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I thoroughly enjoyed this piece. When people as plain brutish as LM are in power, you feel in your gut the election must be rigged. Thanks for confirming that intuition.
"a trade union movement, moreover, that has nothing to say about the profound economic forces that are reshaping global capitalism. "
That's by far the bigger story, and everyone [not just unions] has their head in the sand. It doesn't matter who leads a union or Labor, it matters that what they used to represent is going to undergo a major shock and collapse very quickly. Already happening, next decade will be brutal.
There is something particularly sickening about the Westminster honours system. Great titles that have been around for a thousand years being degraded by their low-level recipients. It would be relief to scrap the whole foolish business of OBE, MBE, KCMG, Bart, etc. I would still be sad though.
It is actually quite simple. And is the ongoing battle (or war) of 'market forces' vs 'union rights'.
For myself, the end result is absolutely obvious: it will be market forces.
When unions no longer can plausibly fight for workers safety in coal mines, but instead are the instrument of death for their companies and inevitably their actual jobs. When the unions by and large only exist now on the basis of protected monopolies, ie govt jobs. The whole union thing has lost its raison d'etre. And the sooner it fades into the sunset, the better.
It was Alan not Adam Rusbridger that was in charge of the Guardian and eloped to Lady Margaret Hall upon his retirement.
There were three contenders in the UNITE election for General Secretary. The total votes cast were: Ian Allinson 17,143 - Gerard Coyne 53,544 - Len McCluskey 59,067. Turnout in the election was 12.2 per cent. So, of the total 129,754 votes, those cast against Len McCluskey were 70, 687 whereas 59,067 were cast in his favour - 5.55% of the available electorate.
UNITE has some merit in its argument that the law prohibits onine voting in Trade Union elections when it suggests that turnout is not optimal. Then again Building Societies allow electronic votes to their members and turnout may reach 20% of the electorate in elections to the Board of Directors. In one of the two building societies to which I belong, the 2016 AGM secured a participation rate of under 15%. Apathy and cynicism are rife in all quarters.
Len McCluskey labours, if you will excuse the pun, under the handicap that he nominally won on 5.55% of a low vote with 6.64% of electors combined against him. You may question, when it comes to the crunch, how much actual power that mandate gives him. The last time he stood for election, the turnout was 10%. I doubt that Jeremy Corbyn's leadership of Labour would in fact survive the possible loss of the upcoming General Election but we shall have a pointer on 04 May at the local elections that might give us a clue on trends towards 08 June.
The general theme of rewards for failure, as the The Economist knows full well, is not confined to honours for being "kicked upstairs" out of the way. It pervades the highest echelons of business as Fred Goodwin, James Crosby, Mr Philip Green and Mr Hector Sants have amply demonstrated. The required culture change is far from embedded. It will be a bonus if the General Election forces one on us but I am not holding my breath. A change candidate like Jeremy Corbyn if not victorious might yet constrain those who are.
Prepare for arguments on 09 June about the fairness of an electoral system that delivered X% of votes to one party with Y% of seats and a bogus comparison of the so-called "popular mandate" versus a commons majority. Elections are not fought on a strict popular mandate. A party wins on first past the post according to the rules and whichever party that is should form a Government and get on with it. Corbyn is right, as Philip Hammond has just discovered to his cost, not to let other policies limbo dance under footnotes in the manifesto while everyone has their eyes on leaving the EU.
In the old days the suspicion with people like this was that they were crypto-communists deliberately trying to wreck the labour movement in order to discredit social democracy and drive the desperate working class to revolution.
Of course, with the end of the Cold War and discrediting of communism, that's no longer even remotely possible.
whether its Morgan Stanley or JP Morgan Chase does not matter.
The point is ro meet You before BRITISH POUND goes bancrupt.
Yours sinserely UK
If the situation is as this piece recounts, then surely the moral to be drawn is to point the finger at the 'right'. I.e. if the turnout is so poor, why can't they organize to make sure that they do better in elections? More generally, it seems to this - non-leftist - observer that the big problem on the left in politics, and not just in Britain, is that it is an ideas-free zone. It is just not clear what is on offer as ways of addressing realistically the kinds of issues that this article - I think rightly - suggests are pressing, from either the 'right' or the 'left'. While too much radicalism goes into concerns about representation - i.e. that there should be the right proportion of women, ethnic monorities, people suffereing from a range of disabilities, etc - rather than concerns about what these people would actually be suggesting as ways of remedying our problems.