Join the Socialist Party Join us today!

Printable version Printable version

Facebook   Twitter

Link to this page: http://www.socialistparty.org.uk/issue/769/16881

From The Socialist newspaper, 12 June 2013

Falkirk West: Labour bureaucracy blocks left Unite union candidate

Kevin Parslow, Unite 1/1228 branch secretary (personal capacity)
Len McCluskey of Unite speaking at the 20 October 2012 TUC demo against austerity , photo Paul Mattsson

Len McCluskey of Unite speaking at the 20 October 2012 TUC demo against austerity , photo Paul Mattsson   (Click to enlarge)

New Labour has suspended its parliamentary selection process in Scottish constituency Falkirk West for the byelection to replace disgraced MP Eric Joyce.

An investigation into alleged 'irregularities' is being organised by party officials. This follows allegations against Unite the Union of recruiting members to the constituency.

Unite has the aim of getting more working class candidates selected and elected as MPs and councillors.

For Falkirk West, Unite member Karie Murphy was touted as a candidate. While Murphy's record is open to criticism, Unite should have a say in the selection process.

Unite is New Labour's biggest affiliate, paying over 3 million a year in affiliation fees. Its political strategy is to try and transform New Labour back to its roots and strengthen party democracy.

The Socialist has always said that, for this strategy to stand any chance, Unite would have to go into New Labour with a full programme against all cuts and privatisation, and for socialist economic policies. It would be no good replacing Blairite right wingers with trade union backed ones.

Expulsions

However, the limits to this strategy have become apparent. A handful of Labour councillors, largely Unite members and including the two brave Southampton councillors, have voted against cuts and found themselves suspended or expelled from Labour groups.

Right-wing leaders, locally and nationally, do not tolerate challenges to the pro-capitalist policies of New Labour.

Many years ago now, the Labour right wing brought in the 'one member one vote' (OMOV) selection processes for parliamentary candidates, replacing selection by the constituency parties' general committees (GC).

This was because the right believed the GCs were dominated by the left and trade union delegates, so OMOV would make the selection of right-wing candidates more likely. The right wanted a party that was safe for big business.

Of course, the right have always feared a mass membership party that was based on fighting for socialist policies.

They feared the influence of socialist and Marxist ideas in the 1970s and 1980s. They launched an offensive against the Socialist's predecessor, Militant, which led to expulsions from Labour, including of two Marxist MPs, Terry Fields and Dave Nellist.

This was with the ambition of neutering Labour's fighting wing. Militant warned that this would lead to the defeat of the whole left in Labour.

The right allowed moribund parties to develop. What attraction was there for the failed policies of Labour governments? Where socialists ran local parties, mass membership campaigns were launched.

There was something for working class people to join and fight alongside. And it was electorally popular too, as the success of the Liverpool council between 1983 and 1987 proved.

The irony now is that Unite has recruited to Labour in Falkirk West, and the Labour officials and Blairites are up in arms! The same arguments that were used against Militant 30 years ago are now deployed against the biggest trade union in the country!

The outcome of Falkirk West is unclear but the conclusions for trade unionists are not. New Labour will protect its right-wing policies against the organised working class.

Trade unions will have to come to the conclusion that Labour is no longer the party it formed in 1900 and that a genuine mass working class party has to be built.

Lambeth councillor Kingsley Abrams has lost his appeal to rejoin the Labour group in the borough.

Kingsley was originally suspended for abstaining in the council in 2010 on a vote to implement cuts. Since then, he has continued to oppose cuts with the backing of his trade union, Unite, of which he is an executive council member.

Continued suspension will mean he will be ineligible to stand for reselection as a Labour candidate for the 2014 borough elections.

Local supporters and Unite activists will no doubt be considering the options that Kingsley could take as part of an anti-cuts platform in Lambeth.

Why not click here to join the Socialist Party, or click here to donate to the Socialist Party.


