Unite the Union, has adopted a "political strategy" paper which includes infiltration of left wing activists into the Labour Party to ensure that those it approves of are selected as Labour council candidates. It gives details of plans to exert greater clout in candidate selections both for MPs and also for councillors where it pledges:
"To develop and sustain a Unite Councillors network…We will ensure that Unite members are taking up the opportunities for Council candidacy."
Lots of "resources" will be devoted to encouraging their "activists" – with "training courses" and "individual mentoring". There will be support for "good candidates" from other unions.
To assist with the pool of Labour council candidates the Union has set a target of persuading an extra 5,000 of its activists to join the Labour Party.
So that's all very public spirited, isn't it? Good news for Ed Miliband?
Er, not exactly.
The following comment gives the game away:
“This is emphatically not just a recruitment offensive to benefit the Labour party with passive financial contributors – it is vital if we are to impact on constituency parties”.
This is already the Labour Party's biggest paymaster but this is not a resolution of yet further generosity. On the contrary they are evidently frustrated they have not been getting their money's worth and have made clear that they will not put up with any more nonsense. It is in the hands of the extreme left. They have thousands of members working for local councils – where they run such campaign as Defending Trade Union Facility Time.
I would call it a plot but the whole thing is too crass, too brazen to be worthy of the term. They are sending out a very clear message to Labour councillors to toe a hardline left wing line. Those of wish to put the interests of their residents as a whole ahead of sectional trade union interests are under threat of deselection.
Say what you like about Tony Blair – at least he took on these people. Ed Miliband just seems desperate to appease them.