Corbyn Ahead on 43% of votes! No Thanks to McCluskey

Vote for Jeremy Corbyn
Jeremy Corbyn looks set to become the next Labour leader, according to a new poll today.

Some 43 per cent of party supporters have said they would choose the left-wing MP as their first preference in the Labour leadership ballot, research for YouGov for The Times has found.

The study also predicted that Kendall and Cooper would be eliminated, and the redistribution of votes under the Alternative Vote system would see Mr Corbyn beat Mr Burnham by 53 per cent to 47 per cent in the final round, respectively.

Lenny blows out Left
This comes amid reports in the Guardian that Unite General Secretary Len McCluskey had advised the union's Executive not to back Corbyn.

John McTernan, a former special adviser to Tony Blair in Downing Street, described the poll figures as “disastrous”, and labelled as "morons" MPs who had nominated Corbyn for the sole purpose of broadening debate within the party.

You can register as a Labour Party Supporter here and for £3 get a vote in the leadership election.

Previous story: Unite Back Corbyn ('..he might just win').

Jeremy Corbyn in Lead

The only left candidate takes the lead, based on policy and personality.
Don't miss out on spending £3 to be a small part of history - reclaiming the Labour party for the Left.  You can register as a Labour Party Supporter here and get a vote in the leadership election.

Previous stories:  Vote for Jeremy Corbyn and Unite Backs Corbyn

Complaints, complaints

Weir, Adrian - Unite Asst Chief of Staff
David Beaumont, a founder member of Grass Roots Left in Unite, has now responded to the original complaints made against him by three members of the BASSA branch committee.  The complaints were used to begin an investigation carried out by Adrian Weir, Unite Assistant Chief of Staff. The complainants are calling for the expulsion of David from the union.


_____________________________________________
From: david@dearunite.com [mailto:david@dearunite.com]
Sent: 10 July 2015 13:17
To: 'Adrian.Weir@unitetheunion.org'
Subject: BASSA branch complaints


Dear Mr Weir,


On Tuesday this week your line manager [Mr Murray] informed me that he has received new complaints about me and has added them to your investigation. Doing this would appear to be a breach by him of Rule 27 Appendix 5, 2.3. 

He has not sent me these new complaints despite my request. He has also refused to disclose if any of the three complaints that I have seen arose from a branch meeting (and therefore had antecedent complaints, which I also have not seen). He is in effect withholding information from me which you have as part of your investigation. Therefore I am at a disadvantage in responding to your letter of 2/7/15 and I do not feel in a position to properly address the complaints against me (having not seen them all!) or to properly contribute to your investigation.

Line Manager Murray
What I will say is that my website postings relate to BASSA Branch and its ex-chair Lizanne Malone. I believe this branch is corrupt and that it broke bad several years ago. I have already proven in court that the branch made invalid nominations in breach of rule in the last Unite Executive elections. I have already proven in court that Lizanne Malone held office on the Unite Executive in breach of union rule. It has already been disclosed in open court that over £1/2 million of monies is unaccounted for in the branch and is only listed in the disclosed accounts as 'sundries', with no breakdown. The branch and the union have repeatedly delayed inspection of their books by a member of that branch, who is looking to discover what this and other similar sums were spent on. I believe large amounts of BASSA branch money have been misappropriated. The branch committee are actively pursuing grass roots members of the branch as I write. At least one member of the branch has left the union in disgust at their behaviour.

In the circumstances the union should be investigating the branch committee rather than investigating their retaliatory complaints against me. 

Lastly you ask for 'my views on my comments about Lizanne Malone at the foot of page3'. I am not clear which comments you want my view on. The page you refer to seems to have over half a dozen comments or statements of fact about Ms Malone. Please would you clarify which ones you want me to address?

I wonder if you would expect an employer to treat a union member in this way.

David Beaumont

Meanwhile the BASSA branch treasurer Marcel Devereux has joined in against David, with a rather ridiculous new complaint:

Adrian Smith BASSA Branch Secretary
From: Marcel Devereux Treasurer
Sent: 04 July 2015 15:47
To: Murray, Andrew D. Chief of Staff
Subject: Complaint

Dear Andrew

I find it distasteful that this website is publishing photographs of our ex Chair Lizanne Malone and our current branch secretary Adrian Smith, which I presume has the sole purpose of trying to ridicule them.

Who will be next?

