David Blunkett has today called for the Labour Party’s report on Falkirk to be released. I hope he’s listened to, and in short order.
The report, I’m guessing, includes a simple analysis and cross-referencing of names and addresses to see if people who’ve been signed-up are actually present at the addresses given. In addition, there’ll be inferences drawn from interviews with people who say they never signed up in the first place. There may also be additional material about processes inside the Labour Party and, obviously, conclusions with recommendations. It won’t be possible to release the names and addresses of course, since that would breach the rights of the blameless individuals concerned. But it should be perfectly possible to put out enough information to make in perfectly plain what’s been going on. Without that, Unite ‘s leadership will continue to bluster that they haven’t got access to information they know perfectly well they have.
It’s worth re-flagging a few points about Unite’s approach to this whole mess (I initiated the mess, of course; Unite’s leadership followed through with their less-than-cunning plans).
First, Unite used to be the champions of skilled workers acquiring qualifications. Now we know that if workers do get qualifications their Union’s leadership will regard them as middle-class sell-outs. Unless they happen to be a well-paid union official, of course. Or a close friend of one.
Second, Unite’s middle-class Scotland Secretary, Pat Rafferty, has been accusing his critics of ‘hiding in the shadows’. Unite’s middle-class political officer, Jennie Formby, has argued that Unite is desperate to hear what allegations are being made. Odd, then, that I have been for weeks receiving letters from Unite’s middle-class lawyers threatening to sue me for defamation because I’ve been doing just that. No proceedings have actually been initiated yet, mind you. I wonder why?
Third, it’s well worth remembering that most long-standing members of Falkirk CLP then Falkirk West and East CLPs are trades unionists. Also that most trades unions have always been aware they could dominate Labour Party processes but are careful not to tear the arse out of it since they know if they do they’ll actually end up losing power and influence. Guess what Unite’s just done?
Let’s see what happens over the next 24 hours. Starting with Channel 4 News tonight.