The By-election in Eastleigh is fast approaching and the main political parties are fighting for their piece of the electoral pie. The Liberal Democrats currently hold the seat vacated by Chris Huhne their former MP now facing a custodial sentence for perverting the course of justice. Nick Clegg needs a win badly for his failing party fortunes and were currently ahead in the opinion polls until now.
The news of a fresh scandal, this time about alleged sexual harassment about the Liberal Democrats could do them some considerable damage. To have one misdemeanour is bad news but two in a row? Simply careless one has to say.
Over the next four days their Conservative, Labour and UKIP opponents will be trying their best to undermine the Liberal vote. Thursday night could get interesting. There are of course other candidates from the political fringes standing, one of which is the so-called Trade Union & Socialist Coalition. This tiny organisation was set up by the Socialist Party and has manged to attract the support of the RMT union.
The RMT are not happy bunnies at the moment as "their" candidate is not attracting much publicity. They have issued a press release which complains;
With less than a week to go in the Eastleigh by election, promoted by the resignation of Con-Dem criminal Chris Huhne, transport union RMT today blasted a deliberate media blackout of working class candidate Darren Procter, a member of the union's executive and the candidate of the Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition (TUSC).
Bob Crow their vainglorious General Secretary adds;
"It's scandalous that yet again the press are only interested in the same old tired party hacks from the same old failed political parties that created the current financial mess and whose culture of self-serving led to this by election being called in the first place."
Problem is the TUSC is actually not seen as a serious contender by anyone else other than those involved in it. At the last General Election The Sunday Times reported that the TUSC managed to get 0.04% of the vote. The fact the media don't take any notice of them is not a conspiracy as comrade Crow seems to think but the simple fact it is a no hope organisation . Period.
Thing is the RMT/TUSC should be careful what they wish for. In addition to their involvement there is a little matter of the Socialist Workers Party being a major component of the alliance. They haven't been ignored by the media recently, but for the wrong reasons. As has been widely covered in the mainstream media and across the Internet there is the problem of "Comrade Delta" and allegations of "rape" being tried by the SWP themselves.
There is more coming to light on this scandal as reports widely appearing on line suggest the the woman involved was just 17 at the time these events are alleged to have happened. The following post covers the issues well:
Go to: http://sovietgoonboy.wordpress.com/2013/02/24/the-age-gap-and-why-it-matters/
This story is likely to go grow, especially with the latest revelations. The involvement of the SWP in the TUSC may turn out to be a major problem for the RMT and the Socialist Party if they continue their "alliance" with the SWP. The RMT needs to seriously consider the ramifications of being too closely tied to the now toxic SWP "brand".
There are also leading activists from the PCS union at the top of the TUSC hierarchy. Chris Baugh (PCS Assistant General Secretary) and John McInally (PCS Vice President) should also reconsider whether their ties with the SWP are wise at this time. As far as I am concerned the SWP cannot be considered a part of the wider Labour and trade union movement any more.
As for voters in Eastleigh, we'll see how they vote on Thursday. Labour would seem the wise choice to me.