Yours sincerely

Marcel Devereux Treasurer 1/2000



Previous story here: "Unite Complaint Saga Latest"






 

Osborne Screws the Poor - It's Official

Bullingdon Club, Osborne (No. 1)
The graph above from the respected Institute for Fiscal Studies says it all.  Follow the white line.  As a result of the budget, the richest 10% of the population are £200 a year worse off .  The next richest 10% are nearly £200 a year better off.  The people who are really screwed are the poorest 10% at minus £800 a year and the next poorest 10% at a staggering minus £1,300, 7.5% of their net income.

Sadly many of them must have voted Tory.

Newsnight's dumbed down version of the graph:


Both graphs include all the budget changes, including Osborne's 'National Living Wage' wheeze.

Meet the New Greek Finance Minister

You wouldn't think it would be possible for Greece to get a better finance minister than Yanis Varoufakis but judge Euclid Tsakalotos for yourself in this outstanding speech:



Unite Rules Conference

The union's rules conference is going on this week in sunny Brighton.  Even the Right wing group in the union 'Unite Now' are getting frustrated with the 'dictatorship of the bureaucracy' within Unite. In case you don't read their well funded if poorly written website, here is their article in full:

"Rules conference and this Union belongs to you the members – don’t surrender it to Executive Officers!khjkhj
holiday_pay
The Executive Officers of this union have really stacked the outcomes at this conference in their favour to keep control of our union.   

Delegates need to know that all EC statements & proposed rule amendments were tabled at EC meetings by the Executive Officers - none were tabled by EC members. In addition the Executive Officers published a document detailing what conference amendments should be opposed and which supported - the EC lazily nodded through and supported 99% of the Executive Officers recommendations! So ask yourself who is really running this so-called ‘lay led’ union?

Regarding the running of conference the manipulation continues. Standing Orders – the procedures through which the conference is governed - are drafted by the Executive Officers & Executive Council. In the current proposed draft Standing Orders for rules conference which delegates will be asked to approve or oppose on the first day the following new clause has now been added:
“Should a motion to amend the rules submitted by the EC be included in any grouping of motions it shall be voted upon first and, if carried, all other motions in that group shall fall. In any reply, the EC speaker shall speak at the conclusion of the debate.”

Given there is no time limit for registering EC rule amendments/statements they can be written when all other amendments are known and written in such a way (covering several clauses of a rule) to group and ‘take-out’ a number of undesirable amendments.

In the debate where a proposed rule amendment is grouped with an EC statement or EC amendment, the EC will always speak first. They will then be followed by the mover and seconder of every other rule amendment in the grouping. Speakers from the floor will then be called to the rostrum for their contributions however crucially movers of motions will no longer have the last right of reply, but instead the EC will have the last right of reply (if standing orders are accepted by conference).

When voting on the proposals the EC statement/amendment will always be taken first - last say First vote - and if the first vote carries then all other grouped amendments fall without even being voted on! Even more worryingly the grouping of motions can lead to motions falling to EC statements that don’t even cover the issue they deal with - this must be challenged!

Delegates need to remember that EC statements are not covered by Rule or Conference Standing Orders so why are they even allowed by the Standing Orders Committee? This should be challenged!
This manipulation of standing orders to control conference is far reaching. The statements on the Labour Party and Retired members contain actual rule changes within them – so why didn’t the EC issue specific rule change amendments rather than issue statements?

At the other end of the spectrum the EC statement on Appointment of Officers changes nothing at all, it is in fact a policy statement and should therefore not be used to knock out actual proposed amendments to rule submitted democratically by delegates via branches and committees – this should be challenged!
When taken together the result of all this is that 154 out of 174 (nearly 90%) of the ordinary conference amendments fall against Executive Officer opposition as expressed through EC Statements, amendments or opposition!

And the Executive Officers are even trying to further secure their control going forward by proposing rule amendments to policy and rules conference (EC Amendments 12/1 & 13/1) that would give the EC authority to issue ‘directions’ to conference - these EC amendments should be vehemently opposed!


The Executive Officers already have control over the Executive Council - do not let them get in control of our Policy & Rules conferences or we will be stung forever!"
Its rather ironic that 'Unite Now' opposed the proposal for election rather than appointment of officials, and still do.  It's the only solution and Grass Roots Left are the only group in Unite that support it.

You must conclude that 'Unite Now' don't oppose dictatorship of the bureaucracy in itself, they only oppose it when the bureaucracy isn't their bureaucracy.

