Sunday, 10 July 2016

Trade union members need a Labour Government

Labour's civil war comes to a head on Tuesday when the party's National Executive meets to discuss the terms of the leadership challenge and who will be on the ballot paper. It's clear that the division between the Parliamentary Labour Party and Jeremy Corbyn is irreversible and so the future of Labour hangs in the balance.

A poll published in the Scottish newspaper the Herald reports:

LABOUR’S popularity would be boosted significantly if the party dumped Jeremy Corbyn as leader, according to a new poll.

The UK-wide BMG survey for The Herald, carried out before the shock Brexit result, found that just over one-third, 36 per cent, said that they could vote for a Corbyn-led Labour party.

But that figure jumped to almost half, 48 per cent, if the veteran socialist was no longer in charge – a 12 point boost.

That gives the sort of level that Labour would require to beat the Tories at the next election. A message that so many veteran Labour activists have been saying since the far-left entered the party en-masse during last years leadership election. Momentum and their supporters may have grown in the party's ranks but simply uniting the rent-a-mob demonstrators, most of whom don't believe in democracy has proved toxic to the voters that are needed to bring about a Labour government.

In these circumstances the trade union leaders have to reconsider their support for Corbyn and in the case of UNITE their own members who a poll shows do not support Corbyn

The first question we asked the Unite members we polled was: “Do you think that Jeremy Corbyn is doing well or badly as leader of the Labour party?”. Almost two-thirds (65%) of the Unite members think Mr Corbyn is doing badly.Similar proportions feel the same regardless of the age, region and voting behaviour of the respondent. Only amongst female Unite members was this trend different, with fewer (53%) of them thinking Mr Corbyn was doing badly. On Thursday a Times / YouGov poll reported that almost a half (48%) of Labour party members thought Mr Corbyn was doing badly.

The second question we asked the Unite members we polled was: “Do you think that Labour currently is or is not on course to be in Government after the General Election in 2020?” Over two-thirds (69%) of the respondents thought that Labour were not on course to be in government. Once again this is consistent across the demographic groups with the eception of female Unite members; although even here the clear belief is that Labour is not heading for government.

The third question we asked the Unite members we polled was: How likely or unlikely do you think it is that Jeremy Corbyn will ever become Prime Minister?. Again the large majority (79%) think it unlikely that Mr Corbyn will ever become prime minister.

The fourth question we asked the Unite members we polled was: If Jeremy Corbyn remains leader of the Labour party, how likely or unlikely do you think it is that they will win the next general election? Over two-thirds (69%) think it unlikely.

The fifth question we asked the Unite members we polled was: If Jeremy Corbyn was replaced as leader of the Labour party, how likely or unlikely do you think it is that they would win the next general election? Replacing Mr Corbyn does appear to increase the likelihood of Labour winning the next general election according to the respondents, but even still over half (54%) of the Unite members we polled still thought it unlikely Labour wins in that scenario.

The sixth question we asked the Unite members we polled was: Do you think Jeremy Corbyn should or should not continue as leader of the Labour party and fight the next general election? Almost half (49%) of the respondents thought Mr Corbyn should step down now; as did those Unite members which voted Labour in 2015 (48%).

(Source: Election Data Base)

Len McCluskey is ideologically motivated to support Corbyn, but his members are clearly not behind him.

Meanwhile another General Secretary, Mark Serwotka a recent recruit to the Labour Party, only allowed membership after the personal intervention of John McDonnell has committed his (non-affiliated) PCS union to back Corbyn.

A statement on the PCS website from their NEC reads:

Following the EU referendum, elements of the Parliamentary Labour Party have embarked on a systematic and pre-planned attempt to unseat Jeremy Corbyn, using the result as a smokescreen. Events are unfolding daily.

It is deeply disappointing that some in the Labour party are choosing to attack Jeremy Corbyn’s leadership instead of ensuring that the official opposition is united in protecting the interests of those depending on them to set out an alternative political vision during such an uncertain period.

....while PCS is not an affiliated union and we continue to remain independent of any political party, we believe PCS members' interests are best served by Jeremy's continued leadership and offer our support in preventing his opponents from unseating him.

The claim that "PCS is independent of any political party" is highly debatable given that it's been controlled by a cabal of the far-left (Socialist Party/SWP) over the last decade. Serwotka and his allies have at various times supported Galloway's Respect party and at the last election the Trade Unionist & Socialist Coalition. The PCS has used it's resources to back every far-left campaign regardless of it's own members interests.

The members themselves have not been consulted. PCS is an "activists" union where this distinction has been promoted against a "representative" organisation. 

In other words a "top down" hierarchy has been imposed in true Marxist fashion.

PCS has lost members on an unprecedented scale over the last few years and not just because of government cuts. One whole department, the Serious Organised Crime Agency split away and formed a successful independent new union. Others left the HMRC with another, smaller breakaway. Many opted to join an existing union, Prospect.

One thing is clear. Trade union members need a Labour Government and Corbyn will never deliver.

It's time for ordinary union members to speak out against the activist castes in organisations like UNITE and PCS.

Corbyn is the Tories best asset. In order for a Labour Government to be elected the man and his Momentum Tendency must go.

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