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Who needs the membership?


The ultra-left in Unite, Britain’s self-proclaimed biggest trade union, using anti-trade union legislation, appealed to the Certification Officer and forced a re-run of the General Secretary election. These were exactly the same tactics used by the present co-General Secretary, Derek Simpson, to unseat his predecessor Sir Mike Jackson.

The re-run election has returned Derek Simpson as co-General Secretary with Tony Woodley. Derek Simpson will retire shortly leaving Tony Woodley as the single General Secretary. But the tactics of the election reflect the divorce of self-styled “left” politics from the membership. Two ultra-left sectarians run against each other, one gathers 39,000 votes, the other 28,000. An additional “left” stalking horse runs and pulls another 30,000 votes. Simpson cruises through the debris to win on 60,000 votes.

Out of a claimed membership of 1.5 million members a return of 10 per cent! So 90 per cent of the membership voted for Mr Nobody. Who speaks for whom? Leadership by absence? If this is a sign of a healthy trade union then best to call the funeral directors.