British Blairites ban trade union leader from voting for Corbyn

This video from England says about itself:

Mark Serwotka – End Austerity Now – June 20th 2015

End Austerity Now – National Demonstration Saturday 20th June

Organised by The People’s Assembly

Assembled at 12pm, at the Bank of England (Queen Victoria St) City of London
Marched to Parliament Square

By Conrad Landin in Britain:

PCS union leader Serwotka barred from poll

Thursday 27th August 2015

MARK SERWOTKA has become the most senior trade unionist to be banned from voting in the Labour leadership election, in a move branded “a total joke.”

The leader of public-sector union PCS has been a vociferous supporter of frontrunner Jeremy Corbyn, encouraging members of his union to vote for the left-wing MP.

Hitting back, Mr Serwotka said: “It is extraordinary to be told you cannot vote because you don’t share Labour’s values when no-one (from the party) has spoken to me.

“I voted precisely because I share the aims and values of Jeremy Corbyn on anti-austerity, equality, a fair society and strong trade unions.

“Those are the messages I wanted to positively vote for. I have thought for some time we need a new approach to politics in Britain rather than the same old same old, and that is what Jeremy Corbyn is offering.”

It has been suggested Mr Serwotka was banned for his involvement in the Socialist Alliance in the early 2000s and having voiced support for Respect. But he said he had not been a member of a party for 20 years.

Let us compare Mr Serwotka to two senior members of the Blairite right wing in the Labour Party.

Lord Peter Mandelson, like Mr Serwotka … No, UNlike Mr Serwotka, he did not just say friendly things about parties other than Labour … he was a member of the youth branch of the British communist party. That was before he in his Blairite days became involved in one corruption scandal (and environmental illegal logging scandal) after another.

From Wikipedia:

John Reid, Baron Reid of Cardowan (born 8 May 1947) is a British Labour Party politician. He was a Member of Parliament from 1987 to 2010, and served in the Cabinet under Prime Minister Tony Blair in a number of positions. He was Health Secretary from 2003 to 2005, Defence Secretary from 2005 to 2006, and Home Secretary from 2006 to 2007.

John Reid, before becoming a baron; before becoming Tony Blair‘s Secretary of War … sorry, I should use the euphemism ‘Defence’, and Secretary of other things; and before his role in the infamous mercenary corporation G4S; and before his role in the MPs expenses scandal; used to be a Communist Party member.

So, these are only two ex-communist members among the Blairites.

I did not have the time for research into quite some other Blairites who used to be members of other political parties other than Labour.

What will the Blairite Labour party bureaucracy do about Baron Mandelson, Baron Reid, etc? etc? Will they treat these like Mark Serwotka and thousands of grassroots Jeremy Corbyn supporters? Don’t count on it. Very probably, as long as these barons and other right-wingers are true believers in the Blairite gospel of war here, war there, war everywhere, of Trident nuclear weapons, and of Thatcherite austerity making the rich richer and the poor poorer, there will be no questions about their non-Labour party pasts, and full freedom to vote for Liz Kendall or the two other Blairite leadership candidates.

The union leader, who is currently on the waiting list for a heart transplant, won cheers when he delivered a sharp rebuke to warmongering former prime minister Tony Blair at a rally for Mr Corbyn’s campaign.

“If I get called into hospital tonight, I will go into hospital hoping Jeremy wins, and I will come out of hospital with a new heart, still hoping Jeremy wins,” Mr Serwotka bellowed.

Mr Blair had cracked a joke suggesting transplants for Labour members who said “their heart” was with Mr Corbyn.

From daily News Line in Britain:

Serwotka said he hoped people would not be deflected by any attempt to destabilise the Labour leadership election process, and if anything, should be more determined to vote. Rail Maritime and Transport union (RMT) assistant general secretary Steve Hedley, speaking in a personal capacity, told News Line: ‘It’s a disgrace. When this leadership election was announced Harriet Harman said she wanted ex-Tories and others to vote.

‘Mark Serwotka has not been a member of any party for years, yet he’s been denied a vote. It’s unbelievable. The New Labourites are running scared, they don’t want any socialists in the party.’

