Saturday, 22 April 2017
As Unite election ends PCS begins
The result of the General Secretary election itself was not a surprise. McCluskey won. What has come as a shock is the treatment of his main opponent Gerard Coyne who came close in an election that saw the participation of a mere 12.2% of Unite's members. McCluskey has in effect the support of just 5.5% of the membership.
Of course trade union elections (and other ballots) are notorious for their low turnouts which is why they have attracted the attention of those Tories who are particularly hostile to unions. With a general election on the horizon the added spectacle of the suspension of Coyne amidst counter accusations of bullying and intimidation undermines Corbyn's chief backer.
McCluskey called on the union to:
"pull together in the interests of our members and not least to work for Labour victory in the general election"
Hypocritical in the former and deluded on the latter.
More than that McCluskey has exposed once more the anti-democratic nature of the left. It's very difficult to mount opposition to McCluskey and his cronies. They describe any criticism as "inflammatory" or "against the unions policy".
Meanwhile a second set of elections started today in the PCS union. There are just two choices. The hard left and the more hard left. The PCS is currently run by Mark Serwotka in coalition with the Socialist Party (Militant), the SWP and some dupes in the so-called PCS Democrats.
Their opponents call themselves the Independent Left but are highly dominated by the AWL and attract the odd member of Socialist Resistance (he really is odd) and Workers Power plus other hardliners. Their presidential candidate Bev Laidlaw is a pleasant individual but with the totally wrong political outlook, though preferable to the incumbent Madame Janice Godrich by a long shot.
Both groupings praise the "first appearance of a Labour leader"(in the form of one Jeremy Corbyn) "at a PCS Conference".
Not really that much to choose between so don't expect any major changes.
One candidate for the Independent Left caught my attention, especially from a group that talks about "putting members first". On their NEC slate there is one Oliur Rahman who was former Deputy Mayor of Tower Hamlets under Lutfur Rahman.
Overall a very boring election that will attract little attention outside the usual far-left crowd.