Labour Party suspension of Young Labour Chair jumps the shark.

The Labour Party has truly demonstrated what an utter cesspit it has become under Keir Starmer and David Evans in the wake of so many suspension letters being sent out, often at a ridiculous hour, midnight or 1am, designed to cause maximum distress to people unable to act at that time, or to start their day with. Young Labour chair Jess Barnard was one such recipient, a fantastic advocate for the party, someone who genuinely wants to make a difference, someone who has a particular interest in mental health awareness and has spoken of her own struggles publicly. So what did Labour do? Chose to send her a suspension letter at 1am in the morning on Suicide Prevention Day for, of all things, standing AGAINST transphobia.

The Labour Party has become a regime of diktat under the current leadership, flouting the rulebook in order to impose orders to not discuss certain topics, block no confidence motions in the leadership, block solidarity motions with some of those already suspended and meting out suspensions for the most ridiculous reasons, such as those given against people who had ever had anything to do with proscribed groups at a time before they were proscribed, leaving the Party open to legal challenges as it has. You’d think given Starmer, as he always likes to remind us being the former Director of Public Prosecutions, he’d know when he’s doing something legally stupid, but perhaps he, or Evans really don’t care as long as they can keep purging socialists, keep driving more members away, so the party, in as dire a state as it is, remains in their control. Above all else, this is about control.

So it is that we come to Jess Barnard, the elected Chair of Young Labour, the representative body within the Labour Party to represent members below the age of 27 – a weird figure, but there we go – who has herself been targeted for suspension.

Jess has found herself on the wrong side of the Labour leadership, but hasn’t let that stop her from doing what she feels is right and that means highlighting causes the leadership would rather not and it has invited pile-ons from right wing supporters of the Labour leadership, most recently for inviting the Palestine Solidarity Campaign to speak at the Young Labour event at Labour Conference.

She’s also found herself on the wrong side of the right wing press with Murdoch Times scribbler Oliver Kamm going as far as to derangedly accuse Barnard of wanting a second holocaust for Young Labour’s advocacy of Palestinian rights. Thankfully, there are journalists out there who will write factually, such as the Skwawkbox, who has covered this story in detail. No support from the Labour leadership whatsoever, they’d already cancelled Young Labour’s rulebook mandated Conference of their own, so you can see how much regard the leadership have for young members – about as much as they have for members full stop. This Labour leadership would rather have rich donors.

However at 1am in the morning of Friday the 10th of September, she found herself presented with a suspension letter for challenging transphobia – I repeat, she was challenging it. Not defending it. It is indefensible to defend hate speech of any form after all, identifying as trans is a protected characteristic, but that is not what Jess Barnard was doing and was not what she’d been issued with a suspension letter for. She was challenging transphobia in a twitter exchange with a right wing Labour Councillor and had been issued with a suspension letter for it. It was on Friday. Suicide Prevention Day. Often such letters, knowing they cause significant distress, particularly to long time members are supplied with contact details for the Samaritans. I don’t know if that was the case with Jess, but my goodness, can you imagine if anyone sent suspension letters that day was?

Here are the tweets in question, where Jess makes reference to TERF’s, an acronym standing for Trans-Exclusionary Radical Feminist, emphasis should be on the first two words since as I said before, identifying as trans is protected in law. I also fail to see what is so feminist about behaving this way towards such people either. The label fits the behaviour, Jess had done nothing wrong, in fact if its not obvious in the first tweet it is with the exchange with the councillor where she is clearly defending the rights of trans people and not attacking them.

To her credit, Jess went straight to the NEC and also got her legal team involved. Lo and behold, later that day the suspension order was rescinded. The claim from the Party is that this was sent in error, but the Communication Worker’s Union General Secretary Dave Ward hit the nail on the head when he sent a tweet saying the Labour Party disputes process is in disarray. It is not an error to hunt through somebody’s tweets, compile an investigation document, attach it and send it. This is clearly factional and wrong.

Of course he’s right, a fair amount of work goes into investigating anyone to the point a suspension is warranted, but you get the feeling they’re being doled out like sweets, especially when they’re being sent out for standing up for a protected characteristic! Are we the Transphobe Party now? It’d be good to get a statement from Starmer on this, but he’s been too busy tweeting about tennis to show interest in this or show Young Labour’s top representative an ounce of solidarity.

It had been suggested that all of this was the work of a rogue senior official with a vendetta against Barnard, but again, the work involved shows that is a risible, weaselly excuse. She was targeted for her beliefs, which are not in keeping with the current leadership even if they are in keeping with the party ethos and she’s not alone. Another example publicised in Evolve Politics this morning shows a Labour member, who shared one of that publications tweets relating to supporting a 4 day working week and championing free broadband has been suspended on the basis that they’ve shared racist content. Free broadband isn’t a protected characteristic last time I looked and I’ve yet to meet someone who self identifies as broadband who might be offended! Something has got to give and with Labour Conference just around the corner, things may well be explosive. A lot of hurt and upset is being caused by these often hilariously stupid suspensions, that sadly the people affected do not find funny at all. Exposed for being based on absolute idiocy, on factional vengefulness as they have in this and many other instances is incredibly damaging to the party’s reputation, its electability and we need a change. That change has to come from the very top.