Unite Back Corbyn

Unite have decided to back Jeremy Corbyn for Labour leader. This partly redeems the union from their disgraceful failure in 2007 to back John McDonnell (or indeed anyone) against the unelectable Gordon Brown. (Incidentally it also means dearunite.com and the union agree for once). 

John McDonnell MP - the best leader Labour never had
Had they backed McDonnell in 2007, and so stopped Brown being appointed unopposed, McDonnell may not have won but his name would be familiar to the MPs, public and the party, ready for the inevitable 2010 leadership contest.  Instead, in 2010, the only credible remotely Left candidate was the unelectable Ed Milliband.

One of the few good things Milliband did was to make the election of leader a democratic process.  Now members votes count equally with MPs.  Before that, one MP's vote was worth 1,230 ordinary members' or trade union members' votes (because the vote power was split evenly 3 ways between 262 MPs, 122,806 party members and 199,671 trade union members). Not to mention that each MP got another vote as as a Labour party member and another as a trade union member.

Vote Corbyn
It seems  the Right wing of the Labour Party thought that this new-fangled democracy was safe enough because they had inserted an impossibly high hurdle, so as to exclude the Left:  Candidates had to get 15% of the MPs to nominate them in order to appear on the ballot paper.  No Marxist candidate could get 35 MPs, each on £1/4 million a year (£67K salary plus around £200K in claimable expenses, free central London parking, subsidised meals, £56K golden goodbye, gold plated pension, etc... etc...).

Fortunately many of these grossly overpaid Labour MPs are out of touch with ordinary Party and trade union members and may have underestimated them.   Those on the far Right of the party like Frank Field who must surely have nominated Corbyn for a laugh have actually shot themselves in the foot.  He just might win...

Previous stories:  Vote for Jeremy Corbyn

World's top 26 Economists back Syriza

In an essay published on Friday morning in the Financial Times, 26 of the world’s most renowned economic minds proclaimed their solidarity with Syriza, Greece’s ruling anti-austerity party.

The article’s authors—a group that includes Joseph Stiglitz and Thomas Piketty —summarized their message as a “plea for economic sanity and humanity.”

Arguing that the fate of the European Union depends on the ability of Greece and its creditor institutions to compromise, they demanded that the European Union provide “forbearance and finance to promote structural reform and financial recovery,” and that Greece demonstrate “credible commitment” to reform and playing “a positive role in the EU.”
http://inthesetimes.com/article/18020/joseph-stiglitz-thomas-piketty-greece-syriza-austerity

Unite Complaint Saga Latest



From: david@dearunite.com [mailto:david@dearunite.com]
Sent: 01 July 2015 10:14
To: 'Murray, Andrew D. Unite Chief of Staff'
Subject: RE: complaints about Ewing, Malone, Smith


Dear Andrew,

Further to my complaint against BASSA ex-Chair Lizanne Malone of 29/6/15
"Rule 27.1.2 Being a party to any fraud on the Union or any misappropriation or misuse of its funds or property.
Ms Malone continued to claim expenses from the union for the period 1 May 2014 to about 15 December 2014 which is either fraud, misappropriation or misuse of union funds."

 I attach further detail for consideration by the Unite Executive.  Specifically Ms Malone made three expense claims during the period when she was not entitled to be a member of our union's Executive.  You kindly sent me the expense claims below on 27/1/15 and, for your assistance, I append them:



Therefore the total amount of Unite funds which I believe has been defrauded, misappropriated or misused, relating to this complaint, is £1,351.60. There may be other claims that I am not aware of.

Points to note:
1) There can be no doubt that Ms Malone was not eligible to hold office on the Executive for this period.  This has been tested in court. 
2) Ms Malone would have been aware, at least by the time of the second claim, that she may not be entitled to sit on the Executive -  as you know I first told you this on 16/6/14.  In any case it cannot be a defence to a breach of rule that you 'did not think you were breaching that rule'. 
3) I am not aware that Ms Malone has refunded these monies to the union,  I assume she has not.  She certainly should but in any case, as a point of principle a burglar returning stolen goods after being caught out does not entitle them not to be charged with the crime. 

As Ms Malone herself wrote (in her misconceived complaint against me) "Given the serious nature I would expect an investigation into this matter to commence within 7 days".  I submit that this matter is significantly more serious than her complaint, which amounted mostly to a claim that I am attempting to discredit her.  It must surely be in her interest as well as yours and mine to clear up this lost £1,351 as soon as possible, otherwise she discredits herself.