FBU Executive Council member for London, Ian Leahair told News Line: ‘In July of this year I applied to be a full (unaffiliated) member of the Labour party, however at the beginning of the next month I was surprised to receive an email from the Labour party rejecting my application on the basis that I did not support the aims and views of the Labour party, or that I am a member of another organisation opposed to Labour.’

Acting leader Harriet Harman has insisted there will be no doubt about the ‘integrity’ of the Labour leadership contest following Labour reports that less than 1% of new supporters, around 3,100 people, have been blocked as infiltrators. However, under new party rules introduced last year, more than 160,000 people signed up to vote in the final days before the registration deadline.

The party initially said this brought the total size of the leadership electorate to 610,000. But that has now been revised down to 553,954 – a fall of almost 60,000 people, a lot more than the 3,100 that are said to have been purged.

The great Labour democrats launch a purge so that they can support the Tories: here.

MOST Labour activists think their party should focus on attracting non-voters rather than appealing to Tories, a new survey suggested yesterday. The poll of over 2,000 people on grassroots site LabourList also revealed that the vast majority have already voted for the party’s new leader: here.

16 thoughts on “British Blairites ban trade union leader from voting for Corbyn

  1. LOUISE MENSCH says she “cried” when the Conservatives won back her old Corby seat in the general election. But the Labour MP who replaced her in the 2012 by-election, and then lost the seat again, seems to be laughing all the way to the bank.

    Mensch says she was “thrilled” and driven to tears when Conservative Tom Pursglove unseated Labour’s Andy Sawford in May. Mensch might have been feeling guilty because Labour won the seat in the first place because she abandoned it, standing down to go to New York in 2012 to spend more time with her money.

    However, Sawford doesn’t seem that bothered about losing the seat himself: he has walked out of the Commons and straight into a new job as a boss of leading lobbying firm Connect Public Affairs.

    Five weeks after being kicked out by the electorate Sawford said he was joining Connect and “was delighted to be offered the opportunity to return to work with them as CEO. Connect is a great company. In my view it is the best in the business and is primed for even greater success and growth in the years ahead.” So losing his seat wasn’t such a bad thing.

    Connect say they can — for a price — help clients “engage with and build relationships with your most important political advocates. We know how to ensure your voice is heard by those who count.”

    Here are a few of the clients who can get their voices “heard” with the former Labour MP’s help: privatised utility British Gas; the European Azerbaijan Society, representatives of that nation’s authoritarian ruling elite; and Essential Living, a developer that wants to build private tower blocks and rent them to Londoners in a conscious effort to exploit “generation rent.” Essential Living also employs Tory former housing minister Mark Prisk.

    The Corby seat shows our Parliament sliding back to the kind of rottenness of the early 19th century, with seats either represented by rich hobbyists like Mensch, who might wander off at any moment, or hired guns like Sawford, who seem as happy representing foreign dictators or exploitative firms for cash as they do representing voters in Parliament.


  2. Friday 28th August 2015

    posted by Morning Star in Features

    by Paul Donovan

    Jeremy Corbyn will face three major challenges if elected leader of the Labour Party on 12 September.

    The challenges will come from the Parliamentary Labour Party, a hostile media and the Conservative government. Ironically enough it is the third of these that may prove the easiest to fulfil.

    The opposition of so much of the Parliamentary Party is a real problem. There is the party within a party known as the Progress group, which seeks to keep the flame of Blairism burning bright. This group, represented by Liz Kendall in the leadership election, are likely to oppose much of what Corbyn will try to enact. Leading Progress supporters, such as Chuka Umuna, have already said they will not serve under Corbyn in the shadow Cabinet. The Progress group seem the most likely to cause strife, maybe even leaving the party like the SDP did in the early 1980s. Others could coalesce around the rebels.

    Among other MPs there will also be opposition, though this may be more easily dissipated. The MP is first and foremost a creature driven by the need for self-preservation. As such, many MPs will be willing to give the Corbyn agenda a chance just to see if in the long term it might profit their own personal position and ambitions. Some no doubt will make a miraculous conversion to left wing politics almost overnight.

