Mr Edward Psychokiller MP is showing the unions that elected him leader of the Labour Party who’s boss. This is a big deal, apparently, and several heads have already rolled.
Whatever happened with the Falkirk parliamentary candidate selection process – and union block votes are often used to sway the results of internal party procedures – the Unite union’s strategy to rescue Labour from the poncy middle-class academics who currently control it is a non-starter.
Trade unions may have founded the Labour Party, but that is no reason for them to continue being a formal part of the organisation. Unite should disaffiliate from Labour forthwith, and with other unions such as my own National Union of Journalists lobby Labour and other political parties, donating monies where, as and when appropriate.
As it happens, the NUJ doesn’t give money to parties, and rightly so, given the need for political impartiality in our trade. But there is no reason why Unite and other unions cannot act as corporate sponsors of political interests, Labour among them, according to the democratically decided wishes of union members. For a Tory prime minister to lecture Labour on corporate ethics is a bit of a cheek.