Therefore I look forward to hearing from you within 7 days.

David
 



Previous story here: "Unite Goes Messenger Hunting"

Unite Goes Messenger Hunting

Unite Chief of Staff Murray
Rather than investigate the proven breaches of union rules by Los Angeles Liz illegally staying on the Executive , by her branch making illegal nominations to the Executive and the whitewash Prof Ewing report into it all, last week the Unite Executive decided instead to investigate member David Beaumont.

 

David, jointly with Executive candidate Lesley Mansell and with the help of many BASSA branch members, had made the initial complaint which brought the illegal activity to light.

 

Andrew Murray, McCluskey's chief of staff, wielded the lead piping on 12th June:

David wrote back:

"Dear Andrew

I refer to your letter dated 12th June 2015 commencing an investigation against me and threatening disciplinary proceedings against me under rule 27 1.5, which I received today.

I have had no previous notice of this. I have not seen or heard any complaints made against me. The Executive Council decision was taken without any consultation with me or notice to me. At no time have I been asked to respond to any complaints. In short the decision is peremptory.

Please immediately forward to me:

1) Copies of all complaints made against me.

2) The minutes of the Executive council meeting where this decision was made.

3) A copy of the decision itself and any supporting materials provided to the Executive Council in the making of that decision.

4) All the EC guidance you rely on, and/or were considered by the Executive Council and/or you intend to use against me. It is not good enough to say that 'you know I am familiar with the Unite rule book'.

David"

Colonel Murray has 'previous' on threatening members, having written to Executive candidate Lesley Mansell  back in July 2014:

"To be clear, I do not wish to initiate disciplinary action against you, nor to refer this matter to the Executive Council under rule, particularly given your distinguished history in the movement. However, I am required to protect the integrity of our procedures, which your false allegations against myself have clearly compromised. I would therefore be grateful if you could send me an acknowledgement of your mistake in respect of the three statements listed above, and a commitment not to repeat such false allegations to the Election Commissioner or anyone else in future."

Lesley refused to apologise and the Certification Officer subsequently found in her favour.

LA Malone
BASSA Secretary Smith
David finally received sight of the complaints on 26th June. The complaints dated from 26th May and were from BASSA ex-chair Lizanne Malone , BASSA secretary Adrian Smith and current BASSA chair Sean Beatty. The complaints were personal and had not been endorsed by a BASSA branch meeting.

David commented "It's embarrassing to be part of a union where the bureaucracy behave like this.  How can they honestly confront the worst employers who treat their staff the same way?"


He responded by trying to get the union to investigate the rule breakers, rather than the messengers. Unlike the union bureaucracy, he is happy to make the complaints in public rather than in secret:


"Dear Andrew

Please find below complaints against members of my union. I trust they will be investigated in the same way and timescale as complaints made against me.

Complaint against member Keith Ewing, Unite Election Commissioner.
 

I assume Prof Ewing is a member of Unite, if not please let me know and I will withdraw this complaint. Assuming he is a member, I note that he is not an employee of the union and therefore does not obtain the immunity afforded to you by rule 28.1.

Rule 27.1.1 Acting in any way contrary to the rules or any duty or obligation imposed on that member by or pursuant to these rules whether in his/her capacity as a member, a holder of a lay office or a representative of the Union.
Prof Ewing by his own admission failed to investigate BASSA branch:
 "I did not investigate further whether 7 days’ notice was given to members, whether nominations appeared on the agenda, or whether there was a request for endorsement or a vote on the nominations. This is because on the basis of the investigations already conducted (including in particular my conversation with the branch secretary), it was not necessary to do so for the purpose of dealing with this complaint."
It was subsequently found at the Certification Office that the branch had not complied with these basic requirements of rule. Prof Ewing clearly had an obligation and duty under rule 16.28 to investigate the complaint against BASSA branch. By his own admission he failed to do so. 


Rule 27.1.3 Knowingly, recklessly or in bad faith providing the Union with false or misleading information relating to a member or any other aspect of the Union’s activities. Prof Ewing came to the wrong conclusion in his report on the issue of invalid nominations by the BASSA branch in the Executive Elections. This is evidenced by the Certification Office ruling 15th May 2015. As per the complaint above, Prof Ewing knowingly did not investigate the issues which BASSA branch was subsequently found guilty of, despite them being brought to his attention by candidate Lesley Mansell. Therefore I believe his report to the union was false or misleading relating to BASSA branch's activities. If am wrong that Mr Ewing knowingly provided a false or misleading report than I maintain that he was reckless in providing it without proper investigation of the complaints made by Lesley Mansell.