    Then there will be the left of the party who have backed Corbyn. They should be the ones taking up shadow cabinet positions, moving forward.

    The second problem area will be the media. The hostility to anything other than the mainstream neo-liberal orthodoxy has been clear for all to see over the period of the leadership election. Corbyn has received virtually unanimous hostility from across the mainstream media. Even the Guardian, which many expected to at least operate a level playing field has done its best to give voice to opposition to Corbyn. In the end the paper – not a Labour supporting publication over the years – felt the need to guide its readers by backing Yvette Cooper for the leadership. The Mirror has backed Andy Burnham, whilst the Independent has not made a recommendation.

    The old mantras about the 1980s and such like are likely to continue with the media. Where things may change is if the transition from simply a leadership campaign for a left candidate continues to become a mass movement for an anti-austerity agenda. So if the 600,000 eligible to vote in the leadership election morphs into a couple of million or more, enthused further by what it sees from a Corbyn led Labour Party then some of the media – particularly on the liberal side of the market – will start to change their hostile position.

    The Conservative Party may not be as happy as some in the media have prophesied with a Corbyn led Labour Party. It is not difficult to imagine David Cameron being rather non-plused by Corbyn at Prime Minister Questions. A man failing to rise to person vitriol, attacking from a position grounded in social justice and socialist based principles.

    The sort of dilemmas that Corbyn could face as leader with all three of these challenges could come together on the subject of the European Union. So far he has declared that he would campaign to quit the EU if Dave Cameron’s renegotiation is about “trading away workers’ rights, trading away environmental protection and trading away much of what is in the social chapter.”

    The EU as presently constituted represents the embodiment of neo-liberalism. Indeed, if Corbyn wants to achieve many of his policies, such as renationalisation rail and the utilities, then remaining in the EU probably won’t be an option. The country would need to get back control over its own sovereignty.

    But what if Corbyn were to set a steady ant-EC course putting himself at the front of the no vote campaign come the referendum. It would cause consternation amongst the Tories who are already split on the issue. In the country, it would help bring back the Labour core vote that has deserted to UKIP. The policy would also be popular with many of Labour’s traditional opponents. Such a stand would not be popular with the SNP in Scotland but again would set Labour out as distinct and apart from the Scottish nationalists and their version of anti-austerity politics.

    The biggest problem Corbyn would have would be with his own party who are overwhelmingly pro-Europe. It could be another cause for splits. So a policy that could really appeal to the wider electorate in the country and split the Tories may founder on the need to keep the Parliamentary Labour Party unity. So the issue of Europe nicely illustrates some of the problems Corbyn would be likely to face moving forward.

    What does seem for sure is that winning the leadership of the Labour Party is only likely to be the start of the challenges facing Corbyn. The need to square the circle of keeping Parliamentary party unity and opposing the Tories whilst winning support in the country will be the real challenge. But if the left agenda that Corbyn leads continues to draw in support across the generations then dealing with all the issues will become a lot easier.

    * see:


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  9. Thursday 3rd March 2016

    posted by Morning Star in Britain

    LABOUR chiefs have finally allowed two left-wing union leaders to rejoin the party.

    Fire Brigades Union general secretary Matt Wrack and Public and Commercial Services union leader Mark Serwotka both applied to join Labour following the election of Jeremy Corbyn in September.

    Mr Wrack was active in the Labour Party Young Socialists before going on to join the Socialist Party, which he had left by the time he was elected to lead the FBU in 2005. His union disaffiliated from Labour in 2004 but reaffiliated last November.

    Mr Serwotka, whose union has never been affiliated, had previously lent his support to to the Greens and Respect but joined Mr Corbyn’s leadership campaign last summer.

    Now Labour’s national executive has accepted membership applications from both men. A previous rumour that Mr Wrack’s constituency party in Leyton and Wanstead had objected to his application is thought to be untrue.

    The executive also reversed the expulsions of several activists yesterday, some of whom were involved in far-left groups that work within Labour. But others have been expelled on similar grounds more recently.


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