By Tim Montgomerie
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On the eve of this week's TUC Conference the Unite leader Len McCluskey uses remarks in The Observer to signal that the long-awaited union onslaught on the Coalition is about to begin. "My view is that we should rule nothing in and nothing out," he told the newspaper. "Every conceivable form of protest and action should be carefully considered, from civil disobedience through to co-ordinated industrial strikes… Everything should be considered in the face of the type of onslaught that we are looking at."
Mr McCluskey was on Andrew Marr's programme this morning and one ludicrous statement followed another.
Promising to "build a campaign of resistance" he told BBC1 viewers that the Government comes out with "lie after lie" and represents a "dogma of defeat and despair". He endorsed UK Uncut and other forms of civil disobedience as well as mass strike action. This was all justifiable because "everything that has held our nation together for 65 years is under attack". In reality the fiscal changes will take Britain back to 2004, not to the Blitz.
He told Marr that we are supposed to live in a democracy and that the Government should listen to protests such as those he intends to organise. Mr McCluskey doesn't seem to understand that 60% of votes at the last election went to the Coalition parties and it's those millions, not the TUC's members that should determine what the Coalition does.
In many ways McCluskey's militancy is a gift to Cameron and a nightmare for Miliband but we shouldn't be complacent. Other union leaders, notably Dave Prentis, are just as unreasonable. Coordinated UKUncut-style disruption and interrupted public services could become a big headache for the police and for businesses that are already teeetering on the edge of shedding jobs.