Rule 27.1.5 Bringing about injury to or discredit upon the Union or any member of the Union.
By his breaches above I believe Prof Ewing resulted in the union losing a case at the Certification Office which was then publicly reported in Private Eye magazine, which brought discredit and injury upon the union.


Complaint against member Lizanne Malone, ex-chair BASSA branch.

Rule 27.1.1 Acting in any way contrary to the rules or any duty or obligation imposed on that member by or pursuant to these rules whether in his/her capacity as a member, a holder of a lay office or a representative of the Union.  
a) Ms Malone held office on our union's executive illegally from about 1 May 2014 to about 15 December 2014 in breach of rule 6.2. See the Certification Office ruling 15/5/15 to this effect.

b) According to the Certification Officer ruling of 15/5/15 the BASSA branch meeting of 13 January 2014 to nominate candidates to the union's executive was not properly convened in breach of rule 16.8. The branch did not give notice that nominations would be included in the business of that meeting. The branch breached rule 16.8 of the union rules when the BASSA branch convened a nomination meeting without having given correct notice of that meeting. As branch chair at the time Ms Malone is responsible for the actions that gave rise to those breaches.



Rule 27.1.2 Being a party to any fraud on the Union or any misappropriation or misuse of its funds or property.
Ms Malone continued to claim expenses from the union for the period 1 May 2014 to about 15 December 2014 which is, I believe, either fraud, misappropriation or misuse of union funds.

Rule 27.1.3 Knowingly, recklessly or in bad faith providing the Union with false or misleading information relating to a member or any other aspect of the Union’s activities.
Ms Malone failed to tell the union she was ineligible to hold office on the executive for the period from about 1 May 2014 to about 15 December 2014. Therefore by omission I believe she knowingly, recklessly or in bad faith provided the union with false or misleading information.

Rule 27.1.5 Bringing about injury to or discredit upon the Union or any member of the Union.
By her breaches above Ms Malone resulted in the union losing a case at the Certification Office which was then publicly reported in Private Eye magazine edition 1395 June 2015, which brought discredit and injury upon the union.


Complaint against member Adrian Smith, secretary BASSA Branch. 

Rule 27.1.1 Acting in any way contrary to the rules or any duty or obligation imposed on that member by or pursuant to these rules whether in his/her capacity as a member, a holder of a lay office or a representative of the Union.
According to the Certification Officer ruling of 15/5/15 the BASSA branch meeting of 13 January 2014 to nominate candidates to the union's executive was not properly convened in breach of rule 16.8. The branch did not give notice that nominations would be included in the business of that meeting. The branch breached rule 16.8 of the union rules when the BASSA branch convened a nomination meeting without having given correct notice of that meeting. As branch secretary it is Mr Smith's actions that gave rise to those breaches.

Rule 27.1.3 Knowingly, recklessly or in bad faith providing the Union with false or misleading information relating to a member or any other aspect of the Union’s activities.
Mr Smith in his witness statement at the Certification Office hearing stated that "No mention is made of the nomination process in the agenda as this is not necessary under the Rules." This statement is untrue and incorrect. It is I believe false and misleading. The statement was provided to the union by Mr Smith and used by the union at the hearing. Mr Smith made it knowingly. He repeated it as a witness at the hearing and under cross examination. If I am wrong that it was made knowingly then it is surely reckless for a Branch Secretary to wrongly pronounce on the rules of the union relating to his branch's conduct.


Rule 27.1.5 Bringing about injury to or discredit upon the Union or any member of the Union. By his breaches above Mr Smith resulted in the union losing a case at the Certification Office which was then publicly reported in Private Eye magazine edition 1395 June 2015, which brought discredit and injury upon the union.

Please confirm receipt of these complaints and keep me updated with their progress.

David"


LA Malone is clearly on first name terms with 'Lenny' McCluskey, see this extract from her complaint:




Unite Election Commissioner Ewing
Meanwhile the hunt for the £1/2 million in BASSA branch 'sundries' continues, as well as for other huge amounts of expenditure by the branch. 

A new Certification Office public hearing is set for 29th July.