This is the statement published today by filmmaker Ken Loach on the contest for the general secretary’s position at Unite.
Your decision affects us all.
As a trade unionist I know that the first task of a union is to defend jobs, wages and conditions. I also know that we need a government that understands our interests if we are to succeed.
The Tories and New Labour gave us privatisation, out-sourcing, low pay and job insecurity. We now have the chance to build a Labour Party that will reverse these disasters. That is an essential part of our struggle.
It would be foolish to put our heads in the sand and say we can stand aside from this.
That is why I hope Unite members will re-elect Len McCluskey. He, and Unite, have made a great contribution to establishing Labour’s new leadership. We all recognise there is a long way to go and there is much urgent work ahead. For example, Labour needs a stronger team and better presentation.
We also need to defend the principles that brought Jeremy Corbyn two outstanding victories. If we want an NHS free of private contractors, public services renewed, investment in the good jobs everyone needs then we must stand alongside him, John McDonnell and the new leadership.
Get this right and we can win. Turn our backs and we will be back to the dark days when Labour was too close to the Tories.
This is a great opportunity, with the hopes of so many in the balance. We know that the press, broadcasters and the political establishment are on the attack. Therefore, at this very critical time, I hope that Len McCluskey wins your support. Your decision affects us all.