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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.

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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.

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Starmerite Streeting writes for The Scum. Labour’s moral bankruptcy continues.

The thought of cosying up to a filthy gutter rag like The Scum is to most of us on the left utterly anathema. Rupert Murdoch is easily one of the most parasitical, negative influences over British politics across the last 4 decades and still politicians of the wrong sort seek his approval. We have too many of these wrong-uns amongst the parliamentary Labour Party and amongst them, Wes Streeting has endorsed Murdoch once more by writing in this trash that offends so many, they wouldn’t even line a litter tray with it. His justification is that he needs to reach voters who read it. Well, I daresay most of the readers of this hard right streak of piss paper probably aren’t Labour voters Wes. You want Rupert’s approval a la Blair. We’ve been here before. We see you.

Just this week we’ve seen the passing of another Hillsborough victim, a man left with life changing injuries from that event. It’s now a case of seeking justice for the 97. The role this hateful paper had in smearing and distorting the events of that disaster in 1989, the worst stadium disaster in UK history will never be forgotten in Liverpool, nor for many across the rest of the country.

It’s not like this is the only scumbag act by the rag either.

In just my lifetime the filth have referred to AIDS as a gay blood plague – justify that one as a gay man yourself Wes. Attacked the miners on strike under Thatcher, even comparing Arthur Scargill to a Nazi. They’ve accused Muslims of producing hitlists of British Jews during The Gaza War, they falsely claimed Coronation Street was being targeted by Al-Qaeda, they falsely claimed the Norwegian attack by fascist Anders Breivik, was also Al-Qaeda and who can ever forget their actions surrounding the case of murdered school girl Millie Dowler. They attacked lefty Labour leader Michael Foot for being too old to lead the country despite endorsing Ronald Reagan to lead the US, even though Reagan was actually older. Hardly the papers only attack on Labour, but its attacks on the left are blatant. They attacked Labour MP Chris Mullins for trying to get justice for the Birmingham Six, wrongly convicted of committing pub bombings, by calling him a loony MP that backs a bomb gang and that if the paper ‘had its way, they’d have strung them up years ago’. it went after Kinnock as well running a headline pretending to be written by Stalin as to why he was backing Neil. Strange when we have a Stalinist leader of Labour now that Murdoch has not yet pulled this one again, though perhaps not given the kiss-arse mentality Labour is once again embracing, just as it did under Blair. Doff your cap to Murdoch, know who your real boss is and he’ll look after you. It’s rotten, it stinks up our politics and means the country can never and will never be run in our interests, just the interests of a few, like Murdoch. Anti EU, pro privatisation and has bragged at every General Election since 1979 that ‘it was the Scum wot won it’ – I might have paraphrased there, the word, gets stuck in my throat – as its pernicious influence it believed, swayed voters to its desired outcome. I haven’t even needed to bring their coverage of the likes of Jeremy Corbyn into this. There is so much spin and falsehood and hurt and damage that has been caused by this piece of shit paper, nobody with an interest in making this country a better place to live in should be reading it or endorsing it. In 2019 it was actually deprecated by Wikipedia for being an unreliable source. You cannot trust its content. Aside from anything else, the sales of this foul excrement of a paper are falling, so much so the Fail – not that that is much better – is now the top selling right wing rag and Murdoch now no longer publishes sales figures, so perhaps the boycott of the paper, started in Liverpool after Hillsborough, spreading around the country since continues to be a success. Nothing cheers me more than the occasional story of a Scum writer – I always remember John McDonnell’s words that you can be a journalist or work for the Scum, but you can’t be both – a Scum writer asking to use a picture someone has taken and in no uncertain, but inherently colourful terms get told ‘no’ because we hate your papers guts. Perhaps eventually this rag will sink for good if good people continue to shun it and actually embrace left wing alternative media sources, mostly online, mostly small independent outlets as they are, because they need the support more and they are actually reporting the news without the deceitful spin in a world dominated by powerful right wing media.

For a man who has recently recovered from cancer, for which I offer my best wishes, embracing a cancer on society like the Murdoch Press, especially this rag in particular as Wes Streeting has done, makes him a part of the problem still, that this incarnation of Labour, on the verge of going financially bust, is well and truly morally bust and in no way a solution to the problems in our country right now. Only a leader and party who explicitly condemn and refute papers like the Scum are worth paying attention to.

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.