It can now be revealed how the surprise victory of Ed Miliband was engineered.
Shortly after the General Election defeat of the Brown led, Labour Government, Left wing Trades Union leaders met in secret to hatch a plan to take Labour back from the hated ‘Blair New Labourites’. David Miliband, seen by them as Blair’s anointed successor, was by now not flavour of the month with this group and they were determined to stop him at any cost, if they could.
At the meeting were, GMB General Secretary Paul Kenny, Unison General Secretary Dave Prentis, CWU General Secretary Billy Hayes and Unite joint General Secretaries Tony Woodley and Derek Simpson.
In what was described as a ‘carve up’ it was decided that one of the Eds, would do as the ‘stop David at any cost’ candidate.
These Union Barons, emboldened by the fact that the balance on the Labour benches in Parliament had shifted in the union’s favour because of the attention paid by them to the selection battles for the new intake of MPs. They had ensured that a high proportion of the new intake were sympathetic to their narrow left wing world view and Simpson did not tire of pointing this fact out, to all who would listen.
Make no mistake in the view of these union barons, their plan was to wrest control of the Labour Party from it’s members and to make it ‘bend the knee’ to the Trades Unions in a way not seen since the 1970’s.
Ed Balls, the former Schools Minister when sounded out, refused to be anything like as co-operative as Ed Miliband in allowing himself to be portrayed as the prisoner of the unions and would not allow himself to be compromised in this way.
Ed Miliband however was a different kettle of fish entirely, he had no qualms in shedding responsibility for the mistakes of the previous thirteen years, don’t forget he has only been in Parliament since the 2005 General Election, a mere five years, and by close of poll had repudiated most, if not all, of last Mays manifesto, incredible when you realise that he was the author!
Ed Miliband’s extraordinarily flexible approach to principle, won him the support of this secret cabal of union Barons and they prepared for their coup, bringing all their vast resources to bear upon this task. Manipulating Labours rules to the point where both the letter and the spirit were broken in a casual way and in one case voting differently to their consultative ballot result, the CWU led by Billy Hayes.
We now learn that ten percent of all ballot papers in the Trade Union Section of Labours electoral college did not count and were rejected for want of a tick in the box. This incredibly high rejection rate amongst the very small number voting in these ballots will have skewed this result, we are talking here about 36,500 rejected votes a not inconsiderable number compared to the current Labour Party membership of 170,000 or less. Equivalent to over a fifth of the memberships opinions rejected!
In the case of the GMB there is a row going on as to the ‘legality’ of their ballot because undue influence was brought to bear when they sent out their ballot papers in the now infamous envelope.
The 'infamous' rule breaking envelope
The comrades were reportedly in celebratory mood after their coup and were seen and heard celebrating around the bars and fringe meetings at Labour’s conference. Fortunately they have all gone very camera shy otherwise this could have been turned into an albatross around Eds neck if any of this was recorded for posterity.
In the evening Derek Simpson, the soon to be Ex-Joint General Secretary of Unite (He retires on 23 December 2010. Hooray!!!) in the Radisson Edwardian Hotel bar has been reported to have crowed about the result along with Charlie Whelan and it’s implications for the future of the left, in ways that would not be entirely helpful to the new leader when trying to distance himself from them in public and on television. One of those present bragged how the Unite-sponsored Labour MPs were brought into line. The union spent the whole of the TUC week arm-twisting MPs (many of whom backed Ed Balls) to make sure they used their second preferences for Ed Miliband. Neither Derek Simpson nor Charlie Whelan are likely to be able to remember the whole evening, it has been reported. Fingers are no doubt crossed, in Labour ranks, that none of this will reach us online, we shall see?
Ed Miliband on the Andrew Marr Show, broadcast on the BBC on Sunday morning, was already furiously rowing back from promises made to the unions, declaring himself to be ‘his own man’. His ability to change view is almost chameleon like in it’s flexibility and speed of colour change.
Red Ed to cuddly voter friendly pale pink Ed who doesn’t frighten the voters, in a single night! Extraordinary!
Derek and Tony - United by dislike! Brotherly Love On Show?
*Derek Simpson – A member of the Communist Party of Great Britain until its disbanding in 1991, he joined the Labour Party in 1994. A ‘Democratic Centralist’ with ruthless determination for control, Stalinist some would say comfortable with the vocabulary of the left. Those less charitable, describe him as a control freak megalomaniac! One thing is for sure, Tony Woodley can’t stand him! Useful if you are trying to run a union as Joint General Secretaries, I would have thought? Reports indicate, that the feeling as far as Derek is concerned, is entirely mutual. No basis for running a whelk stall evidently!