. Conference calls for the terrorist groups Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad to be removed from power in Gaza and disarmed in return for massive investment to improve life for citizens in Gaza.

Terrorist groups Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad eh? Its funny that it’s only the West and Israel that designate them such.

In fact, in the case of Hamas, the UK only recognises their military wing, Hamas’ Izz ad-din Al-Qassam Brigades as a proscribed terrorist group, not the political side of it because hey, guess what? Hamas were elected to power in Palestine and run the Palestinian state. That wasn’t the West’s plan, but hey, the likes of the US and UK have form for not acknowledging election results in other countries that they don’t like. Venezuela anyone?

But this motion truly goes full Luke the Nuke when it talks about removing them from power. How are you going to do that? They’re elected. Fairly. Given Akehurst’s penchant for violence as long as its not on his own doorstep, it really does look like they’re agitating for military action here. As if Palestine doesn’t already have enough on its hands. I’m not excusing the fact they fire rockets at Israel, but they’re firing at a nuclear power with an iron shield defence system preventing most rockets getting through. When Israel fire on Palestine, and of course they bloody do it as well, all their rockets hit. It’s David vs Goliath stuff. There’s no talk of engaging in diplomacy in this motion, of compromise, of bringing two sides together, it simply says removal, then going on to say we’ll offer you pots of cash to improve and invest for citizens in Gaza. Bribing the population into civil unrest? They’ve dealt with this shit for 60 years, they aren’t about to stop now because you’re prepared to raid the piggy bank. Armed invasion instead then? We all know how much you love them. But for all your talk of benefits, do you really mean the Palestinians though Luke? Or more illegal settlers? Once ‘settled’, bulldozing family homes, driving farmers off their land, they’d technically be Gazans themselves. Given that aside from being secretary of Labour First, which he regards on his Twitter profile as a ‘spare time’ role, his work, his main role is as director of We Believe in Israel, an outfit to promote Israel’s right to exist – not Palestine’s –  and is funded by BICOM, the Britain Israel Communications Research Centre, so any recommendations for the betterment of Gazans doesn’t convince me its Palestinian Gazans you give a damn about. In fact, you’ve got form for arguing that the illegal settlement of Palestinian lands is permissible insofar as it doesn’t contravene the Geneva Convention! This motion is so ambiguous and your bias so well documented you’d have to be a fool to think otherwise of you.

With people like this on Labour’s NEC, the pressure to go to war again should we attain power is significantly raised. Our taxes once more being used to spill blood elsewhere. Akehurst is no representative of Labour members, how he came top in the last NEC elections after years of repeatedly failing to get back onto the NEC I still find incredibly suspicious. His family doesn’t suffer, his family isn’t affected, he isn’t affected, but he doesn’t give a shit and for as long as he works for We Believe in Israel, he’s taking money from one state, despite calling for a two state solution. More like a two-faced solution. He is as I’ve said previously, probably the most dangerous man in the Labour Party today and it shows. Conference needs to throw this filth out the door, not least because it’s blatantly Islamophobic and falls foul of Labour’s brand spanking new Code of Conduct over Islamophobia. I guess we’ll soon see how seriously they consider that to be, but I fear given how the delegate structure has been rigged, that instead this ‘declaration of war’ motion may yet pass.

Cornish Damo provides this site and its content free of charge, but in order to continue doing so, to continue to rant and write and tell it like it is, impartially, independently and free of outside influence, your donations are essential. If you can afford to do so without hardship, please consider supporting my work via one of the options on the support us page.

Thank you for your solidarity and for supporting alternative media holding power and the mainstream media to account.

From Beckett or Bust to voting for Steve Turner: Why I believe it’s the right thing to do.

Beckett or bust, Beckett or bust, Beckett or bust. I was singing that line, pushing that hashtag, I felt so deflated after the guy I felt with the most exciting manifesto, the guy absolutely hammering the mainstream media, shaming them, which as an independent left media chappie spoke absolute volumes to me, pulled out. It’s that whole inspiration thing again.

I’d resolved to not vote in the Unite contest, I’d spat my dummy, I’d thrown my wobbler, but ultimately Howard Beckett’s decision was his own and for some weeks now I’ve felt that that was that.

Even if I’d decided to step away from this contest though, it was carrying on regardless.

I think the break has done me good, looking at other issues was a welcome distraction and I think some perspective was needed. Turnout in these Unite elections is always appallingly low and sadly that’s not good for democracy and it also emboldens the minority within the union, just as it does in political parties and that can lead to disastrous results.

Gerard Coyne is still on the ballot. The right winger. The guy who in 2017 had the English Defence League out leafleting for him, the guy who misused Labour Party data he had no right to, the guy who wasted Unite funds on pointless legal actions to overturn Len McCluskey’s win, a guy who ended up being sacked from his paid position in Unite as a result of his gross misconduct and made an absolute mess as West Midlands Regional Secretary for Unite, a position Howard Beckett actually took over and had to clean up! Here’s what Howard said recently, speaking out about this very subject:

