Monday, 2 June 2008

Unite calls on Gordon Brown to turn left.

Press release: Joint leader of unite calls on Labour to change direction

2 Jun 2008

In the wake of the Crewe catastrophe, Derek Simpson, joint general secretary of Unite, will warn that: "It is not the differences between Gordon Brown and Tony Blair that are the problem, it is the similarities."

Speaking at the union's industrial conferences in Brighton this week, Mr Simpson will call for 'New Labour' to be consigned to the history books, as the union opens up a new front to change the policies of the Labour government to show the electorate that only Labour can deal with inequality, housing shortages, rising fuel costs and the health service.

A windfall tax on the billion pound profits of oil companies would redefine Gordon Brown's premiership and win back votes for Labour.

Mr Simpson will tell delegates: "For years the labour movement held its breath expecting, hoping, for change after the departure of Tony Blair. While we went blue from the lack of oxygen, the country has gone blue for the lack of social change. Recent elections show, Labour's core supporters mark their displeasure with Labour by abstention or switching to other parties. Both methods will bring about a Tory government."

The union has welcomed the government's action on agency workers which will make it much harder for employers to treat agency workers as dispensable labour, hired and fired at will. But the union remains hard-pressed to point to government initiatives where working people have come first.

Instead, big business has escaped without sanction from the government for the grotesque excesses, the bonus culture, massive payouts for directors regardless of success and a lack of accountability in the financial system that caused the credit crunch. A recent study shows that the UK's top companies are already saving £20 billion a year on tax through allowances and concessions.

Mr Simpson added: "We'll be using our influence as Labour's biggest affiliate and its biggest financial supporter. Not by hysterical and destabilising threats of removing financial support but rather through persuasion and demonstrating that our policies are popular with traditional Labour voters.

"Even one term of a Tory government could prove impossible for the trade union movement to recover from. Many voters have no memory of the Tory years and don't know what to expect, when they hear Cameron talk about our broken society and the need to 'hug a hoodie' they can be forgiven for being taken in.

"The Tories would end redistribution, they would end family tax credits and the cold weather benefit for pensioners. They would cut back on school and health spending, cut spending on youth services and whilst they have said they will not repeal the minimum wage it's a safe bet that they will let it wither on the vine so it becomes effectively worthless."
It was all going so well until the last two paragraphs when it turned into a socialist rant throwing false accusation at the future Conservative Government.


Anonymous said...

Steve, the final paragraph is indeed a big bag of testicles. But I'd be lying if I said that killing off the unions for good, as mentioned in the penultimate one, would be a bad idea ;)

Anonymous said...

Its one thing for individual members to have one vote in proportion to their membership fee - but quite wrong for one organisation to call the shots because of its financial commitment. This after all is what the cash for access cash for peerages row was about.

But its ironic that after all Blair's efforts the Labour party is reduced to going cap (and policy) in hand to the trade Unions for succour.

But then again Labour is but the political wing of the trade union movement - best they admit that.

Charlie Marks said...

I assume you've never had to work, Raven - otherwise you'd appreciate the union movement. You know, employment rights, health and safety laws.

Daily Referendum said...

Raven, Charlie,

First of all I think in some situation the unions can be good for both the employee and employer. BUT the fact that Labour receives funding from the unions on such a massive level needs to be stopped. It is quite obvious that with Labour facing serious financial difficulties the unions are going to be able to influence government policy.

Daily Referendum said...


It doesn't help that Labour are practically running a money laundering scam with our tax money.