Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Unite nominates Ed Miliband as Labour Party Leader.

No surprise to anyone that I was very pleased to hear yesterday that the Unite Executive confirmed that they had overwhelmingly agreed to support Ed Miliband as the new Labour Party leader.  This followed a similar "overwhelming" vote by its national political committee. 

What matters now of course is turning this commitment (and that of UNISON and GMB) to "urge its one million members eligible to vote in the Labour leadership contest to make Ed Miliband their choice for leader of the Labour party" into actual votes. 

Ed Miliband has received the endorsement of the "big 3" affiliated trade unions. The press seem here to be trying to make out that there is some sort of smoke filled room deal by so called "union barons" to make Ed the their choice.  This is complete rubbish.  Now I accept that I have openly supported Ed for a while so what I am about to say could be a bit suspect but I have been pleased at the degree of genuine grass roots support for Ed Miliband amongst trade union activists. The reason is I think because being activists they have either seen him at a hustings, read interviews about him or even checked out his website.

We want someone who has the passion, personality and politics who can change the Party and still defeat Cameron and his CONDEMS.  Ed is the best candidate to do this.

What needs to be done is firstly get Ed in front of as many non-activist members as possible - get him talking to them and answering their questions either in person or via our media. Secondly to encourage activists to talk to their members about the election and about Ed.  Finally the unions must support turnout and encourage members to vote. Simple endorsements by union national political committees will not be enough.

(picture credit Dan McCurry at the West Ham CLP hustings)


Dave said...

Hi John,

I agree. I'm also supporting Ed and am pleased to say that my CLP -Halifax nominated him.Apart from the 'big three'Unions he has also been nominated by 150 CLPs - smoke filled rooms again !?

Dave Draycott

Anonymous said...

Mean time Lambeth Militants are at it again! A well known national activist member of the BC walked out at the July branch committee after she was unfairly treated by one of the militants who was chairing. Will they ever learn! Nothing changes.

Anonymous said...

One thing that matters is the degree to which Ed Milliband, or other contenders, will pledge to reverse the 1980s Tory assaults on trade unions that were never undone by 'New Labour'.
The unions have suffered from many things - a decline in manufacturing, a casualisation of labour and trends to part-time working, but the anti-union legislation of the 1980s has also played a part in weaking trade union power. What is Ed's position?

John Gray said...

Hi anon

Fair point on one level but Ed is pretty clear that he will not support the return of secondarily picketing and actually you can understand why.

It would be (rightly or wrongly) electorial sucide for any Labour Leader to do so. I for one do not want decades of government by old Etonians who are out to not only destroy and decimate trade unions but also deliberately attacks working class people.

It is simply rubbish to suggest that Labour did not undo any of the Tory assaults on unions. Not enough changes admittedly – but you will be reminded in future years of the true difference between a Tory government and a Labour government.

Dave said...

Hi Anon,

at meetings I have been at I have heard Ed Milliband express dissatisfaction with the law on balloting. Whilst fully supporting ballots he did say he was not happy with the current situation which meant that at one point in the current BA dispute action could be blocked as a result of a handfull of spoilt papers. Also was prepared to look at the fact that there is only protection against the sack for 13 weeks for strikers. Not everything the unions would want but a lot more than I have heard the other candidates say. He has also expressed some good views on the financial sector.

Dave Draycott