Len McLacklustre….Two Eds not better than one

Unite boss’s Guardian outburst leaves Labour disunited

Regular Sloggers will know that I’ve been following the Silent War in the Labour Party with increasing interest in recent months. I wrote last week after yet another PMQs debacle that ‘looking at Harriet Harman as she sat behind the Opposition Leader yesterday, it was hard not to conclude that she too thinks her man is beyond hopeless.’

It seems the Harman/Dromey paymeisters inside the Unite Union agree. Although Unite’s own votes (duly delivered to the puppet candidate Ed Miliband in order to defeat his brother) made Edclaymation leader in 2010, its leader – former Liverpool Docker Len McCluskey – stabbed the Labour leader in the front this morning. And surprise surprise, he did so in The Guardian.

Given a column all to himself by the Guardistas, Len had this to say:

‘Ed Balls’s sudden embrace of austerity and the public-sector pay squeeze represents a victory for discredited Blairism at the expense of the party’s core supporters. It also challenges the whole course Ed Miliband has set for the party, and perhaps his leadership itself. Unions in the public sector are bound to unite to oppose the real pay cuts for public-sector workers over the next year. When we do so, it seems we will now be fighting the Labour frontbench as well as the government….Ed Miliband’s leadership has been undermined as he is being dragged back into the swamp of bond market orthodoxy. And this policy coup may not be the end of the matter. Having won on the measures, New Labour will likely come for the man sooner or later. And that way lies the destruction of the Labour party as constituted, as well as certain general election defeat in my view.’

Not that this was Len coming for the man or anything. Like all diehard Union men (McCluskey was a shop steward aged 19) New Labour was always an aberration, and the Miliballs combination an attempt to destroy it forever – with Harman and Unite man Jack Dromey working Edclaymation from behind. And also like all those little Malaprops who used to crowd onto our TV screens thirty years ago, Len has that pretentious tendency to write drivel like ‘the swamp of bond market orthodoxy’. A former supporter of Liverpool Militant in the Derek Hatton era, McCluskey only escaped the Kinnock purge by renouncing his Communist background as the Ginger cock crowed. But he remains part of that dying species of dinosaur convinced that politics is basically about workers v bosses, and financier capitalism v er, something else involving beer and sarnies at Number Ten. Actually, that’s dinosaurist: Len McCluskey is a political amoeba.

But what he’s done now is give the Eds a war on two fronts they cannot possibly win. And the fact that so much venom is aimed at Balls shows just how unwelcome the Two Eds are better than One arrangement always was at Unite – where, for some reason, the Mauler from Morley is deeply disliked.

Of course, the catalyst was Mr Balls’ support for a pay freeze – part of his continuing attempt to position himself as mainstream rather than Cloth Ears Labour. But effectively, a leadership contest has just been announced. However, while the Blairites have their candidate Yvetter Cooper (Mrs Balls) packaged and ready to go, it’s going to be fun watching the Uniters find somebody electable.

Related: How Fixed Parliaments are playing against the Tories.

Jim Murphy, unlikely stalking horse.

Mandelson’s Guardian knife-frenzy against the Two Eds


  1. You must remember that the ‘dromyship’ managed to vote back into the LabourKammand – the complete set of back stabbing with no gumption careerists who failed to evict or even challenge the brown thing even though they knew he could never have got re-elected. That they are shisters of the highest order makes no difference, they are all so self interested that they cannot function as a team because they all have both selfish self promotional and dumb ideological hidden motives.


  2. OK so they don’t do much as an actual opposition but does the internal leadership (slightly veiled) challenge not take their eye off the ball even further?


  3. kfc1404,you are right,and when she get’s there,Iwill post a wonderful photo of her as a bridesmaid(with my wife!) at a top notch Society wedding in about 1970,so that the lefties can see her in her true colours,so to speak,the hypocrisy of these people never changes…


  4. If nasty Labour want to even think about entering the race at the next general election, they need to put their sharpest, most poisonous and most dangerous asset into the driving seat without any further delay.
    Chuka Umanna.
    Currently 12/1 and worth a tickle.


  5. Here in Sing at the last election there were many independent and party candidates.
    Independent supporters wore yellow t shirts, very little in the way of manifesto or party line more attention towards the individual. The Governments majority is slowly wearing down. looks like it works.


  6. William
    She is of course on the outer fringes of the mad Longford dynasty. She bought her London home, with a 2% subsidised GMB mortgage, off my former business partner.


  7. Wasn’t she also something to do the Paediophile Information Exchange in the 1960’s-70’s, promoting sex with children, or did I dream that I read that somewhere? May even have been on this blog?


  8. If only spitting image was still around what fun they would be having with hapless Ed Miliband. Just like Michael Foot he has become something of a national joke and no matter what he does it will always get reported in that light, an example being Michael Foots infamous donkey jacket at the Cenotaph. It never was a donkey jacket but hell why spoil a good story and it fitted perfectly with his public persona of scruffy disrespectful lefty.
    Ed is now the Inspector Jacques Clouseau of British politics, Its very entertaining and definitely adds to the gaiety of the nation and the Coalition probably can’t quite believe their luck. It has of course also reignited Labours dormant left right war so we can eagerly anticipate more players coming out to throw some mud, cue union Baron Len McClusky. The next part of the show will probably be Labours corrupt Scottish Raj going to war with their southern comrades in an attempt to hold on to what they’ve got left in Scotland as decades of malfeasance in office are brought to an end by the rise and rise of Alex Salmond. So I think we should all simply sit back and enjoy the spectre of a little bit of history repeating.


  9. “The next part of the show will probably be Labours corrupt Scottish Raj going to war with their southern comrades in an attempt to hold on to what they’ve got left in Scotland as decades of malfeasance in office are brought to an end by the rise and rise of Alex Salmond.”
    Mark, I think you’re right on this. The local elections in May are going to be particularly difficult for the labour party given the recent revelations about the two major city council’s shenanigans. Meanwhile, their siding with the Tory/Dems on the referendum issue has caused a huge surge in SNP membership.
    As you say – sit back and enjoy – and be prepared to deconstruct any b*ll*ox .


  10. I don’t suppose Diane- not- a- rascist- at -all, will seek support to be the first black PM. ‘Course she will have to bow and ask nicely all them whities for money and other forms of help. IF she became PM she would be asked to BOW to a white woman, dear me, dearie,dearie me. SO that rules her out.. ok looking at the benches for possible candidates..OMG!


  11. That would have been then. We know Harperson all too well. To pose the question Would she cede anything in the beauty stakes to Eva? is to have your answer.


  12. There’s no obvious “Goldilocks” candidate – they’re all too young or past it.
    The system is now so rotten that the only ones who rise to the top of the party heirarchy have deeply flawed personalities – c.f. G. Brown – so how will a credible leader emerge?
    My choice for Labour leader is D. Cameron – after all, he’s hopeless as a Tory.


  13. Well, I hadn’t thought of that… a replacement for Prince Philip perhaps?
    Oh how we will miss that ole headline catcher….. I really do miss G.W.Bush and his rants. He was a comedian of quality.


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