In The Socialist 12 June 2013:


G8 Summit protest

No to G8 austerity

Big brother is watching you


National Shop Stewards Network

Build for mass anti-cuts action


Socialist Party editorial

Labour crosses the Rubicon - again


Socialist Party news and analysis

How students beat unfair attendance policy

Far-right EDL march in Sheffield: class-based response needed

After Woolwich killing: Time for unions to lead anti-racist fight

Them & Us


Socialist Party reports and campaigns

Falkirk West: Labour bureaucracy blocks left Unite union candidate

Brighton: Green council continues to carry out Con-Dem cuts

Southamption byelection: On the TUSC Against Cuts campaign trail

Historic event as Tamils and trade unions forge vital links


Socialist Party workplace news

Mid Yorks health workers win important concessions

College lecturers strike against redundancies

MoJ privatisation victory + rolling strikes across civil service

Scotland: Council workers strike ballot

Teachers vote for action on workload and pensions

Workplace news in brief


International socialist news and analysis

Syria threatens sectarian middle east war

Fightback continues in Turkey


Unison conference

Unison conference - time to reclaim the union

Unison NEC elections - Socialist Party position strengthened


Socialist Party review

Panorama: Blacklist Britain


 

Home   |   The Socialist 12 June 2013   |   Join the Socialist Party

Subscribe   |   Donate   |   PDF  |   ebook






Related links:

Labour:

triangleAnti-DOO lobby of Liverpool's transport committee

triangleBirmingham South East Socialist Party: Can the Labour Party be changed?

triangleBlairite horror and Labour's divisions graphically exposed

triangleTUSC conference to debate 2018 elections

triangleCorbyn's Labour can defeat Tories with socialist programme

Falkirk:

triangleHow can Unite lead fight against cuts?

triangleBreak with pro-cuts Labour now

triangleNeed for new mass workers' party is undeniable

triangleWhat future for Labour and the unions?

Unite:

triangleLocal government pay: fight for the 5% claim, fully funded

triangleUnite protest against blacklisting

triangleArriva bus strikers stand firm

Union:

triangleStrikers rally in Liverpool

trianglePCS Left Unity celebrates 40th anniversary at annual conference

Bureaucracy:

triangleVenezuela: Capitalist offensive sharpens after assembly elections

Cuts:

trianglePlans to launch no-cuts campaign at Kirklees College

Reports and campaigns

Reports and campaigns

7/12/17

RMT

Anti-DOO lobby of Liverpool's transport committee

7/12/17

Blacklisting

Unite protest against blacklisting

6/12/17

Donald Trump

Mobilise to stop bigoted billionaire Donald Trump's state visit to Britain

6/12/17

Transport

Arriva bus strikers stand firm

6/12/17

Pensions

BT pensions review - oppose the attacks on the pension schemes

6/12/17

PCS

Driving examiners walkout hits first day of new test

6/12/17

Newham

School staff strike against privatisation

6/12/17

Rail

Brutal rail privateer Abellio takes over Midlands rail services

6/12/17

PCS

PCS Left Unity celebrates 40th anniversary at annual conference

6/12/17

North Yorkshire

Court maintains injunction against fracking protesters

6/12/17

Waltham Forest

Waltham Forest Universal Credit protest

6/12/17

Coventry

Coventry Socialist sales hit 1,000

6/12/17

TUSC

TUSC conference to debate 2018 elections

6/12/17

Liverpool

Liverpool John Moores Uni landslide for Socialist Students

6/12/17

Kirklees

Plans to launch no-cuts campaign at Kirklees College

triangleMore Reports and campaigns articles...


Join the Socialist Party
Subscribe to Socialist Party publications
Donate to the Socialist Party

triangle8 Dec Local government pay: fight for the full 5% claim

triangle6 Dec Strikers rally in Liverpool

triangle6 Dec Corbyn's Labour can defeat Tories with socialist programme

triangle5 Dec Victory at Glenfield shows people power can save our NHS

triangle5 Dec Labour council Blairites deselected

triangle30 Nov Victory: Glenfield Children's Heart Centre saved!

triangle30 Nov Dramatic retelling of Grunwick strike

More ...

triangle11 Dec Leeds Socialist Party: Campaigning workshop

triangle11 Dec Bristol North Socialist Party: Christmas Quiz

triangle12 Dec Birmingham South East Socialist Party: Can the Labour Party be changed?

triangle12 Dec Liverpool Socialist Party: Fighting council cuts

More ...

Socialist Party Facebook page
Socialist Party on Twitter
Visit us on Youtube

Archive

Archives:

December 2017

November 2017

October 2017

September 2017

August 2017

July 2017

June 2017

May 2017

April 2017

March 2017

February 2017

January 2017

2016

2015

2014

2013

2012

2011

2010

2009

2008

2007

2006

2005

2004

2003

2002

2001

2000

1999

Legal

SP RSS feed RSS

Platform setting: = No platform choice

V2