Tomorrow, Sunday, Falkirk West Constituency Labour Party will meet to discuss ‘events’. They’ll be addressed by Eric Wilson, the UK party officer who led the ‘Unite fixing’ inquiry – the one which concluded that nothing untoward happened. Labour members will have in their hands copies of the Sunday papers providing more detail about who fixed what, when and how. Wilson is a good man; he knows exactly what went on but is unable to tell the truth. That’s because the Labour Party has yet to act in the face of overwhelming evidence of Unite lying, bullying and seeking to fix a selection for a close friend of Unite’s general secretary.
Sunday’s meeting will be chaired by Gray Allan, best known locally as the Militant Tendency chap from the olden days. That’s because Stephen Deans remains chair and will be absent, so his supporter Allan will be on hand to ensure there are no democratic votes for a new chair, or any of that sort of nonsense. Eric Wilson may be under some pressure to explain, therefore, why it is that the local party can’t now get back to normal – and elect a new chair and committee – while letting the central party organise the candidate selection. Without a new chair, Deans and his buddies are indeed still in charge. To add to the fun, Johann Lamont has been asked by the largest branch to pop along to show some leadership. That seems unlikely to happen, though, eh?
Anyway, the meeting will take place at the Camelon Labour Club – the place that’s seen Falkirk Labour through thick and thin over the years. Also the place Alistair Campbell famously had his nervous breakdown while escorting Neil Kinnock on a visit there. During that visit, Gray Allan was removed from the club to the other side of the road so he couldn’t shove the Militant newspaper he was vending into Kinnock’s face. He protested that he was a Labour member and was told by the Camelon stalwart who moved him; “you might be on paper, but if you’re selling THAT paper you can f*** off”. It’s not certain that it’s Allan who actually gave Campbell his breakdown, but you never can tell…..
Meanwhile, back at the ranch, that other Militant Tendency chap from the olden days, Len McCluskey, and his Communist Chief of Staff Andy Murray, continue to convince the party that their union has been wronged by a big bad employer and by The Labour Party itself. The party seems wholly unable to distinguish between competent, decent trade union organising and Unite’s intimidation, incompetence and bogus politics. Either that, or it’s simply too afraid. With the majority of the Scottish shadow cabinet members of and sponsored by Unite, and with a huge number of MPs in the same basket, it’s looking awfully like the latter.