Tendance Coatesy

Left Socialist Blog

Unite Elections: Skwawkbox Launches Last-Ditch Campaign for Beckett.

with 2 comments


Desperate Plea for Help from Skwawkbox.

One of the strangest figures, a would-be ‘player’ in the UNITE General Secretary elections, is businessman Steve Walker.

“Steve Turner is out in front with more than 420 nominations, executive officer for organising and leverage Sharon Graham is next with almost 300, assistant general secretary (politics and legal) Howard Beckett is so far third with around 270 and Gerard Coyne has surpassed the obligatory 172 with 180.”

His now running a last ditch campaign for his favourite old mucker and generous benefactor Howard Beckett.

Watson deletes claim McCluskey pressured over candidates – as Beckett reaches 353 nominations

The one the Right attack most, is obviously the correct choice. Howard Beckett is the correct choice. The ONLY choice to save True Labour. As Hodge itself said, the Unite leadership is an important position.
To vote for anyone else would be again dancing to the Right’s destructive tune.
Stop that dance

 VOTE HOWARD BECKETT (from his ‘comments’ section’)

 The survival of an EFFECTIVE “Left” depends on this vote

 Don’t abstain. Look at the MSM’s bile. Watch the emergence of Hodge and Watson to attack Howard Beckett.
Their attacks prove that they see him as the one candidate who will defend the “Left”.
Howard Beckett shows that defence in action. Unite members cannot afford to sabotage another opportunity for them in general and the whole country in particular.

Look at the puff of the man!

May be a Twitter screenshot of 1 person and text that says "日8053% 53% 17:12 The SKWAWKBOX 76.3K Tweets Tweets Tweets & replies Media Likes The SKWAWKBOX @skwawkbox 3d Beckett emerges as 'pan-Celt' candidate with strong English support too skwawkbox.org Beckett emerges as 'pan-Celt' candidate with strong English su... 1 91 215 × The SKWAWKBOX retweeted Jon Trickett MP @jon_trickett 3d A new international deal by pro-capitalist govts to tax big corporations at 15%? .As always, read the small print. The get out clauses are big enough for a coach and horses. 32 559 1,337"

As even Bob Pitt has remarked of Skwawky:


More fairytales from Skwawkbox

 I know I tend to bang on about the failings of Skwawkbox, the pro-Corbyn blog run by a Labour Party and Unite member from Liverpool named Steve Walker (see hereherehere and here.) But in my no doubt cantankerous opinion Skwawkbox exemplifies the most objectionable aspects of the New Left Media. In circumstances where the MSM is rightly reviled by leftwingers for its biased reporting of the Labour Party, the rise of alternative news sites with a pro-Corbyn perspective on politics is in principle very welcome. Unfortunately, as Skwawkbox’s record of shoddy journalism demonstrates, the New Left Media too often mirror the worst features of the MSM, subordinating any concern for factual accuracy to the pursuit of shock-horror stories and clickbait headlines.


I’ve made this point before, but at my advanced age I feel I’m entitled to be boring and repetitive, so I’ll make it again. The problem is that Steve Walker does this sort of thing all the time, hyping up non-stories with minimal concern for fairness or accuracy. He thinks he’s acting in the interests of the left, but he’s wrong. The objectives of progressive politics can’t be served by slipshod and downright dishonest journalism like this. Nor are they assisted by leftists covering up for Skwawkbox and trying to justify its indefensible methods.

Update Cde Owen Jones notes:

Unite has just announced the nominations for each candidate for next general secretary:1) Steve Turner 5252) Sharon Graham 3493) Howard Beckett 3284) Gerard Coyne 196If Coyne wins, Unite will be turned into a toothless union, and democracy in the Labour party will be shut down and the left crushed for a generation.Steve Turner is the chair of the People’s Assembly Against Austerity, has a very long and proud industrial record, ran Len McCluskey’s campaign for general secretary, and has consistently supported the Labour left.The left should obviously support Turner, who didn’t just win the most nominations, but the biggest branches, too. If three left candidates stand under the first past the post system, then Coyne will win.

Written by Andrew Coates

June 10, 2021 at 4:37 pm

2 Responses

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  1. And, BTL on the SB post, one reader has no doubts. (How this comment has stayed up is puzzling). “If Big Business’s man, Coyne, slips though to victory because of a three-way split Left vote, Steve of Skwawkbox, will share the blame . Gratitude for help, via Beckett, to pay those huge libel case costs, does not justify the uncritical, unprincipled, defaming of other Left candidates, and constant misinformation, ie, the disgraceful role of Skwawkbox over the last months, as Beckett’s personal PR megaphone service .”

    David Walsh

    June 10, 2021 at 6:01 pm

  2. According to LabourList:

    “McCluskey had his final Unite executive council meeting today (10/06/2021), where LabourList understands that the following nomination figures were read out: Steve Turner 510, Sharon Graham 337, Howard Beckett 311, Gerard Coyne 189. LabourList has been told that these numbers were disclosed to EC members at around 4pm, and that there are more nominations to allocate to candidates – but not many.”

    The informed prediction, based on the 2017 nominations-to-final votes ratio and the 2017 turnout of 12%, and taking into account that in 2017 there were two left candidates (McCluskey and Ian Allinson) is that if all four candidates stand in 2021, the result will be:


    Beckett: 17,1712

    Graham: 18,846

    Turner: 28,350

    Coyne: 56,700

    Efforts by Len McCluskey to decide upon a single left candidate to defeat right winger Coyne seem to have failed, with Sharon Graham showing no inclination to stand aside and Howard Beckett issuing the following statement:

    Dear comrades,

    Firstly, I want to thank you, the supporters of my campaign, for all your amazing, hard work and continued dedication to our values and the vision that I have for Unite going forward.This ongoing commitment has resulted in the most vibrant and exciting campaign ever seen in our union. The grassroots engagement is overwhelming. Activism like this has not been seen before. We have stunning member support throughout this union.

    Today, I accepted nominations for the role of General Secretary. Those nominations are a credit to you and our positive campaign.My ambition is to do more for you, not to gain a position for myself. But clearly, I believe in my candidacy for General Secretary. Leadership demands that the wishes of the collective are always put first. It is on this basis that I felt it necessary to initiate dialogue with other candidates who present as left candidates. This meeting was convened today and was conducted with complete integrity.

    At today’s meeting my campaign made the case as to why our candidacy far outstrips others and is best placed to win the election. We were the only team to present proposals at today’s meeting with the aim of conducting a transparent and fair process, in order to agree one left candidate – as I want to ensure that our programme for improving the working lives of our members remains paramount after this election.

    I have, as yet, not had a formal response to those proposals and discussion will continue. In the meantime, we remain absolutely focused. Our mobilising strategy involving every member and every workplace will continue. I look forward to seeing you all on the campaign trail and getting out the vote!

    Unite is a great union. It is paramount that it remains a force for good in our communities, workplaces and society, standing against the establishment and for workers.

    Yours in solidarity,

    Howard Beckett.

    This would appear to confirm that Beckett intends to continue in the race, despite garnering fewer nominations than the other two left candidates and having nominations very largely from Scotland and Community branches.

    Jim Denham

    June 11, 2021 at 8:40 am

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