Left Watch

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Back to the '70s as Labour's far left crank up for selection battles

TimefrontpageI have discussed before the indulgent attitude that Ed Miliband takes towards the far left and also noted how blatant Len McCluskey of the Unite union had been about his intentions. Mr Miliband poor judgment was recently confirmed by his schmoozing of George Galloway.

Peter Watt, a former Labour Party General Secretary, has warned Ed Miliband that far left union activists are "running rings" the Labour leader in candidate selections. So far these have been for Euro Election candidates. Recently The Times splashed on the subject. Still, who cares about Euro MP selections as who cares about the European Parliament, aren't the Lefties more Eurosceptic than the Blairites anyway, etc.

However Mr Watt says the same will happen for selections for Labour candidates to be MPs at Westminster in their target seats at the next election.

He says:

"We shouldn’t be surprised; it is what the trade unions have been saying that they would do.  Unite have a political strategy that explicitly says that they will operate on this basis; get onto local committees, selection panels and regional boards and then wield power to get sympathisers selected."

Mr Watt warns Mr Miliband that he "needs to be prepared to do something about it. And Ed and his office need to wise up to this fast because right about now the trade unions are quietly running rings around them and soon will control much of the party. At some point, it will be more than just favoured sons and daughters on euro candidate lists that they are securing."

The death of Margaret Thatcher has prompted reminders of the state the country was in before she became Prime Minister. Part of the political narrative was of Marxists in the Labour Party mounting a determined effort to deselect social democrats. Harold Wilson and James Callaghan made some effort to resist it. Even Michael Foot did. Neil Kinnock really got stuck into the task. That meant that for John Smith, Tony Blair and Gordon Brown there wasn't too much of a problem.

Now the threat has returned. Ed Miliband strategy is to ignore it.

The media aren't very interested, so far. But they will be.