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UNISON general secretary election: Prentis attacks the opposition
Vote Roger Bannister
Socialist Party member Roger Bannister is standing in the election for general secretary of UNISON.
His policies include opposition to the attacks on pension rights and a campaign for a cross-public sector one-day strike before the general election. He is the only candidate calling for UNISON to break its ties with Labour and build a new trade union-based party.
Prentis attacks the opposition
THE BALLOT for general secretary of UNISON is under way. Dave Prentis, the sitting general secretary, has attacked the other two candidates as "extremists" in his election address.
He says they are: "backed by revolutionary political parties and factions - the SWP and the Socialist Party (Militant). Both these external, extreme groups... are attempting to hijack our union and use your subscriptions for their extreme political ends."
He then goes on to declare that he is not beholden to anybody but the "members".
But in fact he represents the extreme pro-market, pro-capitalist Labour Party faction in UNISON.
Prentis then brazenly tells his members that: "No money from the union's general funds will be used to support any political party." The fact that UNISON gives the Labour Party at least £1.5 million a year from its Affiliated Political Fund is not mentioned.
Prentis is obviously on the defensive against the charge by general secretary candidate and Socialist Party member Roger Bannister that UNISON's current leadership is too close to the employer - the Labour government and councils.
Roger is the only candidate calling for an ending of the funding of New Labour. Roger's election address calls for no more of UNISON's money for the Labour Party. "It's time to break our ties with Labour and build a new trade union-based party."
The general secretary election ends on 28 February. For more information about the campaign, see www.electrogerbannister.org.uk
In The Socialist 12 February 2005: