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.

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.