Unite’s torture of the Labour Party, it seems, may never end. After they successfully used their financial control to drive the previous Labour leadership far to the left of the electorate, they are now out to do it again:
‘Britain’s biggest trade union is threatening to withhold support for Andy Burnham’s Labour leadership bid unless he promises to oppose all spending cuts. Senior figures in Unite are angered by the shadow health secretary’s failure to adopt an “anti-austerity” economic policy since announcing his bid. They plan to approach Len McCluskey, Unite’s general secretary, to consider formally backing no candidate unless there is a clearer Left-wing option on the ticket.
The Telegraph has been told that if Mr Burnham wants to win the endorsement of his most influential potential backer he must change his economic policy…
The union is signing up around 1,000 affiliate members a day through cold calling and getting shop stewards to encourage individual union members to join on the spot. GMB, another leading trade union, is also said to be working hard to increase numbers. There is belief that 100,000 trade union members will be signed up to vote for the next Labour leader.’
They tried it in Falkirk, then they tried it with Miliband. Now they want to try the same approach for the next General Election. What could possibly go wrong?
Incidentally, a couple of weeks ago I published some reverse advice to the Labour Party – the things they could do which would most please their opponents. By my count they’ve now committed four of the six errors I listed – blame the voters, conclude Miliband wasn’t left-wing enough, sack Jim Murphy and give the unions a lengthy window to sign up large numbers of their members as part of a push to dominate the new leadership election. They’ve got a limited time to turn things around, but it’s hard to see where sufficiently weighty opposition to McCluskey is going to come from over the summer.