“He used data to try and influence our trade union General Secretary election and he was dismissed for it. Well, I followed him into the West Midlands, as the replacement regional secretary, and there hadn’t been a political school in 15 years in the West Midlands. Whenever I went in there, there was no connection between the communities and the workplaces. There was no lay structures. There was no idea of decentralisation in order to empower people. So any narrative that you hear from Gerard Coyne about supporting the nation’s or supporting decentralisation is not the truth in respect of his own record, trust me in respect of this. Steve Turner has signed up, not only to the decentralisation platform, not only one that believes in regions, but also one that says that there will be an assembly of the nations, that Ireland, Scotland and Wales will come together to share their experiences, to talk about federalism, to talk about our own union structures. This is about delivering our union for the future. This is about safeguarding everything that we build over the last 10-12 years about making sure that we stand up to employers not returning to the days of repudiation, about making sure that we take those disputes, like blacklisting that John mentioned, about making sure that we, when we talk about resources for our reps, that we are talking about modern resources. Whenever we talk about giving a message to the next generation, that we understand the importance of being ambitious about how we deliver that message. About the importance of our role in society, about making sure that our political narrative does not go away and we continue to talk for people and continue to say to people, that politics run through everything that we do in society and anyone who talks about less politics and more workplace does not understand the principles of collectivism and trade unionism, does not understand that the reason why the NHS has been privatised is because of the politics of society. The reason why we take precarious work is because of the politics of society, the reason for fire and rehire is because of the politics of society. Distinguishing between our roles, our industrial roles, our community roles, our education roles, our legal role, or our political role is fascile and defeatist and brings division where division is not necessary. Our union is best whenever it is working as one, where no departments work in silos, where we work together, where we create lay structures to give activists the opportunity to come through where we as officials understand that we are only the custodians of what lay activists want us to deliver. That’s the union that we are fighting for right now. And I’m saying to all of you, firstly, to thank you, to give you my love, and also to say to you that I trust that Steve Turner will deliver on this, I trust on his individual commitments that he’s made to me. I believe that he is the best of the three candidates who are standing. I think we as a campaign took the right moral decision to support his campaign to make sure that the right wing do not win this union. I believe that Sharon should have stepped down once an agreement was reached between Steve and myself and that’s why we have to fight like we’ve never fought before, to make sure that this left vote is not split, to make sure that we deliver where we know that we’re strong, to make sure that the union remains in the hands of a left wing General Secretary going forward and to make sure that we fight for everything that we believe in. Thank you. Solidarity.”

Quite frankly, with a track record such as Coyne has got, how he was even allowed to stand is beyond me, but more terrifyingly is the fact the hopelessly outdated First Past the Post system which has made such a mockery of our parliamentary democracy is the same used in this Unite election. So he has every chance of winning.

This is the guy Union buster and proud boaster of determining our General Election results for the last 40 odd years, Rupert Murdoch and his hateful rag The Scum are endorsing. Why wouldn’t they? Where we are reviled by that awful publication, Coyne has written for it.

Another who writes for that odious rag and attends Murdoch bashes is right-winger Jess Phillips, she who laughs when her own party loses. She’s done a mailshot for Coyne, I do hope he’s not breaching GDPR rules by using Labour Party data again! Another backing him is Tom Watson remember him? Least said the better in all honesty, you all know the score there I’m sure.

Frankly despite Gerard Coyne’s odious opinions, his right wing associates and his billionaire backers – ever noticed how all those ads he puts out are paid for promotions? – its what he’d do to our union that’d be most harmful. He’d give Keir Starmer free reign to carry on wrecking Labour with his dire, bland, stands for nothing idea of leading. He’d waste our dues on such a man and if anything drive him further right. When our members are in need of their Union, he’d repudiate action. He’d abandon us. And for Community members such as myself? We’re worth nothing to him. The most politically motivated, active members along with retirees and he’d bin the lot of us by scrapping community membership.

Everyone should be in a Union, but a Union led by Gerard Coyne would be pale imitation of what trade unionism should be about, a union for the few and not the many. Standing together, in solidarity, collectivism, supporting one another as our numbers make us stronger. This man would drive us apart, weaken us and get a pat on the back from the worst elements of our society.

So you can see, when he unfathomably got onto the ballot, it really did give Howard Beckett pause for thought. He felt, with three left candidates on the ballot, that the risk of the Union falling to Coyne was too great, the risk of splitting the left vote was too great and so he decided to stand aside.

That’s stand aside mind you, not stand back.

He joined another campaign, he’s fallen in beside Steve Turner and Turner has embraced that, so much so that he’s agreed to adopt some of the biggest and best parts of Howard’s manifesto as his own. As a gesture of good faith both to Howard and to us, he’s made them legally binding. What we’ve seen is two campaigns effectively join forces, what we’re actually witnessing is the solidarity and collectivism that so much of trade unionism relies on and its happening in an election between candidates. Ambition and egotism have been set aside to instead offer a transformative vision of what can be for our Union, for the sake of our Union.

So am I still saying Beckett or Bust? Yes I am. But by voting for Steve Turner now, we’re getting Beckett too, but more importantly what he stands for. Devolution of power to regions and nations, the £50m strike fund, tackling racism, an international solidarity fund, a promise to never repudiate strike action and abandon our members in need, Unite TV will become a reality, expand Unite’s remit to gig economy workers, regional member units, a leadership school to find the true working class councillors and MP’s of the future and a helluva lot more.

Not voting at all, as far too many of our members do, is exactly what a shark like Gerard Coyne wants. It’s incumbent on all of us as members of Unite to ensure we cast that ballot when it drops through the door and encourage our colleagues and comrades to do so as well. Lets get turnout up here, we can bloody well do it, it only takes a conversation or two. Unite represents such a wide breadth of professions, for it to be lost, divided, failed would be a bitter blow for workers rights in this country, already under attack as they are by this wicked regime running the country.

So I will be casting my vote. I will be voting for Steve Turner I am endorsing him for whatever my word is worth. I hope lots of you will be doing likewise with me as soon as that ballot paper drops.

It only takes a little cross and then you bung it in the post. So when it gets there, put a cross in the box. Get it posted. Do it now. For the sake of our union.

Cornish Damo provides this site and its content free of charge, but in order to continue doing so, to continue to rant and write and tell it like it is, impartially, independently and free of outside influence, your donations are essential. If you can afford to do so without hardship, please consider supporting my work via one of the options on the support us page.

Thank you for your solidarity and for supporting alternative media holding power and the mainstream media to account.