Tom Watson: Way the unions organise in the Labour Party “pretty hopeless”

July 5, 2013 10:35 am

Appearing on his local radio station BBC West Midlands today, Tom Watson argued that the influence of Trade Unions on the Labour Party is overstated, saying:

“I’m looking at this current row – I mean, I’m not belittling it, by the way, I realise it’s very serious, but it’s hard not to reflect that there’s an irony in it because looking at how the unions organise within the Labour party, I generally think they’re pretty hopeless. I don’t think there’s many trade union activists who get much of a say these days.

“And so, I don’t think it’s a problem, I do think there’s a lot of politics behind it. Obviously, David Cameron would like people to believe that the Labour party is in the hands of these left-wing factions – it’s just not true. But, you know, we’ve got to sort these arrangements out, clearly something has gone wrong in Falkirk that needs sorting out, but I think David Cameron’s portrayal of the situation – that everyone is in hoc to Len McCluskey – is just not true.”

  • Redshift1

    Too true. I’ve seen such pathetic selection challenges converting into PPC it’s almost laughable.

Latest

  • Scotland A day in Dundee – “my beloved rebel”

    A day in Dundee – “my beloved rebel”

    Dundee has a special place in my heart; it’s where I was born. Historically famous for its jute, jam and journalism this unique trio forged its reputation as a single minded strong willed maverick kind of place. Raised in a politically active family, the DNA runs deep, I’ve maintained a lifelong interest in the political landscape of that community, built beneath an extinct volcano, The Law. Its modern manifestation as the City of Discovery is a homage to its proud […]

    Read more →
  • Comment Was the referendum result good for the union, but bad for Labour?

    Was the referendum result good for the union, but bad for Labour?

    Was this the high water mark of secessionist sentiment in Scotland? At first it may seem an outlandish idea. Scottish Nationalism has been a riding tide for over thirty years – from fringe cause, to Westminster representation, to a Scottish parliament, minority government and then majority government. But something also broke in the movement this week. The SNP dominated Yes campaign ran to a large extent on the idea that if Scotland voted for independence, the hated Tories would never […]

    Read more →
  • News Join us in the LabourList Marquee in Manchester this week

    Join us in the LabourList Marquee in Manchester this week

    Thousands of Labour activists are in Manchester for Labour conference already, and thousands more are on their way in the coming days. LabourList will be in Manchester from the start of conference until the very end, covering everything from conference floor speeches to fringe events, announcements and gossip. But in addition, we’re also holding what is by far the biggest set of conference fringe events we’ve ever organised – most of which will take place in our special conference marquee […]

    Read more →
  • News Gordon Brown rules out return to frontline politics

    Gordon Brown rules out return to frontline politics

    After his spectacular return to prominence in the final weeks of the referendum campaign – with many crediting his interventions as crucial in securing a final swing towards the No campaign – rumours began to circulate that Gordon Brown might make a more permanent return to frontline politics. His barnstorming speech on Wednesday in particular reminded many in the Labour Party of what they once admired so much in the former PM. Yet today – as he spoke publicly about […]

    Read more →
  • News Miliband outlines housebuilding plans – including “New Homes Corporations” and public sector housing

    Miliband outlines housebuilding plans – including “New Homes Corporations” and public sector housing

    Last year Ed Miliband committed Labour to ensuring 200,000 homes are built each year by 2020. Whether or not that target is ambitious enough has been hotly contested over the past year, but as he arrived in Manchester for Labour conference today, Ed Miliband outlined how that target will be met – as the first of a series of “Labour’s plan for Britain’s Future” announcements. The proposals – the first to be revealed from an interim report of the party’s […]

    Read more →